How to Shut Down a Windows PC Without Installing Updates

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You’re working on your laptop and you realize that it’s time to go. So, you shut down your laptop, but Windows insists on updating. Ten minutes later, you’re still waiting for Windows to update and you’re going to be late. There is a way around this: a way to can shut down immediately even when there are updates waiting to install.

There are a few methods to doing this, and both are quite simple.

Update: Unfortunately, it looks like Microsoft has closed these loopholes. We’ll update this post if we find another method, but for right now, it looks like this is no longer possible.

Here’s the simplest method: make sure the desktop has focus by clicking any empty area of the desktop or pressing Windows+D on your keyboard. Then, press Alt+F4 to access the Shut Down Windows dialog box. To shut down without installing updates, select “Shut down” from the drop-down list.

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Then, click “OK” to shut down your PC immediately.

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You can also shut down your PC immediately from the login screen. Press Windows+L to lock the screen, or log out. Then, in the lower-right corner of the login screen, click the power button and select “Shut down” from the popup menu. The PC will shut down without installing updates.

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Lastly, if you need do do this from a script, you run the following shutdown command in a Command Prompt window. Type the following command at the prompt and press Enter. The last character is a zero.

shutdown -s -t 0

Your PC will shut down immediately without installing updates.

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Of course, if updates are causing lots of problems for you, you can also prevent Windows 10 from automatically downloading updates and set “Active Hours” so Windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time.

Lori Kaufman is a writer who likes to write geeky how-to articles to help make people's lives easier through the use of technology. She loves watching and reading mysteries and is an avid Doctor Who fan.