To stop Windows 10 from automatically restarting after the deadline, you can change the auto-restart deadline settings. Here's how.
Generally, after downloading and installing Windows updates, Windows tries to restart your system to apply the installed updates. If you've configured active hours, it will try to restart your system outside the active hours. When Windows fails to restart your system outside the active hours, the general deadline is seven days. Once the seven-day deadline is over, Windows will force restart itself.
By changing the relevant settings you can modify or change the deadline for auto-restart for installing updates. It is pretty easy to do. Follow the steps and you will be good.
You can change auto-restart deadline settings either via the group policy editor or the registry editor. I will show both methods. If you are using Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise version then follow the group policy method. Otherwise, follow the registry method.
Note: If you've enabled no auto-restart for logged in users policy, this method will not work for you.
1. Group Policy Method
Group policy is the easiest way to change the force restart deadline in Windows 10. However, only Windows 10 pro and enterprise users can follow this method. If you are on Windows 10 Home, follow the registry method.
1. First, open the start menu, search for "Edit group policy" and click on the result. This action will open the group policy editor.
2. In the group policy editor, you will see folders on the left panel. Go to "Computer Configuration → Administrative Templates → Windows Components → Windows Update" folder.
3. Here, find "Specify deadline before auto-restart for update installation" policy on the right panel and double-click on it.
4. Select the "Enabled" radio option. Next, use the drop-down menu to select the number of days for both Feature updates and Quality updates under the Options panel. In my case, I'm selecting the maximum possible 30 days.
Note: The maximum days you can delay the deadline is 30 days.
5. Click on the "Apply" and "Ok" buttons to save changes.
6. Close group policy editor and reboot Windows to apply the changes.
That is it. From now on, Windows will only force restart itself after the deadline specified by you.
2. Registry Method
You can also do the same thing via the registry editor. You just have to create a couple of values. Though easy, I recommend you back up registry just to be safe. After creating a backup, follow the below steps.
1. Open the start menu, search for "Registry Editor" and click on the result to open the registry editor.
2. In the registry editor, copy the below path, paste it in the address bar and press Enter. You will be taken to the target folder.
Note: If you cannot find WindowsUpdate folder, right-click on the Windows folder, select "New → Key" and name the folder as "WindowsUpdate"
3. On the right panel, we need to create two values. So, right-click on the right panel and select "New → DWORD (32-bit) Value". Name the keys as follows.
As you can tell from the names itself, the AutoRestartDeadlinePeriodInDays key is responsible for Quality Updates and the AutoRestartDeadlinePeriodInDaysForFeatureUpdates is responsible for Feature Updates.
4. Double-click on the newly created values, select "Decimal" in the Edit Value window and enter the number of days you would like to delay or hasten the auto-restart deadline. In my case, I want to delay the auto-restart by 30 days for all updates. So, I entered 30 in the Edit Value window for both keys.
5. Close registry editor and reboot Windows.
That is all.
Hope that helps. If you are stuck or need some help, comment below and I will try to help as much as possible.
If you like this article, do check out how to pause Windows 10 updates.