Windows Automatic Updates (Free Reboot Included)

Do you ever get tired of your PC rebooting all on its own because it updated and decided it would reboot now instead of waiting for you to tell it to? Every once in a while I would ¬†unlock my laptop to sync my netcasts for the morning commute and see that none of my apps were running. For the most part I never lost work and usually my nightly download of Tech News Today had finished downloading before iTunes closed and the PC rebooted, but it’s still annoying.

For those who are also annoyed by this you can drop a key in the registry so that Windows Update will never force an unattended reboot if a user in logged in.

You need to dig down to HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows and add a new key named WindowsUpdate. Under WindowsUpdate we need another new key named AU. Under the AU key you need to create a new DWORD Value named NoAutoRebootWithLoggedOnUsers. This Value needs to then be set to 1.

So you will end up with the following: HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU and a DWORD key named NoAutoRebootWithLoggedOnUsers with a value of 1

Remember, playing in the registry can be dangerous and just because I did something doesn’t mean it wasn’t stupid and/or dangerous.

Thanks to Paul Thurrott, Editor-in-Chief of the SuperSite for Windows at and the author of many fine tomes including the Delphi 3 SuperBible.

You can read Paul’s guide for fixing this here.