How to Set Active Hours and Prevent Your Windows From Auto-restarting

Windows updates have always been a pain in the neck. With Windows 10, this has become even more of an issue as it gives you so little control over how Windows installs the updates. In fact, I’ve seen the Windows system reboot in between gaming sessions and stuff to install Windows updates. The upside of this behavior is that it enables users to stay up to date and enables Microsoft to add features without worrying if the user is up to date with the patches or not. Of course, this is pretty important as I’ve seen users who didn’t upgrade their systems for years.

Thankfully, Microsoft added a new feature called Active Hours in the Anniversary update. Active Hours enables a Windows user to set custom timings so that Windows won’t force you to restart your system to install the updates.

Set Active Hours to Install Windows Updates

Setting Active Hours in Windows 10 Anniversary update is easy. To start, click on the notifications icon on the taskbar and then click on the option “All Settings.” Alternatively, you can also use the keyboard shortcut “Win + I.”

win10 active hours select settings

The above action will open the Settings app. Here, select the option “Update and Security.”

win10 active hours select update and security

In the Update and Security window, navigate to the “Windows Update” tab in the left pane and then click on the link “Change Active Hours” under the Update Settings section.

win10 active hours select active hours

The above action will bring forward the Active Hours section. Simply set the Start and End time. In my case I’m settings my active hours from 8AM to 8PM. Do note that the start and end time should not be more than twelve hours.

win10 active hours set active hours

Once you are done setting the Active Hours, click on the “Save” button to save the changes.

win10 active hours save active hours

From this point forward, Windows won’t try to force-restart your system during the active hours.

Set Custom Restart Time to Install Windows Updates

Even when you set the Active Hours, you sometimes might want to override it so that you can install the Windows update more peacefully. To override the Active Hours, you can set the custom restart time.

To set a custom restart time, go back to the Windows update options in the Settings app and then click on the “Restart Options” link under the Update Settings section.

win10 active hours select restart options

The above action will take you to the Restart Options screen. By default, this feature will only be available when there is a pending update installation. As you can see from the below image, I have no pending updates so I can’t use this feature. To enable custom restart time, toggle the button under the “Use a Custom Restart Time,” and set when you want to restart your system to install the updates.

win10 active hours custom restart time

As soon as you set the restart time, Windows won’t bother you with the “Install updates” notification.

Do comment below sharing your thoughts and experiences about using the Active Hours feature and the ability to set custom restart times to install the Windows updates.

Vamsi Krishna

Vamsi is a tech and WordPress geek who enjoys writing how-to guides and messing with his computer and software in general. When not writing for MTE, he writes for he shares tips, tricks, and lifehacks on his own blog Stugon.

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