Windows 8 No Auto Restart

The Problem with Auto RebootWindows 8 Group Policy Auto Restart

You set your computer to install updates automatically, critical updates often want to reboot your machine, however you don't want your work interrupted.

The benefit of turning-off auto restart is that you have complete control, no interruptions, no loss of unsaved work.  The only downside is that you may forget to manually reboot.

How To Stop Windows 8 Updates From Forcing a Restart of Your Computer

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No Auto Restart with Logged-on Users

This is how you solve the problem using the Local Group Policy Editor.Windows 8 Group Policy Auto Restart

Type: Gpedit; launch the executable.

Computer Configuration
. Administrative Template
… Windows Components
….. Windows Update

No auto restart with logged on users for scheduled automatic updates installations.

Windows 8 No Auto Restart Update Users Logged On

Note 1: You could also reproduce these settings in the GPMC and thus apply them to all your users.

No auto restart with logged on users for scheduled automatic updates installations.

Specifies that to complete a scheduled installation, Automatic Updates will wait for the computer to be restarted by any user who is logged on, instead of causing the computer to restart automatically.

If the status is set to Enabled, Automatic Updates will not restart a computer automatically during a scheduled installation if a user is logged in to the computer. Instead, Automatic Updates will notify the user to restart the computer.

Be aware that the computer needs to be restarted for the updates to take effect.

Note 2: This policy applies only when Automatic Updates is configured to perform scheduled installations of updates. If the "Configure Automatic Updates" policy is disabled, this policy has no effect.

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Group Policy Logic Check

As always with group policies, be aware of the double negative, 'No auto restart', 'Disabled' means the machine will restart if the update requests.  Review what you want to happen, if you are incensed by the machine rebooting without your explicit command, then set this policy to 'Enabled'.

How to Configure No Auto Restart Without Gpedit

What if you have a basic version of Windows 8, which does not include Gpedit?  The answer is to make a change in the registry.

Search for Regedit; make sure you launch it as an Administrator, then navigate to Auto Updates (AU):

HKLM\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AUWindows 8 Group Policy Auto Restart

Create a new value, select DWORD (32-bit), call it:
NoAutoRebootWithLoggedOnUsers

Set the value to 1 (Enabled), 0 (Disabled).  Interestingly, 'Not Configured corresponds to removing the value NoAutoRebootWithLoggedOnUsers.

Tip 1: In Regedit, click on: 'Add to Favorites'.

Tip 2: Run gpupdate /force, this enables the change to come into effect and thus saves the need for a reboot.

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Flip-flop Regedit and Gpedit

Here is a bit of fun to check that you have edited the correct hive of the registry.

Launch Gpedit, change the setting: No auto restart with logged on users for scheduled automatic updates installations.
Enabled

Launch Regedit, navigate to HKLM\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU
NoAutoRebootWithLoggedOnUsers
Press F5 (refresh) Note the value = 1

How to Configure Windows UpdateWindows 8 Group Policy AutoInstallMinorUpdates

  1. Open Windows Update in Control Panel by swiping in from the right edge of the screen, tapping Search
  2. In the left pane, tap or click Change settings.
  3. Under Important updates, choose the option that you want.
  4. Under Recommended updates, select the Give me recommended updates the same way that I receive important updates checkbox, then click OK.
  5. Note: Observe the registry setting:- AutoInstallMinorUpdates.
    You can configure Windows Update to download but not install updates automatically

See Windows 8 Gpedit »

Summary of No Auto Restart for Windows Updates

If you set your updates to install automatically, some critical patches want to reboot your machine and this may result in the loss of unsaved work.

The benefit of turning-off auto restart is that you have complete control, no interruptions to your work.  The only downside is that you may forget to manually reboot.

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Microsoft Windows 8 Group Policy Topics

Windows 8 Gpedit.msc  • Windows 8 Group Policy Editor  • Windows 8 Group Policy Firewall

Windows 8 Group Policy Preferences  • Windows 8 Remote Desktop Group Policy

Windows 8 Config  • Windows 8 Family Safety  • Windows 8 Event Viewer  • No Auto Restart