How to stop Windows 10 from rebooting after updates

All it takes is a change to one setting.

windows 10 laptop pc
Credit: Adam Patrick Murray

Tonia Jordan wants her PC to stop rebooting all by itself after Windows updates itself, and I feel her pain. I’ve also had the unpleasant experience in Windows 10 of leaving my PC mid-task only to come back later to find it has rebooted without any warning. And even when Windows 10 gives you a warning that it needs to reboot there’s no way to postpone it anymore, so you have to save your work and let it do its thing. We get that Microsoft wants all its users to update their PCs immediately to keep their systems secure, but forcing a PC to reboot without any user input is not a good user experience. 

Though Microsoft now allows you to set active hours in order to prevent an update during your regular times of use, an update during your off hours will still be followed by an automatic reboot. That can be a problem if you’re one to leave important tasks and windows open overnight. I found what appears to be the solution on the Winaero blog. Note that I haven’t tested it yet, as my system hasn’t had a pending update as of press time, but the blog is legit and the proposed change is easily reversible. 

First, right-click the Start menu and select the Control Panel.

On the upper left-hand side, at the very top, select Administrative Tools. Find and double-click Task Scheduler. In the Task Scheduler window, on the far left side, click through the following cascade of folders as follows: Task Scheduler Library > Microsoft > Windows > UpdateOrchestrator. Next, select Reboot in the middle pane, then click Disable in the far-right pane. If you get cold feet, just click Enable to return to rebooting.

Update task

Here you can tweak the properties of individual parts of certain tasks, such as what happens when your PC updates itself. 

That should theoretically prevent your PC from rebooting after an update, though if you find your PC is still rebooting it’s possible a subsequent update has reversed this change, and you'll need to reset it. The original blog post also goes into next steps for stopping this problem for good. 

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