Prevent Your Windows PC from Rebooting After Updates

We’ve all been there from time to time, working on an important document, in the middle of an online game, and out of nowhere our computer just decides to reboot. Slowly the anger builds up as you realize you’ve just lost all of your progress due to an unwanted restart of your computer. Most of the time, this is caused by none other than Windows Update, something that provides necessary security and performance fixes for your PC, but lacks good timing.

This involves editing your registry a bit, so if that scares you, you’ll just have to live with the annoying reboots. However, it’s really not that difficult, so just take a deep breath and we’ll dive into the process.

Navigate to the AU KEY

First, let’s navigate to the registry entry for Windows Update reboots. To do this, head to your start menu, and in the search type in “regedit”, open up the result that appears. From here, you’ll want to click on the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE folder, then the SOFTWARE folder, then Policies, then Microsoft, then Windows, then WindowsUpdate, and finally “AU”.

Create the AU KEY if Necessary

In some cases, there won’t be a “WindowsUpdate”, but no worries – you can create one. Just right-click on “Windows” (the same one you are accessing), and go to New and select “Key”. When prompted to name the Key, type in “WindowsUpdate”. After that, you’ll need to create another Key within your newly created Key, and name this one “AU”.

Create the DWORD Value

Next, click to enter the AU key you just created, and then right-click in the open are on the right side of the screen and go to New and select “DWORD (32-bit Value”. When prompted to name the DWORD, type in “NoAutoRebootWithLoggedOnUsers”. Then you need to double-click on the newly created DWORD and change the value to “1”.

Finish up and Reboot

After that, you can go ahead and click “OK” and close out of the registry. Before the changes take full effect, you will need to reboot your computer. Upon starting back up, you can rest assured that there will be no more unexpected restarts caused by Windows Update. Of course, if it’s a different issue causing your computer to reboot, like a system crash, this won’t help.

Not Working?

If your computer still receives forced restarts from Windows Update, go back and verify each one of the steps – make sure that you type in the Key and DWORD names exactly as they are shown above, case-sensitive. Now, I can’t imagine why, but if you for some reason would like to re-instate forced restarts from Windows Update, you can do so by simply deleting the DWORD value that you created.

Make sure that you don’t neglect to reboot your PC at all after installing one of the updates from Microsoft. Failure to do so will result in your computer not being fully secured, installing Windows Updates is important, it’s just nice to be able to choose when you restart your computer – usually after you’ve saved your work progress, or completed your online gaming match.

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