Windows Update May Soon Reboot Your PC Immediately (If You Want, But Why?)

What’s the most annoying thing about Windows Update? If you said the reboots, Microsoft has got you covered. Soon, Windows Update may be able to reboot your PC immediately after updates rather than waiting for a convenient time—wait, what?

It sounds ridiculous, but that’s one of the latest features reported by Albacore (@thebookisclosed) on Twitter. He’s found various other new Windows features before Microsoft has officially announced them, including the Windows Sandbox recently. We imagine Microsoft is at least testing this feature, even if it never makes it into the stable version of Windows.

Here’s the good news: This feature is optional. If you like, you can “stay up to date with a new setting that automatically restarts your device to install updates as soon as they’re ready.” Windows Update promises it will always notify you and give you the opportunity to postpone the reboot. But, if you’ve stepped away from your PC for a few minutes, you might return only to see that your PC has suddenly rebooted and you missed the countdown.

This feature just boggles our minds. Who asked for this? Windows can already reboot fairly quickly after updates, using features like Active Hours to restart when you’re not using your PC. Recent versions even use machine learning to detect whether you’re using your PC before restarting. Who asked for Windows Update’s reboots to be even more aggressive? Even Apple’s iPads don’t have an option to reboot this aggressively for automatic updates.

Windows 10’s next big update already includes a new system tray icon that can alert you when you need to restart, too. So there’s even less need for this feature!

If this “restart ASAP” feature ever does arrive, it will likely be part of the next version of Windows, codenamed 19H1 and scheduled for release around April 2019. It’s an optional feature, so it doesn’t really matter—but who would use this feature, and why?

RELATED: Windows 10’s System Tray Gets a Restart Icon for Updates

Chris Hoffman
Chris Hoffman is Editor in Chief of How-To Geek. He's written about technology for nearly a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami's NBC 6 and Chicago's WGN-TV, and his work has been covered by news outlets like The New York Times and the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read more than 500 million times---and that's just here at How-To Geek. Read Full Bio »