One of the most annoying dialogs of the Windows operating systems is the restart dialog that the operating system displays as a notification whenever it has installed updates on the system that require a restart. This is the original message was displayed on Windows XP systems:
Updating your computer is almost complete. You must restart your computer for the updates to take effect. Do you want to restart your computer now?
This message pop ups at the end and immediately gets the focus, even if you are in a game or watching a full screen movie. You have the option to restart now or later. The first would result in an immediate reboot while the second would nag you again in 10 minutes. This will be annoying if you can't reboot your computer at that time.
The dialog box can be configured in the following policy:
- Use the Windows-R shortcut to bring up the run box of the operating system.
- Type in gpedit.msc and hit the enter key to load the Group Policy.
- Navigate to the following preference: Local Computer Policy / Computer Configuration / Administrative Templates / Windows Components / Windows Update / Re-prompt for restart with scheduled installations
- Note that the Group Policy is only available on select editions of the operating system.
You can also set the following registry key to 1 for the same effect. This is useful for users who cannot use the Group Policy to make the modification.
Update: Microsoft has changed the way the operating system handles the automatic rebooting of the system. One change is the ability to post-pone the reboot for a longer period. The maximum is 4 hours, which means that users will still be nagged every 4 hours to reboot the system.
Check out our updated guide: How To Disable Restart Your Computer To Finish Installing Important Updates Prompt which explains how you can disable the reboot prompt completely for the session. It describes two options to block the restart your computer dialog, one that is blocking it for the session, and another that is blocking it completely for the logged in user.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.