How to Prevent Windows From Restarting After An Automatic Update

There is no doubt that Windows 7 is a much better operating system than Windows XP and Vista, but one thing never seems to change: You have to restart your computer every time it performs an update. Perhaps I am just too used to the way that Linux system can update itself without restarting, and also that I have too many important works opened on my Windows desktop that I can’t afford to restart the computer most of the time. For those who are facing such problems as well, here are the fixes to prevent your Windows from auto-restarting after an update.

In Windows 7, go to the search bar in the Start menu and type


Press Enter


This will open the Local Group Policy Editor window. On the left pane, navigate to Local Computer Policy -> Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Windows Update.

On the right pane, double click on the entry “No auto-restart with logged on users for scheduled automated updates installation”.


In the next window, select the box “Enabled” and click Apply. Click OK to close the window.


Other options that you can play with

Now, if you don’t want to disable the auto-restart function completely, there are also other ways that you can make it less disruptive.

Delay Restart

The default duration for the system to restart after an update is 15 minute. You can change the default timing to the one you prefer.

Double click on the entry “Delay Restart for scheduled installations”. Check the Enabled box. At the bottom left pane, change the timing to your own preferences.


Change the Restart Re-prompt timing

The Automatic Updates usually wait for a period of time before it prompts you again to restart your computer. The default timing is 10 minutes. You can change the setting so that it won’t bother you during the time that you are using your computer.

Double click on the “Re-prompt for restart with scheduled installations”. Click the Enabled button and specify the time in the bottom left pane.


Improve Windows 7 startup time by preventing the Automatic update from running immediately after the startup

As you startup your Windows, it will load a lot of files and applications. In some occasion, you might have to wait for several minutes before the computer is fully functional. One such application that the system runs automatically is the Automatic Update. Its default setting is to wait for 1 minute after the system bootup before it runs in the background. To speed things up a little bit, you can increase the lag time such that the Automatic Update will only run itself after a specified amount of time (say 15 minutes).

Double click on the entry: “Reschedule Automatic Update scheduled installations”. Click Enabled and specify the time in the bottom left pane.



There are plenty of stuffs that you can play around in the Local Group Policy Editor window. Most of them don’t really hurt your computer unless you choose to turn off automatic update completely. Do play around and find the best match for your usage patterns.


Damien Oh started writing tech articles since 2007 and has over 10 years of experience in the tech industry. He is proficient in Windows, Linux, Mac, Android and iOS, and worked as a part time WordPress Developer. He is currently the owner and Editor-in-Chief of Make Tech Easier.

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