Delaying or Disabling Automatic Reboots in Windows Server 2016 and 2019


Delaying or Disabling Automatic Reboots in Windows Server 2016 and 2019

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This guide provides details on how to delay or prevent windows from carrying out automatic reboots on servers by either making changes to group policy or to the registry.


Limit Reboots to Outside of Active Hours

The first option allows you to limit reboots to outside of active hours, follow the below steps to set active hours for update protection.

  1. Open “Edit group policy” from the start menu
  2. Navigate to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Updates > Turn-Off Auto-Restart for Updates During Active Hours
  3. Select Enabled
  4. In the options in the bottom left, configure desired option from the dropdown menu and select the hours that you would like to protect from reboots (must be 18 hours or less)


Increase the active hours to longer than 18 hours

In some cases where we want longer than 18 active hours, then we need to apply a registry change.

  1. Open “RegEdit” from the start menu
  2. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SOFTWARE > Microsoft > WindowsUpdate > UX > Settings
  3. Set Start Hour ( 5 would equal 5AM )
  4. Set End Hour (End time is in hexadecimal and are the hours not the actual end time )
Active Hours Hexadecimal Values
19 hours 13
20 hours 14
21 hours 15
22 hours 16
23 hours 17


Permanently Disable Automatic Reboots

Follow the below steps to permanatly disable windows automatic updates and make the process fully manual.

  1. Open Task Scheduler.
  2. Navigate to Task Scheduler > Task Scheduler Library > Microsoft > Windows > UpdateOrchestrator
  3. Right-click Reboot and choose Disable

disable the Reboot task in Task Scheduler

Then, forbid all users and groups from your computer to access this file

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