How to Stop Annoying “Restart” Prompt after Windows Updates

Tim Watson 28-06-2009

Windows users can find many things to complain about, but in my opinion, the absolute worst “feature” of Windows XP is the Nagging Restart Dialog. In 2008, Mark showed you how to disable the Windows restart prompt temporarily. I’ll extend on that and make it even simpler for future use.



I’m sure you’ve had to deal with this; It pops up every ten minutes after a major system update. Fortunately, it can be turned off. I’m going to help you to create a shortcut that will turn this nag off when double-clicked.

So, how to stop automatic updates from restarting your PC

Step 1

Your first step is to open Notepad. (Start > Run > “Notepad” > OK)

stop automatic updates from restarting


In Notepad, just type the command “net stop wuauserv” (no quotes, as in above). Then close the window, and select “Yes” to save changes.

Step 2

how to stop automatic updates restart

What we’re doing is creating an executable batch file which will run a command when double-clicked, to stop the Windows Automatic Updates Service. Make sure that your “Save as type” is set to “All Files“ so that you don’t accidently create a text file. Save your file with an extension of “.bat“

Step 3

This cute little batch file is what you’re left with.


When Windows starts nagging you to restart, just double click this to run it and stop the service. You won’t be bothered again. The service will restart when you reboot, which is needed to install the updates in the first place.

Is there anything that Windows does that annoys you? Maybe we can find a fix for it. Are yu awrae of any easier way to stop automatic updates from restarting your Windows. Please give us some ideas in the comments.

Think it’s time to update your PC? Varun will teach you 5 Ways To Update Your Windows Operating System 5 Ways To Update Your Windows Operating System Read More .

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  1. Andy Williams
    July 9, 2009 at 9:10 am

    Good tip. It has the definite advantage that you don't need to remember any commands. For those with better memories that me a quick alternative is:

    Press Windows+R. Type "net stop wuauserv" in the box (leave out the quote marks). Press 'Enter'

    Also I just came across the little app "Leave Me Alone" that claims to do the same thing (

  2. Pat
    July 9, 2009 at 7:43 am

    Depresso said "Why not simply restart the computer and be done with it? What does it take, a whole 30 seconds.

    30 Seconds? Seriously? I haven't timed it but I'm going to say 4-5 minutes to reboot, reload Outlook, etc...

  3. Peter
    June 29, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    You really shouldn't delay the reboot. There are numerous article out there about exactly why and all the technical details, but the main point is that when the system requires a reboot, it is generally because it can't update files that are in use. So some of the needed files have been updated and some have not. This leaves the machine in an unstable state where some files are of different versions and the system may expect things to happen that don't.
    Just reboot and be done with it. Putting it off for too long as asking for problems.

  4. Nick
    June 28, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    Haha, This is awesome, lets hope Microsoft doesn't find out about this and then create a patch for it!

    Good idea though!

  5. pariah
    June 28, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    The problem that I have found with the “Restart” Prompt is that if it is left unanswered, it will automatically reboot the system, no matter what you have running. This has ruined a number of projects that I had running unattended. Do you have a fix for this?

  6. newbieworks
    June 28, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    You can simply open gpedit.msc (Windows Group Policy Editor) and you can disable under Administrative Templates. This allows you to disable it all together, or make it nag you less often. I don't want to restart if I'm in the middle of a file transfer or burning a disc, or anything else where you would have to restart the entire process. If you have XP Home (which I don't think has gpedit) you can download Microsoft's enormous spreadsheet and look for the right key to change in the registry.

  7. Mark
    June 28, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    Here's a better way:

    You modify the local security policy to remind you once a day to reboot versus once every 5 minutes, or whatever the default is.

  8. Rachelia
    June 28, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    Thank you so much! I agree that it is one of the most annoying features of Windows. Actually, I was just wondering if this was possible the other day. Again, thanks!

  9. Mida
    June 28, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    what if some program need to restart in order to continue installation, iv seen few programs ask to restart, this only useful if you doing something and can't save or wait until pc restart

  10. Depresso
    June 28, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    Why not simply restart the computer and be done with it? What does it take, a whole 30 seconds. If you're in the middle of something finish up, then restart the next time the dialog appears. :)

    How about an article telling us how to disable the updates altogether. ;)

    • vivia
      July 16, 2009 at 2:30 pm

      No kidding, 30 seconds? When I am work and I have 8-10 applicaitons opened, most of them with passworded logons and the network, it takes at least five minutes

  11. Sean vater
    June 28, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    I use a little program called "Leave Me Alone!' its the same concept I suppose, works well....