I had a boss one time that assumed someone was sneaking into his office after hours and using his computer.  He knew this because when he came into work in the morning his computer had been restarted.  The would be hacker must have been restarting the computer after they were done to cover their tracks.

Anyone who has been around Microsoft Windows for any amount of time, actually pretty much most computer programs now days (can you say Java), knows how often software needs updating. It has gotten to the point where updates are scheduled automatically. Many of those updates frequently require your computer to restart to take effect. That required restart is where the trouble comes from.

Windows is set by default to restart your computer after some “critical” updates are installed. Generally a pop up window will appear saying something to the effect restart your computer to finish installing important updates.  You can click options to restart now or remind me again in xx number of minutes. There is no easy ‘cancel’ or ‘ok I will later’ button.  Instead you keep getting a pop up reminder every xx number of minutes.

To turn off that reminder and other options keep reading…

To turn off the automatic updates reminder in Windows:

1) Start MenuRungpedit.msc

2) A Group Policy Editor window will pop up.  Select Local Computer Policy, Computer Configuration, Administrative Templates, Windows Components, Windows Update.

3) Don’t get distracted or curious by all of the options.  Click on the Re-prompt for restart with scheduled installations.  Change the option from Not Configured to Enabled.  Ok to save your options and you’ll be “reminderless”.

The following will prevent Windows from automatically restarting however won’t prevent the updates from popping up a restart request.  To change the way Windows handles updates:

Windows XP

1) Start MenuSettingsControl Panel

2) This will bring up your Control Panel with several options.  Click on Automatic Updates and look for the option to Download updates for me, but let me choose when to install them.

Windows Vista / 7

1) Start Menu, type Windows Update.

2) A new window will pop up.  Look for Change Settings on the left.  Then you’ll want to find Download updates bu let me choose whether to install them.