Sometimes you need to do things on your own schedule. Sometimes you have a set of tasks set up that will take a few days to run, and sometimes those tasks happen to be running across Patch Tuesday or whenever Microsoft releases an out-of-band update, meaning you can’t reboot to install the latest updates to your OS as soon as Microsoft tells you to. This is for you.
I want to start by saying that this is NOT recommended, and that you should install updates as you receive them. They’re important; they keep you safe and almost always fix problems. If you’re OK with throwing caution to the wind, keep reading.
Let’s say you’ve got some tasks running. Maybe you’re processing some large datasets on your home computer, maybe you’ve got some FTP transfers set up and don’t want to queue everything up again, or maybe you need a ton of up time in the middle of the week. Whatever the case is, Microsoft doesn’t care and will restart to complete installation of your updates. A simple change to your local group policy (for Windows 10 Pro users) will let you restart on your own time.
Huge thanks to superuser.com’s thread for pointing me in the right direction and for providing the Windows 10 Home registry edit!
Disable automatic updates via Local Group Policy Editor
- On Windows 10 Pro, go to Start, type “gpedit.msc” and hit enter. This will open the Local Group Policy Editor.
- Under “Computer Configuration” in the left pane, go to Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update.
- Double-click on the setting “No auto-restart with logged on users for scheduled automatic updates installations”.
- Choose the “Enabled” radio button, and then click “OK”.
- Double-click on the setting “Configure Automatic Updates”. (Skip this and the next step if you’re OK with updates happening when nobody is logged on to the machine).
- Choose the “Enabled” radio button, then choose the appropriate setting under “Configure automatic updating” and click “OK”.I chose “3 – Auto download and notify for install” so I’m notified when updates are ready, but they won’t happen without my say so. You can also get more flexibility than the “Active Hours” section in the Settings App will allow.
- Close Local Group Policy Editor.
- Install updates as soon as you can, and consider undoing these changes when you no longer need to prevent updates from rebooting your machine.
Disable automatic updates via editing the registry (untested)