Temporarily Disable "Restart Now" Dialog from XP’s Automatic Updates

By Lowell Heddings on May 9th, 2007

Automatic Updates is a great feature. Your computer stays protected from threats without worrying about it… but if it’s 3am and I’m trying to play a video game, the last thing I want is for the automatic updates to pop up and remind me every 5 minutes that I need to reboot, interrupting my game… Drives me crazy!

Dear Restart Dialog,

I hate you.

If you want to temporarily disable this popup message and delay rebooting, you can go about it one of two ways. I’m a command line junkie, so I just type this into a command prompt (make sure you use the quotes)

net stop “automatic updates”

Or you can open Control Panel \ Administrative Tools \ Services and click Stop on automatic updates.

Do not disable the automatic updates service, just stop it. The next time you start up your computer, it will restart.

Note: If you open the Automatic Updates icon in Control Panel, it will automatically restart the service, which will make the dialog start popping up again.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 05/9/07
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