Take control of the Windows Update reboot nag screen

Take control of the Windows Update reboot nag screen

Summary: Over the last month or so I've had loads of emails about the Windows Update reboot nag screen. Basically, people think that it's a pain in the rear and want to know if there's a way to get rid of it or at least customize it

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TOPICS: Windows
11

Over the last month or so I've had dozens of emails about the Windows Update reboot nag screen.  Basically, people think (as do I) that it's a pain in the rear and want to know if there's a way to get rid of it, or at the very least, customize it.  This has been such a popular request that I've decided to post the information I have about it here.

Microsoft integrated the nag screen system to remind reminds you that you need to reboot in order for updates to be applied.  This nag screen does offer you a way to get rid of it temporarily, but unfortunately it returns within minutes.  Another problem is that it's really easy to click on the wrong button and accidentally reboot the system when you didn't mean to and weren't ready for it.

Fortunately, there is a way to take control over this feature in Windows XP Pro.

Click Start > Run and type:
gpedit.msc
Click OK

In Group Policy Editor navigate as follows:

Local Computer Policy

>  Computer Configuration

  >  Administrative Templates

    >  Windows Components

      >  Windows Update

Group Policy

Select Re-prompt for restart with scheduled installations and if you right-click and choose Properties and click Enabled you can set an interval that has to expire before you are hassled about restarting again (this interval is in minutes).  Click OK when you're done.

Through Group Policy Editor you can also disable auto-restart by setting No auto-restart for scheduled Automatic Updates installation (set to Enabled) but I don't recommend this.

Group Policy - 2

Just remember, your system is not protected until you reboot!

Topic: Windows

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11 comments
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  • Windows reboot nag fix doesn't work

    I'm using XP Professional, and following your instructions for finally cleaning up the stupid Windows UPDATE behavior is impossible. There is nothing on my system called "Windows Update" under Local Computer Policy > Administrative Templates > Windows Components.

    Since Windows has as many faces as there are users, it is pointless giving simple instructions for anything that matters relating to the system. You will always end up with this situation -- users, lots of them, finding whole different menu systems or layouts.

    The only meaningful instructions are in the form of tree structures that follow ALL POSSIBLE CONFIGURATIONS for this profoundly perverse operating system.

    With ZDNet's impressive credentials, it's surprising that you'd make a mistep like this.
    kentfx_z
    • re: Windows reboot nag fix doesn't work

      Check it again. It's a Default entry in Group Policy (gpedit.msc), not Local Computer Policy (secpol.msc) :

      Local Computer Policy

      > Computer Configuration

      > Administrative Templates

      > Windows Components

      > Windows Update

      If no joy, use regedit :

      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU

      Edit the "RebootRelaunchTimeout" Value to 000005a0
      In effect, the maximum allowed, 1440 minutes .
      MowGreen
      • Good one

        Yep, there's a reg edit for it too ... but that's where things go wrong! :-)
        Adrian Kingsley-Hughes
    • It's on every system ...

      ... but it's also easy to miss. As usual, you need to be logged in as an Admin to do this.
      Adrian Kingsley-Hughes
    • Did you configure automatic updates?

      According to Microsoft:

      "This policy applies only when Automatic Updates is configured to perform scheduled installations of updates. If the 'Configure Automatic Updates' policy is disabled, this policy has no effect."
      stan20
  • A less 'elegent' method

    Use a product such as (free) process explorer from SystemIntermals http://www.sysinternals.com (now Microsoft owned) to kill the offending ballon thread. I've used that many times.
    hawkeyeaz1
  • Very good.

    Great post...thank you.
    wmlundine
  • for all the windowsXP home edition user try this

    go to start RUN and type in
    sc stop wuauserv
    this wil stop the reboot nag screen.
    alexlee81721
  • goat

    anything for XP pro SP1 users? (other than update) the reg keys and group policy update folders are not there.
    musikgoat
  • gpedit.msc

    gpedit.msc can't be found on my system (XP Home). Where can it be found/obtained???
    awliii
  • RE: Take control of the Windows Update reboot nag screen


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