Windows Update running

Microsoft tries to make it easier for consumers using Windows 10 by offering automatic updates. However, for many consumers, these updates and automatic restarts come at inopportune times.

Some have reported losing hours of work, needing to be online at certain times, and other issues. For small businesses, independent contractors, and others, automatic updates and the restarts that follow can be disastrous.

With the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, let’s look at how to use the newly remodeled Active Hours functionality to prevent automatic restarts during your work day.

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Using Active Hours to Prevent Automatic Restarts in Windows 10

In order to use Active Hours to prevent automatic restart during Windows Update, search for “Check for updates” with Cortana or open the Settings app.

Search for Windows Update

Click on “Change Active hours” under Update settings.

Change active hours settings in Windows Update

Now, choose the hours you’re most active on Windows 10. Unfortunately, this is limited to a 12-hour period, so choose wisely. You can always go back in and adjust your active hours as necessary, but you’re limited to 12-hour periods each time.

Active hours

Make sure to click “Save” when you set your hours.

Now, Windows Update will only automatically restart outside that time frame or when you manually restart or shut down your PC.

Some other settings you should be aware of when it comes to scheduling automatic updates including using a custom restart time.

From the Update settings window, click on “Restart options.”

Restart options for Windows Update

This allows you to set a custom time to restart your PC for automatic updates. You can set this for any time night or day and include which day of the week. If you leave your PC on all the time, setting this for overnight can be a great way to control when automatic updates occur. You can also adjust these settings as you see fit.

While in the Windows Update settings menu, we recommend you check the rest of your settings for Windows Update to make sure they’re up-to-date after getting the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.

Microsoft believes it’s doing consumers right by forcing Windows 10 updates on them instead of allowing them to control how they deploy it. By managing Active Hours, you can get some control over automatic restarts from Windows Update for the time being.


Unfortunately, many consumers believe Microsoft’s managing how they update their PCs as being too controlling, especially with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.

Microsoft, on the other hands, thinks they’re helping Windows 10 users by forcing updates that some ignore for months at a time. With the way some new Windows 10 features work, forcing consumers to update; when they don’t want to; is the only way to roll out some of these new functionalities.

Whether or not that’s right or wrong is up to the consumer to decide, but at the end of the day, Microsoft will find a way for you to update.