The automatic updates in Windows 10 are pretty helpful. They make sure that your machine is up to date and always patched. If there is one headache with the automatic updates is that it makes your system reboot itself automatically to install the downloaded updates. One way to avoid this behavior is to stop Windows 10 from rebooting to install updates when a user is logged in. Alternatively, you can also enable active hours.
In case you are wondering, active hours are nothing a period of time you can select in which you don't want Windows 10 to reboot the system to install updates. When the active hours are enabled, Windows 10 will not reboot in those hours. It waits until the active hours are over to install Windows 10 updates. For example, if you work on your system all day, say from 7 AM to 10 PM, you can set that time range as active hours. Once the active hours are set, Windows will not install the update until after 10 PM and before 7 AM.
As you can guess, the Active Hours feature is pretty helpful. Especially for home users who generally shut down their system at night times. So, follow the below steps to enable active hours and change active hours to meet your needs.
Enable and Configure Active Hours
The settings app in Windows 10 has an easy to use options to enable and configure active hours. The good thing is, it is fairly easy to find and use.
1. Open the start menu, search for Settings and open it. As an alternative, you can click on the All Settings button in the Notification Center.
2. In the Settings app, go to Update & Security -> Windows Update.
3. Once you are in the Windows Update page, on the right panel, click on the Change Active Hours button.
4. Before you can turn on active hours, you first need to set the active hours. To do that, click on the Change link appearing under the toggle switch.
5. Now, use the dropdown menus to set both the start time and end time for active hours. As the window shows, the active hours are limited to 18 hours only. In my case, I'm settings active hours from 8 AM to 11 PM. Click on the Save button to confirm the active hours time period.
6. After changing the active hours, toggle the switch to the On position to enable active hours.
7. If you go back to the main Windows update page, you should see the current active hours.
(Alternative Method) Change Active Hours Group Policy Settings
As an alternative, you can use the group policy editor to set or change active hours. This is particularly useful if you want to enforce the rules. Keep in mind that the group policy editor is only available for Windows 10 pro and enterprise version of users.
1. Search for gpedit.msc in the start menu and click on it to open the Group Policy Editor.
2. In the group policy editor, you will see a folder tree on the left panel. In that folder tree, go to the Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Windows Update folder.
3. On the right panel, find and double-click on the Turn-off auto restart for updates during active hours policy.
4. The above action will open the policy properties window. Here, first, enable the policy by selecting the Enabled radio option. This action will enable a few other settings under the options section.
5. Here, use the drop-down menus to set start time and end time for active hours. Even when you are using the group policy, the active hours are limited to 18 hours.
6. Click on the "Apply" and "Ok" buttons at the bottom of the window to save policy changes.
7. Even though you've changed the policy, it is not yet effective. To apply the policy changes, reboot Windows.
That is it. It is that simple to enable and change active hours in Windows 10.
If you like this article, do check out how to stop Windows 10 from automatically updating graphics driver and stop Windows 10 from automatically downloading and installing driver updates.