One of the most frustrating experiences on Windows is the operating system’s default updating behavior.
Windows is configured to download and install patches automatically when they become available. Many require a restart before they are fully installed on the system, and Windows will restart the system automatically if that is the case.
While you can delay the inevitable restart if you are in front of the PC at that time, there is little that you can do about it if you are not.
Previous versions of Windows allowed you to block Windows Update restarts using the Group Policy or Registry, but it appears that these options don’t work currently on Windows 10.
Disable automatic reboot after Windows Updates in Windows 10
At least some users reported that they cannot block Windows 10 from restarting the PC after updates are installed. They changed the Group Policy entry that let them do so on previous versions of Windows, but it does not do a thing on Windows 10 on their PCs.
There is another solution as Reddit user Scurro points out on the site. It is a bit technical in nature, as it requires the disabling of a scheduled task, and taking ownership of the file associated with that task.
The process itself is straightforward however, here it goes:
Step 1: Task Scheduler
First thing you do is open the Windows Task Scheduler and disable the reboot task. Here is how that is done:
- Tap on the Windows-key on your keyboard, type Task Scheduler, and hit enter.
- Use the left pane to navigate to the following task: Task Scheduler > Task Scheduler Library > Microsoft > Windows > UpdateOrchestrator
- Locate the task with the name Reboot, right-click on it, and select Disable from the context menu.
This completes the first step in the process.
Step 2: Download and run Take Ownership
While you can take ownership manually, I suggest you use a program for that instead as it makes things a lot simpler.
- Download Take Ownership from this Ghacks article (we host the program on our own server).
- Extract the archive on your system, and run the executable file afterwards.
- Click on the install button to add a “Take Ownership” option to the right-click menu of File Explorer.
- Verify that the option is available by right-clicking on any file in File Explorer or on the desktop.
Step 3: Take Ownership of the reboot task file
Now that all preparations are done, it is time to take ownership of the reboot file. We need ownership later on as we will remove access to reboot for all other users and groups.
- Open a File Explorer window.
- Navigate to the location: C:WindowsSystem32TasksMicrosoftWindowsUpdateOrchestrator
- Please note that you can copy and paste it, as it is easier than navigating to the location manually.
- Right-click on the file called Reboot, and select the “Take Ownership” option from the context menu.
Step 4: Disable access to reboot for all other users and groups
- Right-click on Reboot and select properties.
- Switch to Security, and click on the Advanced button.
- Select the “change permissions” button to edit permissions for the file.
- Select “disable inheritance” next, and on the prompt that opens “remove all inherited permissions from this object”.
- This should remove the majority of users and groups.
- Remove any other user or group still listed there.
- Click on the “add” button afterwards.
- Click on “select principal”.
- Add your username under “enter the object name to select”, and click “check names” afterwards.
- Click ok.
- Select Full Control on the next page and click on ok.
- You should see one permission now on the “Advanced Security Settings for Reboot” page, and that one permission should be full control for your user account.
- Click ok to complete the process.
The result of this lengthy process is that updates get installed automatically, but restarts are not scheduled anymore.
Now You: How do you handle Windows Updates?
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