How To Turn Off Automatic Reboots in Windows

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Windows invariably decides to reboot itself only while you've left your computer idling with a big presentation open and unsaved. Reboots typically happen after Windows Update does its thing, often late on Tuesday nights. The easiest way to prevent automatic reboots is to change Windows Update from automatic to manual.

  1. Open the Windows Update control panel.
  2. Click Change settings.
  3. From the drop-down menu, select Never check for updates (not recommended). The other options, including ‘Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them', sound good in theory but are not as reliable in suppressing autoreboots--and Windows is prone to making changes to your selections without permission.
  4. To keep yourself from forgetting to run Windows Update periodically, set a recurring item in your calendar to check the service every week or two.
  5. You can also address the automatic-reboot problem by way of Windows' Local Group Policy Editor. Open the editor by typing group policy into the Start menu search box.
  6. Click Edit group policy.
  7. In the left pane of the window, expand the Local Computer Policy, Computer Configuration,Administrative Templates, Windows Components, Windows Update tree.
  8. In the right pane, right-click ‘No auto-restart with logged on users for scheduled automatic updates installations' and select Edit.
  9. Change the setting to Enabled and click OK. Do the same for ‘Delay Restart for scheduled installations' in the previous pane.

You can't turn off automated restart for scheduled installations completely, but you can increase the delay to a maximum of 30 minutes, giving you more time than the standard default of 5 minutes to save your work.

Other common problems with Windows PCs can also be solved with 5-minute fixes.

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