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How to Set or Change Active Hours in Windows 11

Active Hours feature allows you to set a specific time when Windows 11 can restart to install updates. Here’s how to change Active Hours in Windows 11.

Like Windows 10, Windows 11 automatically downloads and installs available updates. Generally, these updates are called Cumulative updates and Security updates. As most of you know, most updates in Windows require restarting the computer. Without restarting, the updates are not fully installed. If you don’t know, this happens because Windows cannot update, replace, or delete system files while the computer is running.

For the most part, Windows will automatically restart itself to install the updates. The good thing is, rather than restarting whenever it needs, Windows is pretty good at recognizing when you are working and won’t restart the computer in that time. In fact, it even tries to learn your regular usage times and restart the computer outside that time. Windows does this by automatically setting up a neat feature called Active Hours.

Put simply; Windows 11 will only restart the computer to install updates outside the active hours.

For a vast majority of users, the automatic Active Hours will do the job. However, if Windows is restarting randomly or the Active Hours are not to your liking, you can change them to match your needs. For example, I don’t want Windows restarting between 7 AM and 10 PM. In that case, I can set up Active Hours in Windows 11 to match that.

Without further ado, this straightforward guide will show you how to change Active Hours in Windows 11.

Change Active Hours in Windows 11

You can change the Active Hours in Windows 11 from the Windows Update settings page.

  1. Use the “Start key + I” shortcut to open Settings.
  2. Select “Windows Update” on the sidebar.
  3. Select “Advanced Options.”
  4. Click on “Active Hours.”
  5. Select “Manually” from the Adjust Active Hours dropdown menu.
  6. Set the Start time from the first dropdown menu.
  7. Set the End time from the second dropdown menu.
  8. Close the Settings app.
  9. With that, you are done changing the Active Hours in Windows 11.

Detailed steps:

As always, the first thing we should do is open the Windows 11 Settings app. You can do that with the “Start key + I” shortcut or right-clicking on the Start menu and selecting the “Settings” option. After that, go to the “Windows Update > Advanced Options” page.

Now, find and click on the “Active Hours” option. As I said earlier, Windows 11 will automatically set Active Hours based on your usage. The menu will show the current active hours on the right side. Since we want to change it, select “Manually” from the “Adjust active hours” dropdown menu.

set active hours to manual

Now, use the Start Time and End Time dropdown menus to change Active Hours in Windows 11. I chose to set the active hours from 8 AM to 10 PM.

change active hours in Windows 11

Finally, close the Settings app.

That is all. From now on, Windows will follow the Active Hours schedule to install updates and restart the computer. That is, the system will only restart automatically outside the active hours. If needed, you can manually restart or shut down the computer to complete the update process.

I hope that helps.

If you are stuck or need some help, comment below, and I will try to help as much as possible.

Related: How to pause updates in Windows 11

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