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Starting with Windows 8, you may have noticed that the operating system has gotten a bit aggressive with its need to install updates as soon as they’re available Windows Update: Everything You Need To Know Windows Update: Everything You Need To Know Is Windows Update enabled on your PC? Windows Update protects you from security vulnerabilities by keeping Windows, Internet Explorer, and Microsoft Office up-to-date with the latest security patches and bug fixes. Read More . If you have updates pending and you need to shutdown right away, you’re usually out of luck.

For example, let’s say you’re on a laptop, the battery is now down to 1%, and you don’t have a charger available. If you shutdown normally, you have to go through the update process — and with 1% battery, your laptop could shut off in the middle, and that could be catastrophic.


Fortunately, there is a way that you can shutdown the system and bypass those pending updates. You don’t even need any third-party tools of anything like that. All you need is to open the Command Prompt and type:

shutdown -s -f -t 00

The parameters are as follows: -s means shutdown instead of restart, -f means force close all programs, and -t 00 means a delay of 0 seconds (instant). This command works on Windows XP and beyond, up to and including Windows 10.

Note: To open the Command Prompt, open the Run window using Windows + R and type in cmd.

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Be aware that even though you bypass the updates to shutdown, the updates will automatically apply themselves the next time you boot the system up. As such, this isn’t a perfect workaround for the shortcomings in Windows 10 Update How to Manage Windows Update in Windows 10 How to Manage Windows Update in Windows 10 For control freaks, Windows Update is a nightmare. It's designed to operate in the background, automatically keeping your system safe and running smoothly. We show you how it works and what you can customize. Read More .

Did you find this useful? Got any other tips regarding Windows Update? Share with us in the comments below!

  1. Shafiq
    February 18, 2016 at 4:21 pm

    Good call Merlin.

  2. Merlin
    February 4, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    It can be done even simpler. No need for the command line.

    Just log off. You'll land on the login screen.
    In the bottom right corner of the login screen you'll see a power button to shut the computer down.
    WAIT !! Don't click it yet!
    Instead click on the litlle dropdown attached to the shutdown button and you'll be able to select shutdown without installing updates.

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