We have all been there and seen it. Whenever updates are installed in Windows that require a reboot, you are prompted in regular intervals to do so.
These messages appear shortly after installing the updates, and then regularly until you do so. The Restart Your Computer To Finish Installing Important Updates prompt offers to postpone the update for 10 minutes, 1 hour or 4 hours. The prompt is then displayed again if the computer has not been rebooted in the meantime.
Many Windows users dislike the nagging prompt, especially if they are currently running tasks that would be interrupted by a reboot. This includes video rendering, an important download or upload, or a document that needs to be finished in the next hour or so.
While you could select 4 hours from the menu to see the reboot prompt after 4 hours, you may still like to disable the display of the update prompt for a longer period of time. This can be useful if you are currently in a day long presentation that requires the computer.
1. Stop the Windows Update Service
There are three options to deal with the issue. You could first stop the Windows Update service for the current session. This basically blocks the prompt and any attempt to install new updates until the computer is rebooted.
The following steps are needed for this:
You can restart the service with the command net start "windows update". The service will also be started normally on the next start of the system.
2. Disable auto-reboot when users are logged on
The second option lets you disable the auto reboot option when users are logged on. This requires some Registry hacking and is only suggested for advanced users. You may also want to backup the Registry first before you make those changes.
Please note that this works only under Vista, Windows 7 and newer operating systems.
3. Configure local policies to disable restart prompts
The third and final option is the Local Group Policy Editor which is only available in some versions of the Windows operating system. Go to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update and locate the following two parameters:
Enable the first parameter to block automatic restarts after update installations, and set the second to a high enough period to receive the reboot prompt less often.
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