Windows 10 lets you 'schedule' a reboot for later. I want to disable it.

Evidently Windows scheduled itself for a reboot last night when I wasn't looking and just closed everything I had been working on the night before.

I reboot on the regular; I don't need Windows to do that for me.

Can I disable it completely? I don't mind if it downloads everything, and then says "hey, you should reboot," but it should never reboot itself, ever.

I'm using the "Pro" edition of Windows 10.

  • 68
    The "Anniversary Update" now has an option to have it install when you're not using the computer, but that's not really any better. Sometimes I leave downloads or long-running processes overnight which Windows murders and hides the results of.
    – mpen
    Commented Aug 19, 2016 at 16:02
  • 4
    There is another effective solution here: justpaste.it/HowDisableWindows10Update
    – Rob
    Commented Aug 25, 2016 at 5:54
  • 47
    Even worse, my PC wakes up from hibernate to perform this function, then sits there freshly rebooted for the rest of the night. Will Microsoft be paying my electricity bill? Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 10:02
  • 15
    Sadly the top voted answer by Windos is both complex, out of date and certainly does not work for the Home edition (it may not work for any edition for all I know). FYI Erwin's much simpler answer has worked continuously up to today (Jan 2018). There are other answers that look promising but I have not tested them. With 250,000 views this issue is obviously super-important to many people... I think the admins here should allow this question to be re-asked to ensure that the up/down votes reflect the current state of the answers.
    – Mick
    Commented Jan 24, 2018 at 15:23
  • 3
    So what is the accepted answer in 2018? no time to try all the elaborate approaches
    – prusswan
    Commented May 10, 2018 at 4:41

19 Answers 19


Note: Unfortunately this appears to not work on Windows 10 Home, and I'm not sure of a workable solution for users of this edition.

I posted this as an answer on another question, but as that appears to be a duplicate of this question I'll provide it here too:

You can edit your local group policy settings to force Windows update to only download updates, but wait for your input to install (and therefore reboot.)

Open your start menu and type Group, then click Edit group policy

Expand either (depending on Windows 10 or 11 version):

  • Computer Configuration \ Administrative Templates \ Windows Components \ Windows Update
  • or: Computer Configuration \ Administrative Templates \ Windows Components \ Manage end user experiences \ Windows Update
  • or: Computer Configuration \ Administrative Templates \ All Settings

Local Group Policy Editor - Windows Update

Double click Configure Automatic Updates and enable the policy, and configure it as needed.

Configure Automatic Updates

Head back to Windows Update and click Check for updates. Once it is done, click on the Advanced options

You should see your new settings being 'enforced.'

Enforced Windows Update settings

After applying this setting on a test VM, I left Windows Update open and noticed it started downloading.

Windows Update Downloading

When it finishes downloading, you get a toast notification that there are updates and you need to install them.

Windows Update manual install

Note that you must click install now. Restarting or shutting down from the start menu does not appear to trigger the install process.

More info:

I'm not sure if editing Local Group Policy is an option in the Home edition of Windows 10, but the same result should be possible through the registry (I haven't tested this as I used the policy method myself). Including this in case non-pro users come looking for an answer too.

  1. Press Win + R and type regedit then hit Enter

  2. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU
    (you may need to create the keys manually if they don't exist)

  3. Create a new DWORD value called AUOptions and enter a value of either 2 or 3.

    2 = Notify before download
    3 = Automatically download and notify of installation

  4. Restart PC

  5. Check for updates

  6. Inspect Advanced Settings

Update following Anniversary Update (1607):

I've seen a lot a few comments lately from people saying this no longer works after the Anniversary Update.

I've been running some tests, detailed in the two blog posts here:

These tests have been running for nearly three weeks and I have yet to see any forced reboots.

In light of these results, it appears that this does still work.

Windows 10 Professional Screenshot - 20 Days up time

Things to keep in mind:

  • I did not set any settings around Active Hours or the Reboot Options.
  • DO NOT click the 'Install now' button within the Windows Update UI unless you're ready to install and reboot. Once the updates are installed, there is no stopping Windows from deciding to reboot.
  • Windows will nag you with Toasts, Action Center alerts and banners across your screen. As long as you don't install the updates you're fine (but do do them eventually.)
  • 6
    I used that settings on my Win10 Enterprise and it evidently restarted itself this weekend (Saturday 3:31 AM that was). There has to be an additional switch to disable that annoying behaviour.
    – mbx
    Commented Aug 31, 2015 at 6:17
  • 5
    @windows I already had "No auto-restard with logged on users for scheduled automatic updates installations" enabled in the group policy editor. Hasn't helped so far.
    – mbx
    Commented Sep 1, 2015 at 6:12
  • 209
    Why is it not a simple checkbox in settings: "Don't destroy my work when I'm not looking" comes to mind as accurate verbiage. I'll even take "Don't restart while PuTTY is running" is a close second. Why always with the reg hacks.
    – Brandon
    Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 13:54
  • 34
    Consider this a 'me too' answer, but even with these changes made it still reboots (Win 10 Anniversary Update). Extremely frustrating. Work lost, session gone, infuriating. Commented Sep 1, 2016 at 8:40
  • 12
    They have just killed about 10 opened apps I was using last night. Thank you Microsoft for this clever idea of rebooting people computers without their permission.
    – ronenfe
    Commented Oct 28, 2016 at 20:32

You can try Windows 10 Reboot Blocker:

A simple Windows-Service that will update this "active hours" timeslot in the background.

It is free and works with the Anniversary update.

  • 3
    I like it. It seems well done, has installer and uninstaller and the executable has a valid signature. What it does is very simple and a good idea: it's just the same as if you were manually telling windows every hour that your normal working hours are the next 12 hours and it should not restart during this time.
    – maf-soft
    Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 9:39
  • 2
    I haven't tried, but I wonder if this can easily be done via the command line and a task scheduler. ;) Commented Mar 29, 2017 at 7:26
  • 5
    FYI... You don't need freeware non-Open Source 3rd party software to this though as per the link only answer you provided this may work for now but what exactly does this logic do behind the scenes we may not know 100% for sure. You can control when post Windows Update reboot operations occur as per superuser.com/questions/957267/…. Maybe not as simple as link only answer but native to Windows at least and you see and control exactly what it does. Once you get it setup, it is really simple though. Commented May 18, 2017 at 15:32
  • 8
    July 24th 2017: Since installing Reboot Blocker - two and a half months later I can confirm that my PC has still never rebooted without my consent.
    – Mick
    Commented Jul 24, 2017 at 12:03
  • 2
    wow finally I found something that hopefully will work! (and be futureproof). I'm frustrated about googling and changing settings constantly for something that shouldn't even be an issue... not restarting without the user's permission should be a no-brainer
    – Mikey
    Commented Sep 13, 2017 at 5:46

I have answered this as part of my attempt to fix another garbage setting in Windows 10 (the way it will wake your device up, and you in the process, to install updates you haven't approved.)

Please consult Step 2 of my guide here. It explains how to modify the "Reboot" task in the "UpdateOrchestrator" section of the Windows Scheduled Tasks list to disable it and stop Windows from interfering with it. With this task disabled, your machine will never reboot unless you instruct it to.

Cheers - Seagull

  • 27
    Your link is within the site, so there isn't much risk of it breaking. But it's still better to make answers self-contained. Consider adding the essential information here and leaving the link for attribution to the other answer. If you're just going to redirect the reader somewhere else, that can even be done in a comment.
    – fixer1234
    Commented Aug 31, 2016 at 18:50
  • 2
    This is it! I was confused how the stupid thing managed to reboot my PC even when the service wasn't running, and this was the cause! Who'd of thought that some buried Scheduled Task that Windows Update would tweak was the culprit the whole time. Now the updates can be downloaded and installed, but I can reboot when I want to. Not whatever restrictive idea of "Non-Active Hours" Windows thinks I'm not using my computer.
    – japzone
    Commented Nov 3, 2016 at 22:54
  • 7
    Unfortunately this doesn't work anymore either. Windows will silently re-enable the task as well as ignoring the file permissions and resetting them too when an update is run.
    – qasdfdsaq
    Commented Nov 5, 2016 at 13:55
  • 1
    Still can't verify. I updated my Windows 10 to the latest version – 14393.447 – and my "Reboot" task has not had its permissions interfered with. Task Scheduler in Administrative Tools still says "disabled" for this task.
    – seagull
    Commented Nov 10, 2016 at 19:11
  • 2
    @qasdfdsaq I can confirm this doesn't work on home 10. I followed all the steps a month ago and last night windows added a task on the the disabled permissionless update orchestrator which was enabled to run once and auto rebooted itself last night. Commented Nov 16, 2017 at 1:34

The best solution to this annoying problem is with Task Scheduler.

Click Start and type Task Scheduler

Navigate to Task Scheduler Library >> Microsoft >> Windows >> UpdateOchestrator

To disable automatic reboots right-click on Reboot and select disable.

enter image description here

Then be sure change the permissions. Should be set to Read & Execute

I also disabled automatic updates by disabling all the tasks in this folder.

  • 14
    @ppvi I wish, but no, it still rebooted
    – Thomas
    Commented Oct 4, 2016 at 15:33
  • 5
    This didn't work for me either (with Windows 10 Home) because the system just re-enabled it. This other answer suggests that you do the same thing, but that you also have to change the permission to keep Windows from re-enabling it: superuser.com/a/1125051/139323
    – orrd
    Commented Oct 5, 2016 at 7:15
  • 3
    Doesn't work. Windows ignores the permissions on those files.
    – qasdfdsaq
    Commented Nov 5, 2016 at 13:57
  • 3
    qasdfdsaq is right. I had the task disabled for a week then last night my machine rebooted. Looked at the task and it was enabled. Just like the update service, if you disable it Windows will enable it again. Now I'm going to see what deleting it will do. I suspect it'll just get added back. Windows 1607 (14393.447) Commented Nov 10, 2016 at 14:04
  • 2
    nircmd is not a windows native messaging utility. For Windows 10, "msg" however is, so for those who don't want to download other tools, just use %windir%\system32\msg.exe * /SERVER:localhost "Windows needs a reboot to finish its updates, please restart ASAP." as the reboot action instead. I strongly suggest also you EXPORT the task first before making changes to it so you have a backup (always a good idea just in case). Commented Mar 29, 2017 at 7:18

Controlling when Windows will Reboot after Windows Updates apply

You can control the time which you allow Windows to automatically reboot per Windows Update operations without disabling anything or forcefully stopping the Windows Update service.

This method will not prevent any Windows Updates from being downloaded or installed ever so OS security patches will still be applied to the system―you just have it reboot when you're ready.

Please note that rebooting may be required before any newly patched vulnerability becomes effective so you need to understand this and still routinely reboot when patches are applied in a somewhat timely manner to ensure your system stays secure.

I will explain with more detail below but essentially this uses a batch script to dynamically set and change the correlated registry values of the the Active hours settings for Start time and End time based on the run time it's executed while ensuring to increment the values to always be hours ahead.

This is a Native Windows Solution

Unlike the Windows 10 Reboot Blocker solution that is not Windows native, this is a 100% Windows native solution that does not require any third party software to complete the task which uses registry keys to manage restart behavior as outlined by Microsoft.

Scheduling with Task Scheduler

Simply schedule a single Batch Script (provided below) with Task Scheduler to run twice a day:

  1. once at 6:05 AM
  2. once as 6:05 PM

Each execution sets the ActiveHoursStart and ActiveHoursEnd times to values making Windows think you're always active and ensures no reboot occurs from Windows Update operations.

The batch logic and the scheduling of this process is simple to scale and adjust should you run into any issue (e.g. you run into issues with Power Saving modes such as Sleep or Hibernate.)

Batch Script

NOTES: The registry values are set in hexidecimal format. Also note that the logic example below expects the script to be executed at a frame of 6:00:00 AM - 6:59:59 AM or 6:00:00 PM - 6:59:59 PM only. This can be adjusted easily with the IF %HH%==XX portion of the logic though; you can also use this same logic to test this functionality to confirm it works as expected changing the value.


SET HH=%HH:~0,2%

IF %HH%==06 SET StartHour=06 & SET EndHour=13
IF %HH%==18 SET StartHour=12 & SET EndHour=07

CALL :ChangeActiveHours
REG IMPORT "%DynamicReg%"

SET DynamicReg=%temp%\ChangeActiveHours.reg
IF EXIST "%DynamicReg%" DEL /Q /F "%DynamicReg%"

ECHO Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00                              >>"%DynamicReg%"
ECHO.                                                                  >>"%DynamicReg%"
ECHO [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsUpdate\UX\Settings] >>"%DynamicReg%"    
ECHO "ActiveHoursEnd"=dword:000000%EndHour%                            >>"%DynamicReg%"
ECHO "ActiveHoursStart"=dword:000000%StartHour%                        >>"%DynamicReg%"
ECHO "IsActiveHoursEnabled"=dword:00000001                             >>"%DynamicReg%"

Hex values for decimal 0-255

enter image description here

The Registry

For some detail on the correlated registry settings this will change, below I'll reference the portions of A closer look at Active Hours in Windows 10 for what this method will affect.

Active Hours

Active Hours don't change that behavior, but they add a mechanic to the Windows 10 operating system that makes sure users are not disturbed by reboots during active hours.

Active Hours and the the Registry

  1. Tap on the Windows-key, type regedit.exe, and hit enter.

  2. Confirm the UAC prompt.

  3. Navigate to the following key using the tree hierarchy on the left:


The following options are provided here:

  • ActiveHoursEnd: defines the end time of the feature.
  • ActiveHoursStart: defines the start time of the feature.
  • IsActiveHoursEnabled: if set to 1, the feature is enabled. If set to 0, it is disabled.

If you want to change the starting or end hour of the feature, double-click on one of the entries. Switch to a decimal base on the prompt that opens, and enter the starting hour using the 24 hour clock system.

Please note that you cannot add minutes in the Registry only full hours.



To confirm this works as excepted you will

  1. press the enter image description here key one time, and then start typing in Windows Updates until you see the Windows Update Settings options and then click on it

enter image description here

  1. click on the Change active hours option within the *Update settings section

enter image description here

  1. take note of the Start time and the End time values in the Active hours windows and press Cancel and then close entirely out from the Settings screens.

enter image description here

  1. run the batch script now ensuring the values are set in the variables accordingly for the time you run the script to ensure it sets the values for the Start time and End time accordingly and ensure it runs without error (run as admin if needed).

  2. Now do steps 1 - 3 again and confirm the Start time and End time values changed correctly.


When you are ready to allow Windows Updates to reboot the machine per it's update operations, you can do so manually since this method does not stop Windows Updates from being downloaded and installed. If you need to disable this job though, that can be done by disabling the scheduled task that executes it with Task Scheduler.

Further Resources

enter image description here

  • 4
    I think this method is a great idea but it has a little flaw. If you turn off your computer at 7PM or later and then turn it on at 7AM or later the next day, you stay with active hours set to 6PM-7AM and even setting "Run task as soon as possible after a scheduled start is missed" to on in task settings won't change it. I think the conditions in batch should be changed to IF %HH% LSS 06 SET StartHour=12 & SET EndHour=07 IF %HH% GEQ 06 IF %HH% LSS 18 SET StartHour=06 & SET EndHour=13 IF %HH% GEQ 18 SET StartHour=12 & SET EndHour=07 to make it independent of the time it is executed.
    – Jojo
    Commented Sep 8, 2017 at 7:46
  • 2
    Very clever solution and well explained - although @MarianKlühspies is correct that non-techies are screwed. I modified the batch file a little, with this: IF %HH%==00 SET StartHour=00 & SET EndHour=12 IF %HH%==01 SET StartHour=01 & SET EndHour=13 ... etc, and then set it in Task Scheduler to run every hour, as well as on waking up from hibernate (as described by @PimpJuiceIT. Commented Mar 2, 2019 at 18:15
  • 2
    Please see this answer superuser.com/a/1456571/351521 for a PowerShell version with a automatic Scheduled task creation. I also have added triggers and settings from the comments above.
    – Marcos
    Commented Jul 5, 2019 at 16:21
  • 2
    "For all I know your batch script downloads, installs and runs software on the background, mines crypto coins and formats my harddrive.".... This is a "native Windows solution" and the logic of the batch script to run is included. You can look up the various parts of the script to confirm it's not malicious, it's a batch script, with all logic visible, and it does exactly what I've written that it does. Fortunately, no one needs to take my word on it alone, the logic is there too, you can confirm this yourself to tell what it's really doing; it's not an executable file. @StijndeWitt Commented May 14, 2020 at 13:25
  • 2
    @StijndeWitt .... I've included the other detail related to the registry path and the link right from Microsoft for a 'normal' person to read about if they are interested in learning more about the solution. To pacify this concern, I suggest anyone with such a concern to please read the entire answer and not just the batch script logic portion to learn more about the details of that and the rest of the answer as a whole. I've included extreme detail referenced with sources and all right from Microsoft explaining what this does. If anyone does not trust it, I suggest they don't use it. I agree! Commented May 14, 2020 at 21:13

You can use Windows' own tools against it to disable automatic reboots.

As some of the other answers have mentioned, Windows runs its reboots using the Scheduled Task called \Microsoft\Windows\UpdateOrchestrator\Reboot. However, if you open Task Scheduler and disable this one, Windows will happily reenable it the following day -- even if you change its permissions to make it read-only.

Rather than have to go into the Task Scheduler UI to disable the task every day, we can set this up automatically, using the schtasks command-line utility to modify tasks.

If a reboot is scheduled, the following command, run with administrative privileges, will disable the task:

schtasks /change /tn \Microsoft\Windows\UpdateOrchestrator\Reboot /DISABLE

Knowing this, you can create your own Scheduled Task to periodically run the above command and disable Windows' insidious little scheme. If you're familiar with how to use Task Scheduler, set up your own task.


  1. Copy and paste the markup below into a text editor.
  2. Save it as an XML file.
  3. In Task Scheduler, click on Actions > Import Task... and select this file.
  4. Tweak the configuration as needed.
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-16"?>
<Task version="1.4" xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/windows/2004/02/mit/task">
    <URI>\SuperUser\Cancel Windows automatic reboot</URI>
    <Principal id="Author">
      <!-- That's the SYSTEM user -->
  <Actions Context="Author">
      <Arguments>/change /tn \Microsoft\Windows\UpdateOrchestrator\Reboot /DISABLE</Arguments>
  • 22
    The brain trust at Microsoft has been causing me grief since the 1980s. Back then, it was incompetence. Now they do it on purpose.
    – user184411
    Commented Dec 11, 2016 at 7:04
  • Nope, can't trust this. Disabling the Windows Update service is the only reliable solution. It's the only way to be certain that Windows won't literally destroy everything you're working on when you least expect it.
    – Triynko
    Commented Jan 10, 2017 at 3:40
  • 1
    "Now they do it on purpose" LOL. I've coined a term I use: BOPs (bugs on purpose) - for any company that says it is "by design" (simple excuse not to change it). ;) Commented Mar 29, 2017 at 7:31
  • 2
    Even when I'm logged into the default administrator account I cannot run this command in an elevated cmd - i.imgur.com/z0ef7nC.png
    – Goose
    Commented Dec 20, 2018 at 0:48
  • 2
    if you open Task Scheduler and disable this one, Windows will happily reenable it the following day When MS decided they were doing this, they basically proclaimed war on the user. Commented May 14, 2020 at 7:33

Other answers require 3rd-party software or a running task/service, and many have to be repeated after Windows updates. This solution has several advantages:

  • It's fast & easy: Just a single cmd command
  • It's permanent: No need to repeat after Windows Updates
  • It's lightweight: No running services or tasks required


Run this command in Command Prompt as administrator:

cd C:\Windows\System32\Tasks\Microsoft\Windows\UpdateOrchestrator && rename Reboot Reboot.backup & rename Reboot_Battery Reboot_Battery.backup & rename Reboot_AC Reboot_AC.backup & rename USO_UxBroker USO_UxBroker.backup & mkdir Reboot & mkdir Reboot_Battery & mkdir Reboot_AC & mkdir USO_UxBroker & copy NUL Reboot\empty_file & copy NUL Reboot_Battery\empty_file & copy NUL Reboot_AC\empty_file & copy NUL USO_UxBroker\empty_file

Backup solution if you get an access denied error:

cd C:\Windows\System32\Tasks\Microsoft\Windows && takeown /F UpdateOrchestrator /A /R /D y && icacls UpdateOrchestrator /reset /T /C && icacls UpdateOrchestrator /T /C /grant *S-1-5-32-544:F && cd UpdateOrchestrator && rename Reboot Reboot.backup & rename Reboot_Battery Reboot_Battery.backup & rename Reboot_AC Reboot_AC.backup & rename USO_UxBroker USO_UxBroker.backup & mkdir Reboot & mkdir Reboot_Battery & mkdir Reboot_AC & mkdir USO_UxBroker & copy NUL Reboot\empty_file & copy NUL Reboot_Battery\empty_file & copy NUL Reboot_AC\empty_file & copy NUL USO_UxBroker\empty_file

This last command does the same thing, but first gives Administrators ownership of and full permissions to the UpdateOrchestrator folder & contents.

2022 update:

It seems some of the old tasks are being phased out, resulting in "not found" error messages when running the command. These are safe to ignore, as the commands will still prevent reboots.

What it does

Automatic reboots after updates are performed by Windows Tasks, specifically one of Reboot, Reboot_AC, Reboot_Battery or USO_UxBroker. These tasks are defined in files in the C:\Windows\System32\Tasks\Microsoft\Windows\UpdateOrchestrator folder.

This solution renames these files and creates folders with the same names in their place. It then puts an empty file in each of the created folders.

This effectively deletes the tasks responsible for the auto-reboots, and prevents Windows from re-creating them.

Why it works

Windows can no longer run the Reboot, Reboot_AC, Reboot_Battery or USO_UxBroker tasks after an update because they no longer exist (except as backups with different names).

When this happens, Windows will attempt to fix the problem by re-creating (or fixing) the expected tasks (files), and then run them. However, Windows will fail to create the needed files because there's a folder with the same name in the target folder and two items in the same folder can't have the same name.

Moreover, since folders and files are different things, Windows will not be able to modify the folders into files containing the correct Task definitions.

Finally, because the command puts an empty file in each of the created folders, it's very unlikely that they will be automatically deleted (which is necessary to re-create the tasks). This is because deleting folders with contents requires a recursive delete command, which would never be used for deleting an object that Windows expects to be a file.

For these reasons, this solution is much more robust than those relying on changing file ownership/access and/or modifying the relevant tasks, something that can be (and frequently is) "fixed" by Windows during updates.

Sources & testing of the solution

I learned about the technique used in my solution from this article. I have been using this technique for several years and have not experienced a single auto-reboot in all this time except this January (2020) when Microsoft added the new Reboot_AC and Reboot_Battery tasks, which are now also used by Windows Update to initiate automatic restarts.

I have updated the solution myself to account for the new tasks, and it has successfully prevented reboots after the changes I've made.

Late 2020, the task USO_UxBroker was added to Windows. The task description (This task triggers a system reboot following update installation) confirms its purpose, so the solution now also neutralizes this task. Thanks to @Simon East for pointing out this task in the comments.

The entire answer, including the cmd commands, is my own original work.

  • Neat-o. But I'm guessing this doesn't prevent Winbugs from waking up at the middle of the night (and me, if I left MediaMonkey blaring) and staying on until I come back?
    – Chema
    Commented May 14, 2020 at 21:46
  • 2
    @Chema it does prevent waking actually, or at least it has for me :) I think waking is caused by the "Wake the computer to run this task" setting on the tasks, which become obsolete when Windows is unable to ever schedule the tasks to run.
    – Joakim
    Commented May 15, 2020 at 8:22
  • I suspect you never suspend your machine while music is playing, @Joakim. :) Mine keeps waking (me) up in the middle of the night. Syslog points to the 'UpdateOrchestrator\Universal Orchestrator Start' task. The task is scheduled for three days ago, and Wake computer up is not selected, so no idea why would it wake the PC tonight, or at all... but what else is new in Winbugs. I just disabled Wake timers in Advanced energy options > Sleep. Fingers crossed (and a playlist full of soft classical! ;)
    – Chema
    Commented Jun 6, 2020 at 7:18
  • A more complete solution here: superuser.com/questions/973009 Sadly it seems I can't disable my laptop's keyboard or touchpad (nor USB mouse) from triggering wake ups, which has also happened while stored in a backpack.
    – Chema
    Commented Jun 6, 2020 at 7:33
  • 1
    Seems like a new task popped up and needed nuking too: Schedule Wake To Work
    – AgentRev
    Commented Nov 21, 2023 at 23:08

I've made a PowerShell script that dynamically sets the Active Hours to prevent the unwanted restarts from Windows Updates based on this answer (https://superuser.com/a/1208866/351521). It sets these registry keys:

  • HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsUpdate\UX\Settings\ActiveHoursStart

  • HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsUpdate\UX\Settings\ActiveHoursEnd

  • HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsUpdate\UX\Settings\IsActiveHoursEnabled

You can get it here: https://github.com/marcosbozzani/Win10ActiveHours

Suggestions and Pull Requests are welcomed!


  • Converted from Batch to PowerShell (easier to understand and maintain, in my opinion)

  • The script checks a range of hours instead of a single a hour (as suggested in the comments from that answer)

  • The script can install and uninstall the Scheduled task and set the appropriated settings and triggers

  • The script can execute the Scheduled task manually, if needed

  • Created a Github repository (easier to update and to accept changes)

General information

  • The task will be created at \Win10ActiveHours\Update

  • There are two Active Hours windows of 18 hours:

    • from 18:00 to 12:00
    • from 06:00 to 00:00
  • There are four triggers that will active the tasks and switch between the two windows:

    • at computer start up
    • at computer wake up
    • daily at 06:00
    • daily at 18:00
  • These are the settings for the task:

    • wake to run
    • start when available
    • don't stop on idle end
    • allow start if on batteries
    • don't stop if going on batteries

For more information see the README.md from the repository

  • "wake to run" - will this wake up the PC when sleeping? Many people don't want the PC waking up "by itself". I understand Windows might wake up by the update/reboot task, so this might be necessary, but please consider it. Maybe just add a note. Commented Aug 11, 2021 at 8:06
  • 1
    Excellent script that worked without an issue for me for all these years. On my new PC I installed it with the following one-liner in the admin powershell window: powershell -Command { Invoke-RestMethod https://raw.githubusercontent.com/marcosbozzani/Win10ActiveHours/7a214576ee2681c3e677b6c017429934a2c8c7d2/setup.ps1 | Invoke-Expression }. The "subshell" is needed because setup.ps1 exits when finished.
    – Nickolay
    Commented Nov 30, 2022 at 14:54

Windows 10 rebuild his Windows Update Policies adding some diferences between previous versions.

Windows Update will force updates even if windows update service is off, that apply to Home users, since some update requires a mandatory restart, restart scheduler can't be turned off.

That don't mean you can not block the updates, maybe you could do a workarround as block updates servers, but that could be very annoying asuming you have hundred of methods to do that in whole internet.

A Newspaper with Reference Here

Updates. The software periodically checks for system and app updates, and downloads and installs them for you. You may obtain updates only from Microsoft or authorized sources, and Microsoft may need to update your system to provide you with those updates. By accepting this agreement, you agree to receive these types of automatic updates without any additional notice.

Source Windows 10 EULA

Some information about Windows Update for Business explaining the diferences between home users and advantages of enterprise update Here

  • 17
    Updating is usually not a problem, rebooting and destroying a user's work is. But who needs a user nowadays? Commented Sep 30, 2016 at 20:05
  • 2
    This answer is dead wrong. Disabling the Windows Update service ABSOLUTELY SOLVES THE PROBLEM. It's the only way to solve the problem. It's been months since I've disabled it, and my computer has never tried to restart itself. Don't just "stop" the service... stop and set it to "disabled". Problem solved. Enable it when you feel like installing updates. Rewriting the guts of your computer and killing all your work has NO BUSINESS being anything other than 100% manual operation. What Microsoft has done in Windows 10 is ******** disgusting and infuriating.
    – Triynko
    Commented Jan 10, 2017 at 3:42
  • 1
    Even when it's marked disabled, Microsoft still runs the parent svchost netsvcs wrapper and can start up and run windows updates on you.
    – Warren P
    Commented Jan 24, 2017 at 13:07
  • 1
    27 June 2017 - been using this for nearly two months and still no forced updates.
    – Mick
    Commented Jun 27, 2017 at 15:59
  • 2
    My problem is, I want to have the cake and eat it. I do want updates, but I don't want forced automatic reboots that close all my apps and destroy my work. Commented May 15, 2020 at 9:06

It seems like "No auto-restart with logged on users for scheduled automatic updates installations" doesn't work currently with Windows 10, but according to this article on Lifehacker.com (http://lifehacker.com/enable-metered-connection-to-delay-windows-10-updates-1723316525), enabling metered connections in Windows 10 might stop or at least further delay Windows Updates.

Windows 10 comes with a feature that allows you to specify that your internet connection is capped, throttled, or handicapped in some way. You may be tethering to your phone, on a public Wi-Fi network, or just have a crappy data cap on your home network. By enabling “Metered connection,” Microsoft will respect that by waiting to force a download. To turn it on, follow these steps:

  1. Search in the start menu for “Change Wi-Fi settings”
  2. Click Advanced Options.
  3. Enable the toggle under “Metered connection.”

The one major downside to this method is that it only works if your computer is connected via Wi-Fi. For some reason, Windows 10 doesn’t allow you to specify that your connection is metered when connected via ethernet (despite the fact that many home internet connections have data caps). However, this should help many typical users.

  • 3
    Just disable the service altogether. Disabling windows update is the only solution. As far as I'm concerned and as a matter of actual fact, Windows Update's automatic restarts have caused more destruction of work and more agony in 2 months than any virus or malware I've ever encountered in the past 20 years combined. DISABLE THE WINDOWS UPDATE SERVICE. PROBLEM SOLVED.
    – Triynko
    Commented Jan 10, 2017 at 3:46
  • @Triynko I hope you've changed your mind now that WanaCrypt0r has made its appearance. In any case, it's been less than 20 years since SQL Slammer took down tens of thousands of systems, and Microsoft had released a patch fixing that problem 6 months prior to that worm's release. Commented May 13, 2017 at 19:10

Disabling Windows Updates in Windows 10 Natively

**** No third party software required for this method ****

For more control ensuring that Windows Update operations only apply to your Windows 10 OS when you want them to, see the below steps using two scripts and one scheduled task job.

This method will work regardless of any scheduled tasks or other processes that kick off Windows Update if it's setup correctly and the job is enabled and running at short enough intervals.

Essentially this will

  1. Check once a minute to see if the Windows Update service is running and take one of the two below actions whether TRUE or FALSE. . .
    • if it is running, then the service is forcefully stopped with NET STOP ensuring that no Windows Updates are applied
    • if it is not running, then the process ends until executed on the next scheduled trigger with Task Scheduler

You will need to do three things to ensure this works as expected

  1. create the simple Batch Script that'll check if Windows Update is running and kill it if it is
    • this is just a text document renamed with a .cmd file extension
  2. create the simple VB Script that'll execute the batch script but in a hidden manner so there's not a pop up every time it runs
    • this is just a text document renamed with a .vbs file extension
  3. create the scheduled task to run once a minute indefinitely with Windows Task Scheduler

Setup and Configuration

Below are the detailed steps to follow for setting up these three simple things.

1. Batch Script

NOTE: Save the below logic to a text file and rename to have an extension of .cmd e.g . DisableWU.cmd.


TASKLIST /SVC | FINDSTR /I /C:"wuauserv"

FOR %%A IN (wuauserv) DO NET STOP /Y "%%~A"

2. VBS Script

NOTE: Save the below logic to a text file and rename to have an extension of .vbs e.g . DisableWUHidden.vbs. Also be sure that you put the correct full path and file name value where the batch file is saved in place of the C:\FolderPath\DisableWU.cmd value in the below logic accordingly.

Set WinScriptHost = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
WinScriptHost.Run Chr(34) & "C:\FolderPath\DisableWU.cmd" & Chr(34), 0
Set WinScriptHost = Nothing

3. Task Scheduler Job

Press enter image description here + R, type in taskschd.msc and press Enter. Right-click on the Task Scheduler Library option in the right pane and then select the Create Task option.

From the General tab be sure the Run whether user is logged on or not and Run with highest privileges options are checked so both are enabled and effective.

enter image description here

From the Triggers tab be sure the Daily option is set with Recur every: 1 days and check the Repeat task every 1 minute for a duration of 1 day is set and specified and that the Enabled option is checked.

enter image description here

From the Actions tab be sure Program\script: points to the full explicit path of the VB Script, and be sure the Start in (optional): points to the folder path only where that same VB Script resides.

enter image description here

To finalize and save, press OK (maybe twice), and then type in the username and password credential information from an account that (1. has permissions to run Task Scheduler tasks, and (2. has execute and read access to the location where you saved the scripts it'll execute.

Confirming it Works

For a quick test to confirm this works as expected you can:

  • Press enter image description here + R, type in services.msc and press Enter
  • Scroll down to Windows Update, right click on it and select Start until you see the status go to Running
  • Now just press F5 every so many seconds to refresh the screen to see if the service status changes
    • Eventually you should see the status change to a Blank/Null/Empty/Nothing indicating the service is not running. If you refresh in the middle of a stop operation, you may notice a status value of Stopping for the service

This means whether you start Windows Update, a scheduled task starts it, or whatever other process(es) start it, it will be killed every 60 seconds if it is running when this job is enabled and running. This helps ensure Windows Update operations never have sufficient time to ever complete a download or install of any update.

Note: The scheduled interval can easily be adjusted to run more frequently than 60 seconds if that's not quick enough in some instances.

To Disable

You should apply Windows Updates periodically though at your regular scheduled maintenance intervals to ensure your system is up to date with the latest security patches and so forth. This is not a method intended to totally never apply Windows Updates as these are critical and necessary in many environments so this is intended to just give you better control to choose when you want to apply these updates in your environment.

To disable this process to allow you to manually install Windows Updates when you're ready, you will simply go to the job you scheduled with Task Scheduler, right-click it, and select the Disable option to disable the job and thus preventing the killing of the Windows Updates service.

enter image description here

Once disabled, just run through the motions of applying Windows Updates manually to patch the OS. Once the updates are applied and your power cycles are complete if applicable, simplly Enable the job for it to start running again.

Further Resources

  • Seems to have stopped working? I can stop the service manually, but running the batch file/vbs did not do anything when WU was running. But I doubt WU has changed name to fail the name match? Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 3:07
  • @SirAdelaide What version of Windows 10 are you running? 1903, 1909, or what? Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 4:31
  • 1803 Win 10 Pro. I've got a problem where the update to 1903 etc fails, but Windows likes to keep trying and I get too many reboots, thus why I'm reading this page Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 6:02
  • @SirAdelaide Try updating via microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10 using this method or the media installation tool if it's failing. You might manually stop the Windows Update service via the services.msc interface, delete the C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution folder, and then run the update to 1903 manually via the link. I've not went from 1803 to 1909 personally but I "think: you have to go to 1903 before you can go to 1909 if that's what you want to do ultimately. Is the PC in a domain with group policies by chance? Good luck regardless. Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 11:42

According to this answer, two actions are both required to disable forced reboot while the user is logged-on. The answer is based on an article (in Italian).

The two required settings are :

  1. Set the registry item NoAutoRebootWithLoggedOnUsers
  2. Set the policy of Configure Automatic Updates policy

I do not have the capability to test it in all Windows versions, nor can I guarantee that it will still work tomorrow. But here is how to set these two settings.

Disable forced restarts after updates (registry)

This registry modification will disable forced restarts as long as some user(s) are logged-in.

  1. Click Win+R, type regedit, and hit Enter
  2. Navigate to the key
  3. If either WindowsUpdate or its subkey AU do not exist, create them manually by right-click on the right-hand panel, then New -> Key, type the missing key name and press Enter.
  4. Once positioned into the AU key, right-click in the right-hand panel, select New and then DWORD (32-bit).
  5. Type NoAutoRebootWithLoggedOnUsers and press Enter
  6. Double-click on the item, change its value to 1 and press OK.

image1 image2

Modify Windows Update settings (Local Group Policy)

  1. Press Win+R, type gpedit.msc, and hit Enter.
  2. Navigate to Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Windows Update.
  3. Locate the Configure Automatic Updates policy on the right pane and double-click it.
  4. Select Enabled and Options to 2 (Notify for download and notify for install).
  5. Click Apply.
  6. Press OK to save the changes.

Finally, reboot the PC.

enter image description here

Note about Windows 10 Enterprise

I am running Windows 10 Enterprise with deferred updates. For what it may help, here are my registry settings from HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU :

enter image description here

And in the Local Group Policy Editor, Configure Automatic Updates is set to Enabled with Option set to 2.


Third-party products

As Windows rules and methods change and no method works forever, here are some free third-party products that will postpone shutdown (and more). They may use the Windows API which allows any program to veto an impending shutdown or disable Windows system services.

Windows Update Blocker

A portable freeware that helps to completely disable or enable Automatic Updates on Windows with one button click. It does a good job of disabling Windows Update system services, including the unstoppable Windows Update Medic Service.

Don’t Sleep

A small program that can block various Windows events from the traybar, only recently updated on January 2019.

enter image description here


An older program that sits in the system tray and prevents Windows from shutting down, rebooting or logging off. There are a few options available in the tray menu such as hiding the tray icon, disabling the program temporarily and forcing a shutdown, and a few other configuration settings are available in an .ini file which can be edited with Notepad.

enter image description here

Shut It!

Shut It! can monitor and block shutdowns and restarts etc, but also it can do so in view of the currently executing application processes or windows and perform a different action for those that match.

It's only available for download from third-party websites.

enter image description here


4 Tools to Prevent, Cancel and Abort a Windows System Shutdown or Restart when Applications are Running


Canonical Answer for Clearer Guidance

There seems to be two reason people come to this post for an answer to...

  1. How do I entirely disable Windows Updates so it never runs.
  2. How do I control when Windows reboots after Windows Updates are applied

Since there are so many answers for this post and a Canonical Answer was requested per a bounty, I figured I'd take a stab at giving a little more clear guidance for the task at hand per the answers from this post.

Note: It's possible that Microsoft releases updates that change the way this correlated functionality works, so if you apply such updates, then these processes may not work as expected afterwards.

#1 Disable Windows Updates entirely


As stated in the "Stop Windows 10 from automatically updating your PC" post. . .

"As a general rule, an up-to-date operating system is a secure operating system. Windows 10 automatically checks for, downloads and installs new updates to your PC -- whether you like it or not. This new feature is actually pretty convenient for most users, but not everyone wants their operating system updated on Microsoft's schedule."


To disable Windows Updates entirely you can follow the instructions from two specific answers on this post linked just below as #1 and #2 and perform the operations specified in both but #1 at a minimum or #1 and #2 for extra thoroughness.

  1. Disabling Windows Updates in Windows 10 Natively

  2. Turn off Windows Updates in Windows 10 and Disabling Task Scheduler Jobs

    • For this answer, in the Disabling Task Scheduler Jobs section where the scheduled tasks within the /Microsoft/Windows/Windows Updates container, it might be worth disabling all those jobs in there for complete thoroughness.

#2 Control when Windows reboots after Windows Updates install


Please note that rebooting may be required before any newly patched vulnerability becomes effective so you need to understand this and still routinely reboot when patches are applied in a somewhat timely manner to ensure your system stays secure.

There seems to be at least two answer that work best here for most people so I'll start with the Windows native solution and then tell you about the 3rd party solution.

To control when Windows reboots post Windows Update installs you can follow the instructions from either of these two answers on this post. . .

  1. Windows Native: Controlling when Windows will Reboot after Windows Updates apply
  2. 3rd Party App: Windows 10 Reboot Blocker


If you absolutely must not allow your system to reboot due to Windows Updates without it being "controlled" when you are present, schedule down time for maintenance, or whatever the case, then you could disable the Windows Update service.

Manually Controlling Windows Updates

This would mean that this machine would not get critical security updates, etc. unless you re-enable and then manually download, install, reboot, etc. and then disable once the patching is complete.

WARNING: This could be dangerous and is not recommended and especially in a home network environment. In a business or data center environment though, it is normal for companies to control when they will make changes, install security updates, patch OSes, and so on.

Turn off Windows Updates in Windows 10

You can do this using the Windows Update service. Via Control Panel > Administrative Tools, you can access Services. In the Services window, scroll down to Windows Update and turn off the process. To turn it off, right-click on the process, click on Properties and select Disabled. That will take care of Windows Updates not being installed on your machine.

enter image description here

But since Windows is a Service now onwards, you have to keep your computer updated. To be able to install the next set of features or a newer build, you will require the earlier updates to be installed. That’s why if you use the above workaround, you will have to go to the Services and turn it on once in a while to download and update your copy of Windows.

Manually Starting Windows Updates and Running it

After you turn on the Windows Update service, when you open Windows Update in PC Settings, you will see a message that updates were not installed because computer was stopped. You will have to click on Retry so that all the available updates are downloaded and installed. This may take two or three “Check for Updates”. You will have to keep on clicking “Check for updates” until it says your computer is up to date. Then you can go back and turn off the Windows Update service until next time you feel you are free enough to spend time updating your copy of Windows 10.


Disabling Task Scheduler Jobs

It seems that there are some scheduled tasks related to Windows Update scheduled to trigger Windows Updates perhaps.

Press enter image description here + R, type in taskschd.msc and press Enter. Navigate to Task Scheduler Library > Microsoft > Windows > WindowsUpdates, and then right click and select the Disable option for the job named Scheduled Start.

enter image description here

Further Resources


Update: After testing, my previous solution failed to be effective. Microsoft seems to have implemented features that prevent even it from working.

My final solution was to use a utility called StopUpdates10. It combines all of the techniques I've read about over the last few months, notably multiple registry changes and the disabling of multiple services—rather than just the couple that keep being mentioned but which don't work on their own.

Up until last night, I had prevented my computer (which hosts services requiring it to be on 24/7 unless I specifically scheduled downtime) from automatically applying updates and rebooting. I had done this by disabling the Windows Update service—one of the answers here.

This morning, I discovered that it had rebooted automatically and that the Windows Update service had been re-enabled. This is not behaviour that Windows 10 has ever exhibited for me before. I can only assume that something has changed in 2018, and that Microsoft has rolled out an update this year (which I would have applied when manually updating my system) that re-enables the Windows Update service even if you've disabled it.

I have since disabled the Windows Update service once more—but now also removed all inherited permissions from HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\wuauserv, and given only myself anything other than read-only access to it.

In addition, I have taken ownership of C:\Windows\System32\sihclient.exe (the binary responsible for background updates), removed all permissions to it aside from myself, and renamed it.

I will not know if this is successful (one or the other or both) until one or more months have passed.

  • @PimpJuiceIT I'll think about that once I can verify if my solution is actually effective. :) Unfortunately, unless somebody has definitive information on this, it's now just a waiting game. Commented May 29, 2018 at 19:03
  • 2
    Hey, Jason, welcome to the site. This is interesting information, but maybe premature for an answer. It might be better to wait until you confirm that it works.
    – fixer1234
    Commented May 29, 2018 at 22:36

A simple option is to set active hours outside your working hours. enter image description here

Windows now only has a 6-hour window to reboot and I'm actively working during that time so it will ask me.


OK, so this is an old thread but I found nothing working for Windows 10 20H2.

It appears that in Windows 10 20H2 two scheduled tasks are created in \Microsoft\Windows\UpdateOrchestrator\, named Reboot_AC and Reboot_Battery.
When there are no pending reboots, the tasks have a start date in the past and are set to Disabled.

These tasks can only be edited by System, but when you do attempt that, you are prompted for a password when saving.

So I created a task in Task Scheduler, that runs every minute and calls a small PowerShell script that for each scheduled Reboot_* task, replaces the trigger with a new one with a start date 7 days in the future and disables the task nonetheless.

Note that this does not disable any reboot notifications.
Also, I use this in conjunction with Active Hours so that it is most likely a reboot is scheduled somewhere in the future.

Powershell file PostponeWindowsUpdateReboot.ps1:

$TaskPath = '\Microsoft\Windows\UpdateOrchestrator\'
$NewTrigger = New-ScheduledTaskTrigger -At ([DateTime]::Now.AddDays(7)) -Once
'Reboot_AC', 'Reboot_Battery' | ForEach-Object {
  Set-ScheduledTask -TaskName $_ -TaskPath $TaskPath -Trigger $NewTrigger
  Disable-ScheduledTask -TaskName $_ -TaskPath $TaskPath

The scheduled task that disables both Reboot_* tasks must run as System and set to run with highest privileges.
This is an XML dump of it (assuming that the script is named D:\tools\PostponeWindowsUpdateReboot.ps1):

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-16"?>
<Task version="1.2" xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/windows/2004/02/mit/task">
    <Principal id="Author">
  <Actions Context="Author">
      <Arguments>-File D:\tools\PostponeWindowsUpdateReboot.ps1</Arguments>

I am currently still testing if the tasks ever get a new trigger assigned when new updates are received, and if an interval of 1 minute is sufficient (or overkill).

Hope this helps anybody searching to tame Windows Update.


Most of the answers here are rather old now and I wanted to have a "clean" solution that doesn't involve renaming system files or running background tasks. The latter might also not work when putting the system to sleep, as I often do at night when I go to sleep, but want to keep the system state/continue with my work the next day. Disabling Windows Update completely is also not wanted.

After about two hours of research, reading up on multiple ways, I tried and came up with the following solution, for the "Pro" Edition:

  1. Open the group policy editor (gpedit.msc)
  2. Navigate to Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Windows Update
  3. Set "Enabling Windows Update Power Management to automatically wake up the system to install scheduled updates" to Disabled
  4. Set "No auto-restart with logged on users for scheduled automatic update installations" to Enabled
  5. Open the CMD and execute gpupdate /force

That's it! The changes are immediately effective and you can put your system to sleep safely if there was a restart pending already - Windows should keep your system in sleep mode and will not automatically restart if you leave it running, as one would expect.

I researched and applied these settings back in November 2021 and wanted to put them to the test before posting - so far I haven't had (these) troubles with Windows updates anymore and I've had a few pending restarts since then and uptimes of up to ~2 weeks. At least on Windows 10 Pro Version 21H1 that is; things might change in the future/with newer versions again.

Further background on why I didn't use solution X

  • Change the "Configure Automatic Updates" setting:
    As of my Windows version, option 3 seems to be the default (unconfigured state though) and it's already not working as described, so I skipped it first. I might give it a try in the future, though; maybe it does differ from the default behaviour and works as described.
  • Disabling or Renaming/removing the reboot task(s):
    Not a fan of tampering with system files and potentially making my system less stable honestly, but I did give it a try to change properties and disable the tasks, but that did not do anything. I think I also tried renaming the task files, but that also didn't work, not sure now though. Maybe these changes require a restart to have an effect? (couldn't do that back then)
    Also, this is prone to be changed every now and then by Windows and has so already (more tasks than one).
  • Background task updating active hours:
    Primarily I don't think this will work when the system is put to sleep (haven't tried though). And while clever, it feels a bit hacky and is again not something I'd like to do when there are alternatives.

Some sources I used (maybe additionally helpful), besides this question:

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