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How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

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How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

Windows 10 automatically downloads and installs updates, but a new feature in Windows 10’s Anniversary Update gives you more control over when this happens. Set “active hours” when you generally use your PC, and Windows won’t restart your computer during those hours.

Starting with the Creators Update, Microsoft now allows you to define up to 18 hours of each day as “off limits” and prevent automatic restarts during those hours. Windows still won’t restart your computer while you’re actively using it, even outside of active hours.

Update: In Windows 10’s May 2019 Update, you can now have Windows 10 automatically select appropriate Active Hours based on how you use your device. To select this option, head to Settings > Update & Security > Change Active Hours and enable “Automatically adjust active hours for this device based on activity.”

How to Prevent Automatic Restarts During Certain Hours

You’ll find this setting in Windows 10’s Settings application. To launch it, open the Start menu and then click or tap “Settings.”

Head to Update & Security > Windows Update. Click or tap “Change Active Hours” under Update Settings.

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

Choose a “Start time” and “End time” here. You should set the hours during which you generally use your computer.

For example, with the new 18 hour range, you can set your “active hours” from 6 AM to 12 AM, or midnight. Windows won’t automatically install updates during these hours. Windows will only automatically install updates and restart during the hours of midnight to 6 AM.

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

Note that your active hours must be between 1 and 18 hours. You can’t go above 18 hours. You also can’t set different active hours on different days, so you can’t specify different active hours for weekdays and weekends.

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

How to Override Your Active Hours

You can temporarily override active hours by heading to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update > Restart Options. From here, you can set a custom restart time when your device will restart to install updates. This is a one time setting, and you can only set a custom restart time if your device needs to restart to install updates.

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

If Windows needs to restart, you’ll also see a “Restart Now” button on the Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update screen. Use the button to restart immediately and get that restart out of the way so it doesn’t surprise you later.

Windows 10 automatically downloads and installs updates, but a new feature in Windows 10’s Anniversary Update gives you more control over when this happens. Set “active hours” when you generally use your PC, and Windows won’t restart your computer during those hours.

This feature is a little limited, but you can set 12 of the 24 hours each day as “off limits” and prevent automatic restarts during those hours. Windows still won’t restart your computer while you’re actively using it, even outside of active hours.

How to Prevent Automatic Restarts During Certain Hours

You’ll find this setting in Windows 10’s Settings application. To launch it, open the Start menu and then click or tap “Settings.”

Head to Update & Security > Windows Update. Click or tap “Change Active Hours” under Update Settings.

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

Choose a “Start time” and “End time” here. By default, the “active hours” are set from 8 AM to 5 PM.

You should set the hours during which you generally use your computer. For example, if this is a home PC you only use during the evening, you may want to set your “active hours” from 5 PM to 12 AM. Windows won’t automatically install updates and restart during those hours.

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

Note that your active hours must be between 1 and 12 hours. You can’t go above 12 hours. You also can’t set different active hours on different days, so you can’t specify different active hours for weekdays and weekends.

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

How to Override Your Active Hours

You can temporarily override active hours by heading to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update > Restart Options. From here, you can set a custom restart time when your device will restart to install updates. This is a one time setting, and you can only set a custom restart time if your device needs to restart to install updates.

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

If Windows needs to restart, you’ll also see a “Restart Now” button on the Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update screen. Use the button to restart immediately and get that restart out of the way so it doesn’t surprise you later.

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

Windows 10 automatically downloads and installs updates, but a new feature in Windows 10’s Anniversary Update gives you more control over when this happens. Set “active hours” when you generally use your PC, and Windows won’t restart your computer during those hours.

This feature is a little limited, but you can set 12 of the 24 hours each day as “off limits” and prevent automatic restarts during those hours. Windows still won’t restart your computer while you’re actively using it, even outside of active hours.

How to Prevent Automatic Restarts During Certain Hours

You’ll find this setting in Windows 10’s Settings application. To launch it, open the Start menu and then click or tap “Settings.”

Head to Update & Security > Windows Update. Click or tap “Change Active Hours” under Update Settings.

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

Choose a “Start time” and “End time” here. By default, the “active hours” are set from 8 AM to 5 PM.

You should set the hours during which you generally use your computer. For example, if this is a home PC you only use during the evening, you may want to set your “active hours” from 5 PM to 12 AM. Windows won’t automatically install updates and restart during those hours.

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

Note that your active hours must be between 1 and 12 hours. You can’t go above 12 hours. You also can’t set different active hours on different days, so you can’t specify different active hours for weekdays and weekends.

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

How to Override Your Active Hours

You can temporarily override active hours by heading to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update > Restart Options. From here, you can set a custom restart time when your device will restart to install updates. This is a one time setting, and you can only set a custom restart time if your device needs to restart to install updates.

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

If Windows needs to restart, you’ll also see a “Restart Now” button on the Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update screen. Use the button to restart immediately and get that restart out of the way so it doesn’t surprise you later.

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

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How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

If you want to stop your computer from restarting automatically at a bad time, you should turn to the Active Hours feature. Configuring the active hours properly is a good way to manage the device restarts especially after system updates. MiniTool Solution now tells you how to turn off the auto-restart on Windows 10 during active hours.

Turn off Auto Restart Windows 10 to Stop Sudden Reboot

Microsoft makes it easy for even ordinary users to configure their Windows to restart automatically on schedule; this is very convenient. Generally, a computer is set to restart automatically after system update so as to make the changes take effect.

Why Do You Need to Turn off Windows 10 Automatic Restart

However, some people complained that they don’t like the automatic restart since they get interrupted a lot while working on an important project. Besides, some people would like to get more control over the shutdown and restart of their computer. For them, it’s necessary to turn off auto restart Windows 10.

Windows 10 disable automatic restart or delay automatic reboot is very important to prevent the loss of unsaved data. The following content shows you how to turn off auto restart Windows 10 for updates during the active hours in different ways.

How to stop auto restart Windows 10 during active hours? You need to finish mainly 2 steps to disable Windows 10 update restart.

Step 1: Enable Active Hours Windows 10

Enable Active Hours via Settings

Method one: adjust active hours automatically.

  1. Click on the Start button at the bottom left.
  2. Click on the Settings icon from the left sidebar of the Start menu.
  3. Scroll down to the bottom to select Update & Security.
  4. Windows Update will be selected in the left pane.
  5. Select the Change active hours option in the right pane.
  6. Turn on Automatically adjust active hours for this device based on activity.

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

Method two: change active hours manually.

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Select Update & Security.
  3. Make sure Windows Update is selected.
  4. Click Change active hours.
  5. Turn off Automatically adjust active hours for this device based on activity.
  6. Click on the Change link after Current active hours.
  7. Specify a Start time and End time. This creates a time range (the maximum range is 18 hours), during which you usually use your device.
  8. Click on the Save button below.

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

Configure Active Hours with Group Policy

  1. Press Windows + R to open Run.
  2. Type gpedit.msc and press Enter.
  3. Navigate to Local Computer Policy ->Computer Configuration ->Administrative Templates ->Windows Components ->Windows Updates.
  4. Look for a policy named Turn off auto-restart for updates during active hours.
  5. Double click on it and check Enabled.
  6. Set a Start and End time for Active Hours.
  7. Click Apply and OK.

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

Set Active Hours through Registry

This method is only recommended when you can’t use above tools.

  1. Open Run.
  2. Type regedit and click OK.
  3. Click Yes if you see a User Account Control window.
  4. Navigate to this path in Registry Editor: Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate. And set a combination of a few registry values.
  5. Use SetActiveHours to enable or disable active hours.
  6. Use ActiveHoursStart and ActiveHoursEnd to specify the time range of active hours.

Step 2: Reschedule Automatic Restart Windows 10

This part tells you how to schedule a restart to apply the updates outside of the active hours schedule.

Windows 10 disable scheduled restart:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Select Update & Security.
  3. Make sure Windows Update is selected.
  4. There will a Restart required notification: Your device will restart outside of active hours.
  5. Click on the Schedule the restart link.
  6. Turn the toggle switch to On under Schedule a time.
  7. Pick a time and Pick a day manually.

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

That’s all I want to say about Windows 10 disable update restart.

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How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

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How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

A utomatically schedule restarts outside of active hours

As Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile automatically download and install cumulative updates, and you can’t prevent them from being installed, it’s a good idea to set ‘Active Hours’ so that your device won’t restart at a bad time and interrupt your work to complete the update.

The ‘Active Hours’ feature was introduced with the Anniversary Update for Windows 10, and you can find it in the Windows Update menu in Settings.

Here is how to set ‘Active Hours’:

Head to Settings → Update & Security → Windows Update.

Tap on ‘Change active hours’

Set ‘Start’ and ‘End’ time of your active usage. You can set the Active hours interval to anything between 1 and 12 hours. Windows will automatically restart after installing updates, outside of the Active hours.

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

Tips: You can override Active hours and set a custom restart time from the ‘Restart Options’ menu. You can only access this menu when there is an update available for your device. You can also manually restart the device by clicking on the ‘Restart’ button.

*Creators Update in 2017 will add another option for Windows Updates: the ability to temporarily pause updates for up to 35 days.

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

It’s important to keep your Windows 10 PC updated. You get security fixes, new features, small improvement tweaks, and more. Unfortunately, updating Windows 10 can often take years. Or so it might feel when you’re watching an update sit still, you pacing around knowing that you have stuff to do on your PC. This isn’t exactly a rare problem, and you’ll almost always find a thread about it in our forum and in countless others around the web. So why exactly is it taking so long, and what can you do about it?

Why do Windows 10 updates take so long?

Windows 10 is a big, complicated OS that is constantly being tweaked. While some updates are small and you might not even notice them installing, others are massive and take a good chunk of time to install. The amount of time it takes can be affected by multiple factors.

If you’re working with a low-speed internet connection, downloading a gigabyte or two — especially over a wireless connection — can take hours alone. Since you’ll often be thrown into an update without any idea of what it consists of, watching the blue screen for hours might make you think something’s gone terribly wrong. Likewise, if Microsoft’s servers are getting slammed with people all trying to download at the same time, speed can be further affected.

So, you’re enjoying fiber internet and your update is still taking forever. Does your PC have an old hard-disk drive (HDD) crammed almost to bursting with data? When was the last time you de-fragmented that bad boy? Some updates need to cover a lot of ground, and a slow drive with files everywhere won’t help. Backing up your data and reformatting is never a bad idea, but the least you can do is give that old drive some new life with a defrag.

Windows Update components might be broken

A slow internet connection or a cluttered hard drive are not the only potential problems to do with Windows Update. When pitchforks and torches are grabbed and walked over to Microsoft’s own community support forum, a moderator will usually direct the angered crowd to the Windows Update Troubleshooter tool.

Because Windows Update is its own little program, components within can break and throw the entire process off of its natural course. Running this tool might be able to fix those broken components, resulting in a faster update the next time around.

If you run this tool and find that it makes no difference, you can always run through Microsoft’s step-by-step Windows Update support page. You answer a bunch of questions and you receive potential fixes along the way.

Software might be conflicting with Windows Update

Third-party applications, services, and drivers that start when Windows starts can cause software conflicts when trying to update Windows. If you’re using a fast, wired internet connection and have a speedy solid-state drive (SSD) in your PC and are still having an issue with an update taking a considerable amount of time, you can try performing a clean boot of Windows 10 before attempting to update.

    Right-click the Start button.

Click Search.

Click Services.

Click Disable all.

Click Open Task Manager.

Click Disable. Repeat steps 9 and 10 for all startup programs.

Restart your PC.

Once your PC restarts, try installing the Windows 10 update again. To enable startup items again, follow the same steps but click Enable all in step 6 and Enable in step 10.

Set a scheduled update time

An update to Windows can happen at the worst time, but you can disable auto updates and even set a schedule to have your PC do its thing overnight rather than during an important meeting.

More resources

Have a look at these other articles for more help with Windows Update.

Updated July 10, 2018: I’ve refreshed this guide to ensure you’re still getting the best advice when it comes to troubleshooting a slow Windows 10 update.

We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.

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Technical Note | October 2020 CRITICAL WARNING: With an FC-5000 unit, installing the following Optional update from Windows Update will.

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

Technical Note | October 2020

CRITICAL WARNING: With an FC-5000 unit, installing the following Optional update from

Windows Update will cause an almost immediate stop error or exception error, commonly called a Blue Screen of Death (BSoD) or blue screen, while also preventing the unit from being able to reboot properly.

Intel – System – 10/11/2015 12:00:00 AM – 2.0.0.1094

We highly recommend NOT to install this specific optional update from Microsoft, as it can lead to loss of any local data and software licenses on the device, requiring restoration from a backup.

If this has been installed on an FC-5000 unit, the blue screen will appear almost immediately showing a “PAGE FAULT IN NONPAGED AREA” error message. After logging the error, the system will automatically attempt to reboot. Since this update prevents the unit from rebooting properly, it will repeatedly encounter the blue screen and attempt to reboot. After the third failed attempt, the blue screen will then display “Diagnosing your pc” and “Preparing automatic repair”, which will eventually give you options to manually Restart or Advanced options.

At this point, you must select: Advanced options > Troubleshoot > Reset this PC > Remove Everything > Local reinstall > Just remove my files > Reset this PC. You may be asked to enter a local account password. If none has been set, leave the field blank and just press Enter.

This process can take some time, possibly 1 to 2 hours or more. After it is complete, the FC-5000 unit will be in a factory default state, requiring Windows setup such as following our recommendations on this web page.

You will then need to install software applications and licenses, similar to as before. Again avoid this specific Optional update. Windows Update should work fine for installing all other Critical and Feature updates. We recommend making sure our latest firmware and OS patch are installed as well from this web page.

FC-5000: Windows Updates

Microsoft Windows 10 may take a long time to boot or when performing a Restart while it is installing updates, sometimes without providing any indication that it is installing updates. The screen may be black (display backlight off), blank (display backlight on but nothing on screen), or with a blue image (with no other indicators) and may not complete for several minutes. Depending on what updates are being installed, this delay in booting can range from less than a minute to 20 minutes or more for very large update(s).

If you are wanting to avoid such a potential delay when booting or doing a Restart on the FC-5000, and your organization allows it, you could change from the automatic installation of updates to manually running Windows update. This is done under Start > Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update > Advanced options . Please note that allowing automatic updates ensures you always have the latest fixes, security patches, and features from Microsoft and is the factory default and recommended setting.

To avoid delays while booting/resuming or when wanting to perform fieldwork, Microsoft recommends that you properly set your Active Hours so downloading and installing of updates should not occur during that time.

If you want further control over downloading updates, learn how to manage automatic updates.

If you want security updates immediately, but would prefer to delay feature upgrades, learn how to use the ‘defer’ feature.

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

Windows 10 automatically downloads and installs updates as they become available. To stop this, you can ‘pause’ updates for up to 35 days with just a few clicks, even on Windows 10 Home. Here’s what you need to know about pausing Windows Update.

How to pause updates for up to 35 days

First, launch the Settings screen. You can open the Start menu and click on the “Settings” gear icon or press Windows + i to open it.

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

Go to Settings> Update & Security> Windows Update.

Click here on the option “Pause updates for 7 days”. Windows will not automatically download or install updates for the next 7 days.

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

You can click “Pause updates for 7 days” again to add more time to the break period. When you reach 35 days, the option is grayed out, this is the maximum.

Note: When your hiatus period expires, Windows Update will automatically download and install any available updates before allowing you to take a new hiatus.

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

How to pause updates until a specific date

You can pause updates until a specific date. On the Windows Update settings screen, click “Advanced options.”

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

Scroll down to the Pause Updates section. Click the “Select date” box and choose the date you want to resume Windows Update.

Scroll down in this list and you can select a date up to 35 days in the future.

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

Note: When the date arrives, Windows will automatically download and install any available updates before allowing you to pause the update again.

How to avoid big updates

Modern versions of Windows 10 give you more control over these big feature updates once every six months.

Windows will no longer automatically download and install these updates. When available, they will be offered as an option on the Windows Update screen. Just don’t click “Download and Install” below, and it won’t be installed on your PC.

Note: Windows Update may optionally install these updates automatically, for example, if your current version of Windows 10 is nearing the end of its support period and your PC needs to be upgraded to continue receiving security updates.

How to pause updates for longer

You can also better control updates by marking your connections as “measured”. This option is intended for connections for which you have a limited allocation of download data.

To mark a connection as measured, go to Settings> Network & Internet. Select “Wi-Fi” for a wireless connection or “Ethernet” for a wired connection. Click on the network name and activate the option “Set as metered connection”.

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

To make sure Windows won’t automatically download updates over a limited connection, go to Settings> Update & Security> Windows Update. Click on the “Advanced options” option and make sure “Download updates over limited connections (additional charges may apply)” is set to “Disabled”.

Note: Windows Update will always automatically download updates on non-metered connections. For example, if you connect a laptop to another Wi-Fi network that is not marked as a measured network in Windows, the update will resume immediately.

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

Use group policy for more control

For businesses that want more control over updates, Microsoft offers a variety of “Windows Update for Business” options that can be configured in Group Policy or through MDM policies.

These policies require a professional, enterprise, or education version of Windows 10. It will not work with standard Windows 10 Home software on most PCs.

However, you can change these settings through the Local Group Policy Editor on a Windows 10 Professional PC, and you can purchase an upgrade to Windows 10 Professional from Microsoft to access Group Policy and other features. such as BitLocker disk encryption. So, if you’re comfortable with Group Policy and willing to pay extra for Windows 10 Pro, these options are available for home users.

In Group Policy, these options are located in Computer Configuration> Administrative Templates> Windows Components> Windows Update> Windows Update for Business.

For more information on configuring these settings, see the official Microsoft documentation Configure Windows Update for Business.

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

Make sure to set your active hours so that Windows 10 doesn’t restart for updates at a bad time. You can “suspend” the restart for updates during the hours when you normally use your PC, preventing Windows Update from interfering with your PC’s use.

I use macOS for work. Apple doesn’t force updates to happen. Despite people’s perceptions of Apple being controlling within their walled garden, I actually feel in control of my Mac. I don’t feel in control of my custom-built PC.

The number of times I’ve had to reinstall Windows, it just makes sense to have it isolated so I don’t lose any data.

Except, I inevitably do because Windows finds a way to have files saved and programs installed where I don’t want them.

It will install the OS itself in read only mode (and encrypted) onto a dedicated APFS Volume, with all the data on a separate APFS Volume, both sharing the same container representing the entire boot drive.

As a user you will not notice at all unless you go looking.

This is mainly for security reasons, as I understand it. But, surely this also makes an OS reinstall or recovery much simpler. I have not yet had the luck to need to do either since this installation model was adopted so I don’t know what the impact (positive or negative) to the user is in such a scenario.

Anyway, I find it amusing that such a model has only recently been adopted by a mainstream OS after so many decades of the concept being espoused as important in the general Unix-like world. I wonder if Microsoft will follow suit.

If there’s a Microsoft-created mechanism for disabling automatic updates on non-pro (!) editions of Windows, I would love to know about it. All the methods I’m familiar with are weird hacks that have side effects or don’t always work.

Edit: why am I getting downvoted for this? Explain please. The issue won’t disappear no matter how hard you downvote.

It’s amazing, considering how much money is in the videogame industry, that we’ve not yet seen an OS developed specifically for playing games. It could even be shared between consoles and pcs, making it much easier for developers to release for all platforms.

This is what consoles try to achieve. And they do one better by not having to deal with countless combinations of hardware and software. They are optimized (performance, stability, compatibility) to run games on unified setups and with a guarantee they will run for years. They also curb piracy and cheating which is something the videogame industry really wants. The downside is not having the leading edge specs every year.

The problem is the market for a very gaming-focused but still general OS that can run on generic hardware is just not that attractive for most users of the videogame industry. And truth be told I doubt it would be any better than any generic OS you already have now.

Personally since XP SP3 the biggest problems I’ve had were almost exclusively with drivers, save for a few Spectre/Meltdown mitigation issues.

You could argue that SteamOS is a modified Ubuntu(?) and not a clean sheet gaming OS but I’m not sure that distinction really matters. SteamOS is a purpose built OS.

Why can’t updates be run in the background, ready to be applied when you want it to? Give me a notification that says: “Application X is ready to update to a new version. Your work will be saved and restored. The update will take approximately X minutes.” With buttons “Update now”, “Postpone until tomorrow”, etc.

And can we please update applications without requiring the entire system to reboot? Is it odd to think only kernel updates should require a reboot? In fact, this might be a great argument for a microkernel architecture; the less the kernel does, the less it needs to be rebooted. Make every other aspect of the OS individually updateable without a full reboot. That would be pretty awesome if it’s possible. (Unfortunately I’m not enough of an OS guru to know if this can work.)

There are occasional rare glitches this system wouldn’t catch, like e.g. artwork being changed resulting in a mix of old and new icons, but that doesn’t happen if you just stick to normal releases of stable distributions like Debian.

I always pity my windows colleagues in the week after patch tuesday. Our Linux boxes are automatically updated 4 times a day, reboot is automated for login servers for when nobody is logged in (with some help of loadbalancing), other servers generate a mail and we reboot them when convenient. But reboots are rare. Automatic unattended updates breaking stuff is even more rare, I think two instances in 10 years.

So you have to save and shut down everything at the end of the day to not lose work, but also leave the computer eating electricity in case it wants to update.

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We’ve all been hit by the sudden “Windows 10 restart” and it can be a nuisance at best, a devastation at worst. Here’s how to prevent it from interrupting you ever again.

Imagine that you’re in the deep state of flow on an important paper or project. You can feel all the jigsaw pieces falling into place. And, just then…

Windows decides to restart.

This isn’t random. Your Windows 10 machine is installing the latest updates and restarts because it needs to finish the process. And while it’s necessary, it can be extremely irritating because you wanted to get that important project finished right now. Fortunately, there’s a solution.

Updates and Restarts Can Be More Pleasant

A feature in Windows 10, called Active Hours, gives you more control over when the operating system will consider it “okay” to restart.

With the help of Active Hours, you can prevent Windows from restarting when you’re working. As the name suggests, Active Hours is a block of time that you can set to let your PC know you’re using your device, so it won’t restart automatically during those times.

Setup only requires three simple steps.

Click the Start button and select Settings. Alternatively, use Windows key + I. Select Update & security from the options.

Under Update settings, click on Change active hours to arrive at the next screen.

The description is easy to understand. Choose the start time and end time of the time range when you are working. Then select Save.

Do note that the maximum active length between the start time and the end time you can set is 12 hours. Any other time range is not allowed.

What If You’re Working Outside Active Hours?

There will be times when you’re working outside the Active Hours. Windows 10 gives you another option to postpone automatic restarts temporarily in such scenarios.

Go to Update & security > Update settings > Restart Options (which is just under Change active hours). Toggle it to On and set a custom time and day.

This feature is only active when a new update is available. Otherwise, the feature is grayed out.

Have You Set Your Active Hours?

Some control is better than no control and this feature that came in the Anniversary Update is a welcome move. I usually get such restarts out of the way at the first opportunity with the help of the Restart now button under Update Status on the same screen.

Are surprise updates still an issue with you? Do you use Active Hours to manage your updates and restart? Or has it ended up irritating you?

When your computer display freezes, this little-known shortcut can get you going again in seconds and is much faster than restarting.

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

Saikat Basu is the Deputy Editor for Internet, Windows, and Productivity. After removing the grime of an MBA and a ten year long marketing career, he is now passionate about helping others improve their storytelling skills. He looks out for the missing Oxford comma and hates bad screenshots. But Photography, Photoshop, and Productivity ideas soothe his soul.

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How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

Question: I’m reading horror stories about the latest Windows update deleting files — what should I do to protect my system?

Answer: Microsoft recently started rolling out the Windows 10 October 2018 update (version 1809) that will start automatically installing itself for most systems starting next week.

In addition to some security and privacy enhancements, the update includes several helpful features that most users will likely appreciate.

The addition of a “clipboard history” will allow you to access multiple items from your clipboard instead of just the last item copied (Windows Logo key + V). You’ll also have the option to sync your clipboard across multiple devices.

The tool called “Snip & Sketch” is also being added to provide a lot more flexibility when taking screenshots and a separate slider control for making text bigger across the board is being included.

Early complaints about the update

As usual when a substantial update first starts rolling out, some users experience issues.

One of the more serious issues being reported is major data loss, as large quantities of files that normally appear in the User folder are missing. The early diagnosis of this issue points to corrupted user profiles, which lead to a temporary user profile being used after the upgrade.

The good news is that the files are actually still on the machine — they just aren’t visible to the user profile that is being brought up after the upgrade. The bad news is that it require assistance to recreate your profile and retrieve the files if you’re not tech savvy.

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

Common causes

A Windows 10 update can go awry for a number or reasons, ranging from active security programs to pre-existing issues that prevent the update process from properly executing.

It’s always best to take care of any error messages — slow performance, freezing or any other issues — before any update tries to install.

It’s also a good idea to make sure you have a current backup of your critical data before this or any major update is performed.

Controlling when the update runs

Since you don’t really have control over the actual day that the update hits your system, you can control what time of the day it attempts to begin the update.

Microsoft finally provided a tool for frustrated users that who in the past were interrupted by an update that jumped up while they were in the middle of something important.

You can set your “active hours” so that Windows won’t automatically restart your machine, which is part of the install process, when you are using it.

To do this go to “Settings,” then “Update & Security” and to “Windows Update” at the top of the list on the left to see the “Change active hours” option.

Warning: If you click on the “Check for updates” button, it can trigger the installation of the update manually; so if you aren’t ready for it don’t click the button.

Pausing updates

Corporate users running Windows 10 Pro that need to buy some time can extend the update for 35 days by going to “Advanced options” on the “Update & Security” page and turn on the switch for “Pause Updates.”

Change Your Active Hours. Now that you’ve changed your sleep settings, let’s schedule your updates using Active Hours. In Windows 10, Microsoft automatically downloads your updates and restarts your computer to install them, but with Active Hours, you can automatically set the times you do NOT want it to update.

Will Windows 10 download in sleep mode?

Of all the power-saving states in Windows, hibernation uses the least amount of power. … So there no possibility to update or download anything during Sleep or in Hibernate Mode. However, Windows Updates or Store app Updates won’t get interrupted if you shutdown your PC or make it to sleep or Hibernate in middle.

Can a computer update while sleeping?

Typically, users schedule “active hours,” so Windows 10 doesn’t install updates at inconvenient times. Will Windows 10 update if a PC is asleep? Technically, no.

What happens when Windows 10 goes to sleep?

This uses very little power, your PC starts up faster, and you’re instantly back to where you left off. You don’t have to worry that you’ll lose your work because of your battery draining, because Windows automatically saves all your work and turns off the PC if the battery is too low.

Is it better to put your PC in sleep mode?

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, it’s recommended that you put your computer into sleep mode if you’re not going to be using it for more than 20 minutes. It’s also recommended that you shut down your computer if you’re not going to use it for more than two hours.

How do I keep Windows 10 from going to sleep mode?

windows 10: Sleep Mode when downloading

  1. Click the Start button.
  2. Type Power Options then hit Enter.
  3. Select your current plan.
  4. Click Change plan settings.
  5. Click Change advanced power settings.
  6. On the Advanced settings tab, double-click Sleep then Sleep after.
  7. Change the value of Settings to 0. This value will set it to Never.
  8. Click OK to save the changes.

Does sleep mode stop downloads PS4?

Thankfully, the fix is simple. Go to Settings > Power Saving Settings > Set Features Available in Rest Mode, and then check the Stay Connected to the Internet option. Now, when you leave a game downloading overnight with your PlayStation 4 in Rest Mode, it will actually continue downloading.

What happens if I shut off my computer during Windows Update?

Whether intentional or accidental, your PC shutting down or rebooting during updates can corrupt your Windows operating system and you could lose data and cause slowness to your PC. This happens mainly because old files are being changed or replaced by new files during an update.

How do I know if my computer is in sleep mode?

  1. Open power options: For Windows 10, select Start , then select Settings > System > Power & sleep > Additional power settings. …
  2. Do one of the following: …
  3. When you’re ready to make your PC sleep, just press the power button on your desktop, tablet, or laptop, or close your laptop’s lid.

Will Windows 10 update automatically?

By default, Windows 10 updates your operating system automatically. However, it is safest to manually check that you are up to date and it is turned on. Select the Windows icon in the bottom left of your screen.

Should I shut down my computer every night?

“Modern computers don’t really draw much more power—if any—while starting up or shutting down than when normally being used,” he says. … Even if you do keep your laptop in sleep mode most nights, it’s a good idea to fully shut down your computer at least once a week, agrees Nichols and Meister.

What happens to PC in sleep mode?

Sleep: In sleep mode, the PC enters a low-power state. The PC’s state is kept in memory, but other parts of the PC are shut down and won’t use any power. When you turn on the PC, it snaps back to life quickly—you won’t have to wait for it to boot up.

Is it bad to shut down PC every night?

Is It Bad to Shut Down Your Computer Every Night? A frequently used computer that needs to be shut down regularly should only be powered off, at most, once per day. When computers boot from being powered off, there’s a surge of power. Doing so frequently throughout the day can decrease the lifespan of the PC.

Why does my computer not stay in sleep mode?

A: Typically, if a computer enters sleep mode but wakes up soon after, then a program or peripheral device (i.e. printer, mouse, keyboard, etc.) is most likely causing it to do so. … Once you’ve confirmed the machine is free infections, then make sure the printer is not causing your computer to wake from sleep mode.

Is it best to shut down PC?

It is best to shut down your computer when you don’t need to use it for a while and to save power. Shutting down your computer also allows it to run faster with a clear RAM.

What does sleep mode do?

Sleep mode is an energy-saving state that allows activity to resume when fully powered. Hibernate mode is also meant to be power-saving but differs from sleep mode in what is done with your data. Sleep mode stores the documents and files you are operating into the RAM, using a small amount of power in the process.

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

Windows 10 automatically downloads and installs updates as they become available. To stop this, you can “pause” updates for up to 35 days in just a few clicks—even on Windows 10 Home. Here’s what you need to know about pausing Windows Update.

How to Pause Updates for Up to 35 Days

First, launch the Settings screen. You can open the Start menu and click the “Settings” gear icon or press Windows+i to open it.

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

Navigate to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update.

Click the “Pause updates for 7 days” option here. Windows won’t automatically download or install updates for the next 7 days.

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

You can click “Pause updates for 7 days” again to add more time to the pause period. When you reach 35 days, the option will be grayed out—that’s the maximum.

Note: When your pause period expires, Windows Update will automatically download and install any available updates before it will let you pause again.

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

How to Pause Updates Until a Specific Date

You can pause updates until a specific date. On the Windows Update settings screen, click “Advanced options.”

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

Scroll down to the Pause Updates section. Click the “Select date” box and choose the date you want to resume updating Windows.

Scroll down in this list and you can select a date up to 35 days in the future.

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

Note: When the date arrives, Windows will automatically download and install any available updates before letting you pause updating again.

How to Avoid Big Updates

Modern versions of Windows 10 give you more control over those once-every-six-months big feature updates Microsoft releases.

Windows will no longer automatically download and install these updates. When they’re available, you’ll be given them as an option on the Windows Update screen. Just don’t click the “Download and install” below it, and it won’t be installed on your PC.

Note: Windows Update may eventually install these updates automatically—for example, if your current version of Windows 10 is nearing the end of its support period and your PC needs to upgrade to continue receiving security updates.

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

How to Pause Updates For Longer

You can also gain more control over updates by marking your connections as “metered.” This option is intended for connections where you have a limited allowance of download data.

To mark a connection as metered, head to Settings > Network & Internet. Select “Wi-Fi” for a wireless connection or “Ethernet” for a wired connection. Click the name of the network and activate the “Set as metered connection” option.

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

To ensure Windows won’t automatically download updates on a metered connection, head to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update. Click the “Advanced options” option and ensure “Download updates over metered connections (extra charges may apply)” is set to “Off.”

Note: Windows Update will still automatically download updates on non-metered connections. For example, if you connect a laptop to a different Wi-Fi network that isn’t marked as a metered network in Windows, updating will immediately resume.

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

Use Group Policy for More Control

For businesses that want more control over updates, Microsoft offers a variety of “Windows Update for Business” options that can be configured either in Group Policy or via MDM policies.

These policies require a Professional, Enterprise, or Education version of Windows 10. It won’t work with the standard Windows 10 Home software on most PCs.

However, you can change these settings via the Local Group Policy Editor on a Windows 10 Professional PC, and you can purchase a Windows 10 Professional upgrade from Microsoft to access Group Policy and other features like BitLocker disk encryption. So, if you’re comfortable with Group Policy and are willing to pay extra for Windows 10 Professional, these options are available to home users.

In Group Policy, these options are located at Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update > Windows Update for Business.

For more information on configuring these settings, check Microsoft’s official Configure Windows Update for Business documentation.

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

Be sure to set your Active Hours so Windows 10 doesn’t restart for updates at a bad time. You can “pause” restarting for updates during the hours you normally use your PC, preventing Windows Update from interfering with your PC usage.

If a reboot isn’t convenient, put it off for three days. And another three. And another three.

When it launched, Windows 10 had a really bad habit of spontaneously rebooting to install updates. Updates were coming fast and furious in its early months, which was to be expected during an OS launch. A restart without warning was not expected or appreciated, and this earned Redmond some anger.

Eventually they tamed that beast, giving people options when to reboot and warning them that one was needed. Now Microsoft is promising even more control over when you reboot, including the option to indefinitely postpone it, as documented in a new blog post.

“Prior to the Creators Update, Windows 10 made most of the decisions for you regarding when updates would be installed and didn’t provide ways to tailor the timing to your specific needs,” wrote John Cable, Microsoft director of program management in the Windows Servicing and Delivery (WSD) team.

“What we heard back most explicitly was that you want more control over when Windows 10 installs updates. We also heard that unexpected reboots are disruptive if they happen at the wrong time,” he added.

The Creators Update will allow users to “hit the snooze button,” as it were, and delay reboots for up to three days, and reportedly users will be able to repeat this indefinitely. So, if you want to wait a week on a restart, you can do so.

Hidden control: Delay installation of updates for 35 days

You can actually delay the installation of updates for a month. People using Creators Update builds have dug up a more powerful control hidden away in Settings > Update & Security > Advanced. Under this option, consumers can delay the installation of updates for up to 35 days, something previously limited to the Pro edition of Windows 10.

In addition, Microsoft is expanding the “Active Hours” time so Windows doesn’t install an update at times when you want your device to be ready to use. Active Hours is a period where Windows won’t download an update, leaving you free to work undisturbed.

New Windows 10 privacy features

Separately in the blog post, Michael Fortin, corporate vice president of Windows and Devices Group Core Quality, stressed that “new privacy-centric features [are] coming in the Creators Update. This new functionality will make it easier to choose the privacy and diagnostic data collection settings that are best for you.”

There is a whole new control panel for Windows 10 diagnostic data and privacy that would indicate a change from the previous data gathering methods. These methods rubbed a lot of people the wrong way, who felt Microsoft was spying on them, and led to utilities such as DoNotSpy to disable the features. Maybe Microsoft realized people were shutting everything off and it wasn’t getting telemetry it needed so it softened things a bit.

Windows 10 Creators Update is due in April.

Andy Patrizio is a freelance journalist based in southern California who has covered the computer industry for 20 years and has built every x86 PC he’s ever owned, laptops not included.

I was trying to update my Windows 10 laptop yesterday and noticed that it wouldn’t actually apply the update because of “Battery Saver”. How can I force an update or disable this feature?

Updating core software on a device, whether it’s your TV, headphones, telephone or computer, can be a risky proposition: The updates are designed to start, run through without interruption, and finish up. But what happens if halfway through your update the power dies or you accidentally unplug it? With most modern devices, nothing particular onerous, but with other devices it can be catastrophic. Indeed, this is where the term “bricking” comes from; a failed update that turns your device into a brick. The worst with these have been video game systems and some systems (looking at you, Nintendo) were notorious for bricking devices during failed upgrades.

The long and short of it is that your Windows computer is actually being helpful when it refuses to apply an update because your battery is too low for safety. Remember, it would only need to happen once out of dozens or hundreds of updates to seriously mess up your computer and, by extension, your day. Worse, while battery power prediction utilities are smarter than they used to be, Microsoft is aware that estimated power remaining can be a gamble; 20% power might mean 15 minutes and it might mean 2 hours. So if you have 20% or less, battery saver, by default, is enabled, and you won’t be able to update your PC!

There are ways to sidestep or disable this, but…

Anyway, here’s how things would go down. First off, you check for an update…

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

Notice you can change “active hours” if you never want updates to happen during work hours. By default, it’s 8am-5pm.

After a few moments, it will perhaps find an update or three. Then you’re here:

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

Lots of updates and security updates to apply, but what about that Battery saver warning? I’ve highlighted it in red above: “Battery saver is on, so we’ve paused downloads. We’ll resume when Battery Saver is off or click the “Download” button to do it now.

So one way to sidestep this safety feature is to click on the “Download” button. Smarter, though, is to plug your PC in at this point. After a few seconds, the download button and warning message will both just vanish and it’ll resume the download automatically:

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

Good. Those sound like pretty important updates, particularly the “Security Intelligence Update”.

But maybe you do want to disable Battery Saver. I don’t recommend it, but it’s your computer, right? Do a search right in the Control Panels window for ‘battery saver’ and you’ll get these options:

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

Choose “Battery saver settings” and you’ll get to learn more about how Windows 10 manages your battery, computer performance and display than perhaps you ever realized you needed:

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

Of course, there’s always the shortcut on the Notifications window too:

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

A click and it’s disabled. Another click and it’s back on. Seriously, though, leave it enabled. Someday you’ll thank me.

Meanwhile, speaking of notifications, my updates are done:

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

I’m at a good spot so a click on “Restart now” and everything’s up-to-date. Phew.

Pro Tip: I’ve been writing about Windows 10 for a really long time. A really long time. Please check out some of my many Windows help pages for more tips and tutorials. Thanks!

Nearly a billion computers around the world run Windows 10. Some experts estimate that Windows 10 dominates nearly 40 percent of the desktop OS market, handily surpassing the popularity of Windows 7.

Speaking of, Microsoft is ending support for the 10-year-old Windows 7 in January. Tap or click to learn how to bring your PC up to date before it’s too late.

Microsoft has described Windows 10 as the “final” version. Instead of replacing the operating system every few years, Windows 10 users have been able to download free updates. Windows 10 is arguably the best version ever produced.

But Windows 10 isn’t perfect. The last several updates introduced pretty serious bugs that broke essential features and left users with the dreaded “Blue Screen of Death.” Tap or click to get the scoop on one of the worst Windows updates and make sure you have the fix.

The operating system also has some quirks that may have sounded great at company meetings, but the vast majority of folks find odd, annoying and inconvenient.

How can you make your Windows 10 experience even better? Here are a few suggestions.

Take control of updates

Windows is good at installing updates. This process is straightforward and automatic. The bad news is, you usually have to reboot your computer, and you have no idea when a new update will suddenly start downloading.

To prevent these unscheduled interruptions, go to your settings menu, and set time parameters. This way, your computer will stop itself from updating during “active hours.”

You can also pause updates altogether, halting them for up to 35 days.

This might impact your security, so you don’t want to go too long. But if you want a short reprieve, go to your Settings menu, choose the Windows Updates field and find Advanced Options. From there, you can toggle the Pause Updates option and switch it to On.

RELATED: Is your PC just not performing the way it should? Tap or click for 7 DIY tools to fix pesky Windows problems.

Limit Cortana’s interactions

Like other virtual assistants, Cortana is always listening for the wake command. Unfortunately, a flaw in the programming may allow hackers to break into a Windows 10 computer using Cortana’s voice commands, even while it’s locked. Anyone can issue voice commands to Cortana and force it into downloading malicious malware.

You can stop Cortana from putting your data at risk by removing Cortana from your lock screen and teach it to respond only to your voice alone.

● Go to the Talk to Cortana option found in your Settings menu.

● Under Hey Cortana, turn the Let Cortana Respond to Hey Cortana Switch to On.

● Next, click the link labeled Learn How I Say Hey Cortana. This will allow you to go through the voice recognition training.

● From here, click on the Cortana start button and repeat the six provided phrases. This will get Cortana familiar with your voice.

● After the training is complete, you can go back to Cortana in the Settings menu and enable the Try to Respond Only to Me option.

Change search from Bing to Google

Bing is set as the default search engine for Microsoft Edge, but that may not sit well with you. Tap or click here for search engines that don’t track you.

So, here’s how you can change things up a bit.

● Start by searching Google.com.

● Click on the three dots at the top right corner to go to Settings.

● Scroll to the bottom and choose View Advanced Settings.

● Go down the list until you find the search in the address bar option. Click it and select Add New.

● Click on Google and chose Add as Default. Done.

Use a PIN as your login

You can lock your computer with a long, convoluted password, or you can reset it to a simple PIN. Your PIN is only four digits long and doesn’t require any complicated parameters such as special characters or mixed case letters. It’s less secure, of course, but a PIN makes unlocking easier.

Setting up your PIN is pretty simple. Go to Settings > Accounts > Sign In Options. From there, click the Add button under PIN. Enter in any PIN of your choice and restart to give it a try.

Resize your Start menu like a pro

The start menu acts as the central hub for everything you do on Windows 10. Because of that, its default appearance can seem a little bland. Users have often complained about the size of the start menu, never realizing that this can also be customized.

To fix it, do the Windows drag. Click on the Start menu and move your cursor to the top edge of the icon until it shows as a two-sided arrow. Click, hold, and drag to resize the menu to your preferred size and let go.

You can easily resize your desktop icons, too. Tap or click here for a step-by-step guide.

Play DVDs the easy and free way

By now, you’ve probably noticed that Windows 10 won’t play DVDs, and Windows Media Player has been removed. While Microsoft offers an official DVD playback option, this feature costs $15 and seems to have persistent problems.

Fortunately, there’s a better option available that can have you watching DVDs quickly and free of charge: VLC video player. Tap or click here to download it.

Be sure to download the desktop app instead of the Windows Store version, which won’t support DVDs or Blu-Ray discs.

Silence all the annoying announcements

Depending on your settings, Windows may start announcing everything you touch with an actual voice. Windows will also record and recite any text that you type into the Cortana Search Box, which may feel excessive.

You may have inadvertently turned on the Narrator feature, which is used by visually impaired users to better navigate the system without having to type.

To turn the Narrator off, you can either repeat the keyboard combination, CTRL + Windows Key + Enter or go to the Narrator settings app and tap Exit. To keep the Narrator from accidentally coming on again, go back to the Settings > General and uncheck the Enable the shortcut to launch Narrator box. Problem solved.

Microsoft is releasing a large update for Windows 10, which they have dubbed the “Anniversary Update.” There is no official release date at the time of this writing, but it is expected this summer, near the one year anniversary of Windows 10’s release. This update promises dozens of changes to Windows, some behind the scenes and some front-and-center. Let’s take a look at the three changes that will be significant for Realtors.

Additional Security with Windows Defender

Virus, Malware, Adware…. These issues are among the top reasons Realtors call Tech Helpline, so we know additional security will be beneficial.

Although viruses, malware, adware plague Windows users, historically it has always been a bad idea to run more than one anti-virus at the same time. For example, having both Norton and McAfee on the same computer leaves you just as vulnerable as having no anti-virus at all. But no single anti-virus is perfect enough to catch everything, so having a second line of defense, such as anti-malware software, helps keep you safe without causing issues. With the Anniversary Update, the built-in Windows Defender can be set up as a “second opinion” anti-virus that won’t interfere with your main protection.

To enable Windows Defender as a second anti-virus, you will need to go to your Start Menu (in the bottom-left corner of your screen) and click “Settings.” From there, click “Update & Security,” then “Windows Defender.” If you have an anti-virus other than Windows Defender installed you will see an option called “Periodic Scanning.” Once that is enabled, you will have even more protection against malicious software! Please note that this option won’t appear if you don’t have an anti-virus beside Windows Defender installed.

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

Windows Update is Less Intrusive

One of the complaints we hear from Windows users is about the constant reminder to install the latest updates every few weeks. If the warnings are ignored, your computer can unexpectedly restart itself to install the updates – while you’re using the computer – costing you time and patience. With the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, you will be able to set “active hours” during which Windows will avoid updating.

You will be able to set your active hours by going to your Start Menu (in the bottom-left corner of your screen) and click “Settings.” From there, click “Update & Security,” then “Windows Update.” At the bottom of the screen, click on “Change active hours” to set the time when you are likely to use the computer. No more Windows Update woes!

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

Cortana (Search Assistant) Upgrade

It seems like everyone has a digital assistant these days. Apple iPhone users have Siri, Amazon users have Alexa, Windows 10 users have Cortana, and they are all trying to out-perform each other. Until now, Cortana has had limited use for most people. With the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, Cortana is learning a lot of new tricks.

Cortana will be able to communicate with Android phones in order to show your phone notifications on the computer, as well as sending text messages right from your desktop. To enable those features, you will need to make sure you have the Cortana app installed on your Android or Windows phone (sorry iPhone users, it’s not compatible with iOS).

Cortana has always been able to listen to commands – any computer with a microphone enabled you to talk to ‘her’– but now Cortana can now understand more of what you’re saying. For example, you can tell Cortana to “Send Chuck the PowerPoint I worked on last night” and she will understand which file you mean, which contact you mean, and can send it by email. Cortana can also be used to set reminders, schedule appointments, and will notify you if any appointments conflict. This will be very handy to help you juggle your busy schedule.

And Then Some

There are dozens of new features, from an improved lock screen, to more powerful battery controls, to improved and more robust security options; the Windows 10 Anniversary Update promises to make an already great operating system even better. You can read about them here, or watch them here.

Not a Windows 10 user yet?

Just a reminder that the free Windows 10 upgrade offer ends July 29, 2016. Upgrade for free.

Remember: Tech Support is a Member Benefit

If you have any questions or need assistance changing to Windows 10, you reach out to your friendly Tech Helpline team. There is no additional cost to you because it is an included member benefit.

Contributions to this article were made by Charley Englert, Tech Helpline Team

The Windows Update mechanism has become an important tool in the fight against malware and cybercriminals. Windows 10 now automatically checks for patches that will close security loopholes and repair the bugs used by hackers to gain control of your computer.

To further reduce the risk of your computer being compromised, it is important that patches are installed as soon as possible after they are released. But many people simply forget to check for these updates regularly, so it may be weeks or months before their PC is patched.

The Windows Update mechanism has been designed specifically to help solve this problem. By default, patches and updates are downloaded and installed automatically so you don’t have to remember to carry out checks yourself. And because the installation process completes automatically, there’s no risk of forgetting.

Unfortunately, Windows 10 has an annoying habit of installing updates at the most inconvenient time. Need to shut down your PC in a hurry? That’s usually the time Windows picks to carry out an extended update.

You cannot shut the computer down in the middle of the update – instead you must wait for the process to complete. And wait. And wait. And wait.

Fortunately, there is a way to delay installation until a time that is more convenient for you.

Schedule reboots to suit your timetable

Windows 10 downloads patches in the background, so you probably won’t even notice it happening – but you will be prompted to reboot to complete the install. When this happens, open the Settings app and you will see two options: Restart now and Schedule the restart.

When you select Schedule the restart, you can choose a time and date that is more convenient – up to six days in the future. If you want Windows to warn you that it is about to reboot, click Advanced options, followed by the “We’ll show a reminder when we’re going to restart. If you want to see more notifications about restarting, turn this on” option.

This way you won’t be caught out by the next restart.

Tell Windows 10 when you’re busy

Windows 10 also uses the concept of “working hours”, a setting that defines when you will be using your computer – a bit like the 8am – 5pm working day. Windows 10 will not attempt any updates or reboots during that time.

Open the Settings app and head down to Windows Update. Then, click on Change active hours and set the start and finish time for your working hours. Don’t forget to click Save when you’re done.

A final warning

Once a month, Microsoft releases a large collection of patches all at once. Nicknamed “Patch Tuesday”, the release takes place on the second Tuesday of the month, regular as clockwork. If you’re likely to be in a hurry that day, make sure you leave plenty of time to shut your PC or laptop down.

Although you can delay some updates, you really shouldn’t. Allowing your system to update as soon as possible is important for protecting yourself against malware and cybercriminals. You should also ensure that you have an advanced anti-malware suite installed that can protect against infection, like Panda Security.

To learn more about the Windows 10 update mechanism, or how to protect your systems against intruders please get in touch.

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

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Panda Security

Panda Security specializes in the development of endpoint security products and is part of the WatchGuard portfolio of IT security solutions. Initially focused on the development of antivirus software, the company has since expanded its line of business to advanced cyber-security services with technology for preventing cyber-crime.

How do you install updates in Windows 10 awaiting install?

Head to the Windows 10 search box on your taskbar.Type Windows Update (without the quotation marks)Select Check for Updates from the search findings.A Settings window will appear.

Why does Windows 10 say pending install?

It means it’s waiting for a specific condition to full fill. It can be because there is a previous update pending, or the computer is Active Hours, or a restart is required. Check if there is another update pending, If yes, then install it first. Run Windows Update Troubleshooter.

Why Windows updates are not installing?

One of the more obscure reasons why a Windows update might not be installing is because a virus or some kind of spyware is blocking it: malicious apps like these can often be squashed by Windows security updates, which is why they try and stop the latest patches from being installed on your machine.

How do I repair Windows installation?

How To Repair and Restore Windows 10Click Startup Repair.Click System Restore.Select your username.Type “cmd” into the main search box.Right click on Command Prompt and select Run as Administrator.Type sfc /scannow at command prompt and hit Enter.Click on the download link at the bottom of your screen.Click Accept.

Can I turn off my PC while updating?

Restarting/shutting down in the middle of an update installation may cause serious damage to the PC. If the PC shuts down due to power failure then wait for some time and then restart the computer to try installing those updates one more time. Keep us informed to help you further.

What does it mean if your computer is bricked?

Bricking is when an electronic device becomes unusable, often from a failed software or firmware update. If an update error causes system-level damage, the device may not start up or function at all. In other words, the electronic device becomes a paperweight or a “brick.”

How do I know if Windows Update is stuck?

Select the Performance tab, and check activity of CPU, Memory, Disk, and Internet connection. In the case that you see a lot of activity, it means that the update process is not stuck. If you can see little to no activity, that means the update process could be stuck, and you need to restart your PC.

What does bricked mean?

A “bricked” device has lost all functionality. In other words, it’s as useful as a brick.

Can you fix a bricked motherboard?

Yes, it can be done on any motherboard, but some are easier than others. More expensive motherboards usually come with double BIOS option, recoveries, etc. so going back to the stock BIOS is just a matter of letting the board power up and fail a few times. If it’s really bricked, then you need a programmer.

Can a hard bricked phone Be Fixed?

Simple Steps to Unbrick Any Hard Bricked or Dead MTK Android Device. Rooting phones has become a trend now and almost everyone is considering rooting their phones. Rooting can be done by installing rooting software like SP Flash Tool Latest Version and then flashing the modified firmware onto the phone.

Can you fix a bricked console?

A bricked device won’t power on and function normally. A bricked device cannot be fixed through normal means. However, if you tried to power your computer on and it didn’t work properly at all, making it impossible to install an operating system, you could consider the computer bricked.

Are PS5 still bricking?

First of all, we know that the PS5 Rest Mode is bricking consoles. Even if you’re not encountering any issues, we recommend turning off the PS5 Rest Mode right now.

What happens when a console is bricked?

The word “brick”, when used in reference to consumer electronics, describes an electronic device such as a mobile device, game console, or router that, due to severe physical damage, a serious misconfiguration, corrupted firmware, or a hardware problem, can no longer function; it therefore becomes as technologically …

Is it safe to leave my PS5 in rest mode?

Whilst in rest mode, your PS5 will diligently upload any new save files to your PSN Cloud Storage (for both PS4 and PS5 games I might add), meaning you’re safe if anything should happen to your locally-stored save or – heaven’s forbid – your shiny new PS5.

Does the PS5 download faster in rest mode?

It means you don’t need to leave your PS5 on and using energy while it downloads. In fact, while in rest mode, your console will focus its efforts on background tasks – like downloading data. This is a great way to speed up downloads on PS5, especially if you’re not using the console at that time.

Is rest mode bad for PS4?

The PS4 was designed to be put into Rest Mode when you’re not actively using it. The only downside to using Rest Mode is that it uses more electricity than turning off your PS4.

Grimgi

I hope you can help!

Especially after extensive use, my laptop (with a fresh install, up-to-date Windows 10 Home) will occasionally restart instead of shutting down after using the shutdown function in the start menu. So, despite saying that it’s shutting down, it doesn’t power down completely and will restart.

I found the following in the Event Viewer:

When it shuts down normally, I get the following event:

The process C:\Windows\System32\RuntimeBroker.exe (####-PC) has initiated the restart of computer ####-PC on behalf of user ####-PC\#### for the following reason: Other (Unplanned)

When it restarts instead of just shutting down, there is an additional process that comes after shutdown:

The process C:\Windows\ImmersiveControlPanel\SystemSettings.exe (####-PC) has initiated the restart of computer ####-PC on behalf of user ####-PC\#### for the following reason: Other (Unplanned) Reason Code: 0x0 Shutdown Type: restart

These are two different processes? Not sure how to interpret this. Any ideas?

On boot, my computer may also restart 2-3 times and a message along the lines of ‘configuration changed’ will occasionally pop up after the Lenovo logo (before entering the windows sign-in screen).

Also, after installing a feature update for Windows 10 (version 21H1), I clicked the option ‘Shutdown and Install’ and instead it did the install, then said it was restarting, started restarting, and then powered down. And then I turned it on and I had to do ‘Shutdown and Install’ again, and it pretty much did the same thing; with the message ‘Restarting’. It eventually installed successfully.

Finally, there was a one-off incident wherein the laptop (unplugged) spontaneously decided to go to sleep and wouldn’t wake up. Event viewer suggests it was because I was pressing the power button (which I only did a couple of times trying to bring back the sign-in screen).

Information 26/05/2021 17:57:29 Kernel-Power 507 (158)
Information 26/05/2021 17:57:29 Kernel-Power 506 (157)
Information 26/05/2021 17:57:28 Kernel-Power 105 (100) —> I plugged in the charger here
Information 26/05/2021 17:57:18 Kernel-Power 507 (158)
Information 26/05/2021 17:57:18 Kernel-Power 506 (157)
Information 26/05/2021 17:57:17 Kernel-Power 507 (158)
Information 26/05/2021 17:57:17 Kernel-Power 506 (157)
Information 26/05/2021 17:57:16 Kernel-Power 507 (158)
Information 26/05/2021 17:57:16 Kernel-Power 506 (157)
Information 26/05/2021 17:57:15 Kernel-Power 507 (158)
Information 26/05/2021 17:57:10 Kernel-Power 506 (157)
Information 26/05/2021 17:56:59 Kernel-Power 507 (158)
Information 26/05/2021 17:56:59 Kernel-Power 506 (157)
Warning 26/05/2021 17:56:53 Netwtw10 6062 None
Information 26/05/2021 17:56:53 Netwtw10 7021 None
Information 26/05/2021 17:56:52 Kernel-Power 507 (158)
Information 26/05/2021 17:56:52 Kernel-Power 172 (203)
Information 26/05/2021 17:56:52 Kernel-Power 172 (203)

The reason I’m posting this in the Windows 10 section is because I’ve already performed a clean boot (with only windows processes active) and the problem still persisted, so it’s very unlikely that it’s caused by any third-party software.

I’ve also attempted the following:

  • An SFCscan, but no problems were detected.
  • Updating my BIOS and reset BIOS settings
  • Changed the value of “PowerdownAfterShutdown” in Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon (in the Registry Editor) from 0 to 1.
  • Unchecking fast start-up and then disabled it with a script, to be sure
  • Checked whether the problems persisted outside of the ‘active hours’ set by the windows update facility; it does
  • Checked whether this happens only when the computer is plugged / charging; doesn’t change anything
  • Uninstalled Lenovo Vantage (I have the battery gauge setting on)

Any other suggestions for troubleshooting before the daunted and drastic fresh install fix? Could this also be a hardware issue and, if so, what am I looking out for (I don’t have any signs of performance issues so far)?

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

Windows 10 automatically downloads and installs updates as they become available. To stop this, you can “pause” updates for up to 35 days in just a few clicks—even on Windows 10 Home. Here’s what you need to know about pausing Windows Update.

How to Pause Updates for Up to 35 Days

First, launch the Settings screen. You can open the Start menu and click the “Settings” gear icon or press Windows+i to open it.

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

Navigate to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update.

Click the “Pause updates for 7 days” option here. Windows won’t automatically download or install updates for the next 7 days.

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

You can click “Pause updates for 7 days” again to add more time to the pause period. When you reach 35 days, the option will be grayed out—that’s the maximum.

Note: When your pause period expires, Windows Update will automatically download and install any available updates before it will let you pause again.

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

How to Pause Updates Until a Specific Date

You can pause updates until a specific date. On the Windows Update settings screen, click “Advanced options.”

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

Scroll down to the Pause Updates section. Click the “Select date” box and choose the date you want to resume updating Windows.

Scroll down in this list and you can select a date up to 35 days in the future.

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

Note: When the date arrives, Windows will automatically download and install any available updates before letting you pause updating again.

How to Avoid Big Updates

Modern versions of Windows 10 give you more control over those once-every-six-months big feature updates Microsoft releases.

Windows will no longer automatically download and install these updates. When they’re available, you’ll be given them as an option on the Windows Update screen. Just don’t click the “Download and install” below it, and it won’t be installed on your PC.

Note: Windows Update may eventually install these updates automatically—for example, if your current version of Windows 10 is nearly the end of its support period and your PC needs to upgrade to continue receiving security updates.

How to Pause Updates For Longer

You can also gain more control over updates by marking your connections as “metered.” This option is intended for connections where you have a limited allowance of download data.

To mark a connection as metered, head to Settings > Network & Internet. Select “Wi-Fi” for a wireless connection or “Ethernet” for a wired connection. Click the name of the network and activate the “Set as metered connection” option.

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

To ensure Windows won’t automatically download updates on a metered connection, head to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update. Click the “Advanced options” option and ensure “Download updates over metered connections (extra charges may apply)” is set to “Off.”

Note: Windows Update will still automatically download updates on non-metered connections. For example, if you connect a laptop to a different Wi-Fi network that isn’t marked as a metered network in Windows, updating will immediately resume.

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

Use Group Policy for More Control

For businesses that want more control over updates, Microsoft offers a variety of “Windows Update for Business” options that can be configured either in Group Policy or via MDM policies.

These policies require a Professional, Enterprise, or Education version of Windows 10. It won’t work with the standard Windows 10 Home software on most PCs.

However, you can change these settings via the Local Group Policy Editor on a Windows 10 Professional PC, and you can purchase a Windows 10 Professional upgrade from Microsoft to access Group Policy and other features like BitLocker disk encryption. So, if you’re comfortable with Group Policy and are willing to pay extra for Windows 10 Professional, these options are available to home users.

In Group Policy, these options are located at Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update > Windows Update for Business.

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

Be sure to set your Active Hours so Windows 10 doesn’t restart for updates at a bad time. You can “pause” restarting for updates during the hours you normally use your PC, preventing Windows Update from interfering with your PC usage.

One of the big no-nos for some users looking to upgrade do Windows 10 was the fact that Microsoft enforced constant, 6-month update cycles independent of whether users wanted them or not. This move was done to streamline the update process and keep all users at parity when it comes to important security and feature updates that Microsoft considered relevant. However, it seems Microsoft is now abandoning this practice, which means that users that like to know exactly what is being changed in their systems – and at a time of their convenience – now have one less reason to not upgrade.

Not only will Windows no longer push updates inadvertently, now home users will also have the ability to not only pause updates, but also remove them. There’s a caveat, though – you won’t be able to postpone feature updates forever. As it stands, Microsoft has an 18 month “end of life” period for major Windows 10 versions, which means that after your 18 months of postponing updates are up (and all of the kinks have been ironed out), you PC will still update to the latest version. There are some other details, which I will transcribe from the Microsoft blog post for your perusal.

How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

Download and install now option provides users a separate control to initiate the installation of a feature update on eligible devices with no known key blocking compatibility issues. Users can still “Check for updates” to get monthly quality and security updates. Windows will automatically initiate a new feature update if the version of Windows 10 is nearing end of support. We may notify you when a feature update is available and ready for your machine. All Windows 10 devices with a supported version will continue to automatically receive the monthly updates. This new “download and install” option will also be available for our most popular versions of Windows 10, versions 1803 and 1809, by late May.

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  • NO
    FWIW ‘metered’ only applies to Wifi connections. Plug in an ethernet cable to a router EVEN IF that router is connected to a cellular or other bandwidth capped connection and it doesn’t work.

    MS are making a bad assumption here. That you have lots of bandwidth at home but the only time you are on the meter is at Starbucks or something. But from their POV if they just allow you to say that everything is metered some people just will never download any updates.

    Later: it looks like you can make this work but it is not clear if it really does.

    How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

    Today we’re taking a peek at the latest way to pause Windows updates with Windows 10. This system worked as of October 20, 2020, and will likely work pretty far into the future. Before you go any further, remember that pausing updates from Microsoft could result in less-than-stellar issues if you do not stay up-to-date with security fixes. If you pause updates, it should (probably) only be for a limited time.

    You can pause automatic updates in Windows 10 by heading to the Start menu. Go Start – Update & Security – Windows Update – Advanced Options. In Advanced Options under Windows Update, you’ll find a “Pause Updates” switch. It is this switch that you’ll need to flip.

    UPDATE for clarity: If you’re reading this guide on October 20, 2020, or later, you MAY have slightly different options. Still go to Start – Settings – Update & Security – and you’ll find a “Pause updates for 7 days” button. This menu also allows you to change active hours, view update history, or access advanced options.

    How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

    It is in Advanced Options menu that you’ll find “Receive updates for other Microsoft products when you update Windows.” You’ll also find “Download updates over metered connections” and “Restart this device as soon as possible when a restart is required to install an update.”

    Options in this Advanced Options menu allow you to pause updates for up to a month beyond your current date. You can also “choose when updates are installed” for “feature update” and “quality update” scheduling separately.

    How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad time

    Why would I pause Windows updates?

    Issues arise from time to time with Windows 10 updates from Microsoft. Though there’s little reason to believe Microsoft and its developers have any ill intent, bad updates appear every once in a while. Occasionally Microsoft will be in the process of fixing a Windows 10 issue before they’ve paused the update outright. That is a good time to pause updates for yourself.

    Again, it’s important that you avoid pausing updates forever, since Microsoft is (as far as we know) still in the business of keeping Windows 10 functional and profitable for all users. That includes keeping users like you safe from malicious entities who’d otherwise aim to leverage vulnerabilities that inevitably pop up over time. Take a peek at the SlashGear Windows 10 tag portal to see the latest in Windows 10 updates – generally the biggest news bits tend to be about issues, when said updates aren’t major changes in the way Windows 10 operates.

    How to set “active hours” so windows 10 won’t restart at a bad timeThe dreaded Windows updates. You know you need them, but do you really want them? After all, there are hundreds of them. Microsoft says they are there to patch up vulnerabilities. Do we even know what that means!?

    First of all, why do we really need Windows updates? Really, you can think of Windows updates as a Microsoft support mulligan. They did not foresee its operating system being open to a hacker, a virus, some threat, and now it’s taking back some of its code to improve it and add some other slow-moving software update to patch it. On a more positive note, Microsoft also puts out Windows updates so your newer software can be compatible and play nicely together.

    So, why do Windows updates take so long to install?

    When you click, the Windows icon on the bottom-right of your computer, these are the steps Microsoft takes:

    1. Microsoft first runs a detailed system inventory to find what needs to be updated or what can be updated (critical and optional updates).
    2. Then, the Microsoft server downloads, extracts, and verifies via checksums the updates.
    3. Next, the updates actually start installing. This means your computer has to stop services, copy files, check files again for checksums, look at the versions for consistency, and the services are started again.
    4. Also, a double-check phase occurs where Microsoft re-checks that all settings were applied correctly after the installs and all is working consistently.
    5. When you thought all was good and done, after a restart, Windows installs subsequent updates that were unable to be run concurrently with the previous Windows updates install. This is the most annoying and time consuming part. For Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10, this reboot and update process has been known to take days to complete!

    The point with Windows updates is that you shouldn’t expect for them to complete all in one full swoop. Just expect every restart you perform to be accompanied with more Windows updates. Don’t like it? Move to a Mac! Otherwise, grin and bear the protective nature of Windows updates. If you have a Windows update issue, this is not uncommon due to the amount of Windows updates installed and how if one goes wrong, the whole subsequent stack of updates may not run. You can try installing one update at a time if you run into this issue to flesh out the culprit or seek out a Windows update computer expert for help.