Stop the “restart” popup from Windows Update

I was busy typing away on my laptop yesterday when suddenly, a window flashed on the screen, quickly closed, and my computer began restarting.

The window was nothing other than the “Windows Update restart now” dialog box. I don’t know what the default button is, but considering windows will “click” on a button based on keystrokes, and I was typing at a fast pace (as I am known to do), I had no time to stop typing to avoid unintended activation of an unwanted feature.

In other words: Please tell me what moron would design an operating system that works this way?

Windows Update \In my ranting, I did manage to begin calling Microsoft to complain, a task I quickly gave up on due to its inevitable futility; instead, I focused on using my friend Google to find the best way to turn off the damned restart now prompting from Windows Update.

One of the most common suggested solutions was to turn off Windows Update. I didn’t want to do this, because I wanted Windows Update running (to tell me when updates are available but not to install them for me).

The best solution is to enable a setting named, “No auto-restart for scheduled Automatic Update installation.” This should be turned on by default, but it isn’t. To do it, you can use the group policy editor, or you can hack the registry. Using the group policy editor is safer, unless you’re used to hacking the registry.

If you’re a Windows user, I highly recommend turning on this setting. Now that I have it turned on, I’ll avoid the inevitable five-minute rant on poor user experience design that comes around every time I install updates on my computer and resist the urge to restart immediately (which is all the time).

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