Disable automatic reboot (after installing updates) on Windows 10 Home edition

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Users of Windows 10 Professional can disable automatic reboots using the policy editor. This tool is not included in the Windows home edition. But don't worry! Follow the instructions below to install (a Win7) policy editor on your Windows 10 Home edition.
For reasons unknown to me, M$ has decided to force Windows 10 home users to automatically download and install any Windows update. If the installed update(s) require a reboot, Windows will do so automatically without the ability to cancel.

If you are lucky, Windows might postpone a pending reboot when working on unsaved data (like Office document). But I can think of enough scenarios when Windows considers it 'safe' to reboot your machine while you might be using your computer for purposes like:
* Having an open SSH or telnet session
* Browsing the internet
* Watching a movie
* Playing a computer game
But these are just a few examples of many when most users would not appreciate a forced reboot.

Windows 10 Pro users have the luxury to disable this behavior from the policy editor. But this tool is not included in the Windows home edition. The instructions below describe how to install a Windows 7 policy editor on your Windows 10 Home edition. By doing so you can take back control over the way your Windows handles updates and reboots.

Power to the people!

Disclaimer: This technique has worked for me. However it does not come with any guarantees.
After following these instruction I recommend that you regularly run “Windows Updates” manually to check for critical updates. Use at your own risk.

  1. a) Download "setup_dot_exe.zip" attached to this article
    b) From "setup_dot_exe.zip" extract "setup_dot_exe"
    c) Rename the extracted "setup_dot_exe" back to "setup.exe"

    I apologize for the hocus pocus with the file name. I was not allowed to attach executable files to this article. So I had to get a bit creative in order to share this little gem with you

    By the way, the Setup.exe installs a policy editor which was originally intended for Windows 7
  2. Run the setup.exe (right-click to run as administrator)
  1. If required, allow setup to download and install additional .net framework files.
    Reboot when prompted. But after the computer has restarted you need to manually run setup.exe again (to finish installation)
  1. Step 5 ONLY applies to the 64 bit version of Windows:
From folder "%windir%\SysWOW64" Copy
 * folders: "GroupPolicy" and "GroupPolicyUsers"
 * and file "gpedit.msc"
   to "%windir%\system32"
  1. Open folder "%windir%\system32"
  1. Run "gpedit.msc" (right-click to run as administrator)
  2. In the Policy Editor, navigate to::
    * Computer Configuration
    * Administrative Templates
    * Windows Components
    * Windows Update
  3. Set "No auto-restart for scheduled automatic updates installations" to "Enabled"
    As can be seen in the example screenshot attached to this article
If you've followed these steps, your windows will no longer automatically download, install and reboot whenever M$ feels like it.  However, this puts the responsibility for keeping your Windows installation up-to-date back to the people sitting behind the keyboard. I recommend that you regularly run “Windows Updates” manually to check for critical updates.
Author:Joost Kuin

Author Comment

by:Joost Kuin
Take back control of your Windows Updates!
LVL 40

Expert Comment

This comment is in no way meant to shine a negative light on this article nor the author and is just a general message of caution and advice that careful computer user should consider before making changes that may modify their machine or running a binary from an unknown source.

CAUTION: Anyone who wishes to try this please be aware that it is your responsibility to make sure you back up your machine first and that the risks of any damage caused by attempting this is entirely your own. You should also be aware that running an executable from an unknown source (remember, EE neither supplies nor advocates the execution of the binary achievement in the article) should always be met with a high level of caution and so you are strongly encouraged to scan the file with an up-to-date and reputable anti-virus tool (both before unzipping it and after) before running.

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