Disable the “Install Updates and Shut Down” Option in Windows

install-updates-and-shutdownHave you ever been annoyed at the Install Updates and Shut Down message that displays after Windows Update runs in the background?

It’s easy to avoid this message entirely and force any pending updates to stay associated with the yellow shield in the system tray. This is one setting that I always configure for any machine under my control, mainly to inspect any pending updates before I choose to install them. It’s also handy for avoiding the dreaded WGA notification tool.

On to business: this tip works on XP, Vista, and Windows 7.

First, launch the Group Policy editor by going to Start – Run, and typing:

gpedit.msc

Note: if you don’t see the Start → Run button, just press the Windows key + R.

Once the Group Policy editor opens, expand Computer Configuration, then Administrative Templates, then Windows Components.

group-policy-editor-windows-components

Select the Windows Update component to view a list of settings. Double-click the setting for Do not display ‘Install Updates and Shut Down’ option in Shut Down Windows dialog box.

group-policy-editor-windows-update

In the window that spawns, set it to Enabled and click OK. I agree that this is somewhat unintuitive to enable it, but remember that you are affirming a negative, if that makes sense.

group-policy-editor-windows-update-enable

That’s it! You should no longer see the Install Updates and Shut Down message.

13 thoughts on “Disable the “Install Updates and Shut Down” Option in Windows

  1. Brian,

    “That’s it! You should no longer see the Install Updates and Shut Down message”

    OUTSTANDING – Works like a charm!

    Thank You Very much,

    Dave

  2. Hi, thanks for this article, however there are few inaccuracies…
    The first screen is probably taken from win xp, the others from Vista.
    I was hoping this will work for win xp as well (as writen in this article) but it is not.
    The .adm file (which is the file this template comes from) is “wuau.adm”.
    .adm files can be downloaded directly from Microsoft web page here:
    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=92759d4b-7112-4b6c-ad4a-bbf3802a5c9b&displaylang=en#filelist
    Regarding win xp there are .adm files up to SP2 and there is exactly this date “wuau.adm, 7/17/2004″. On my system the file comes from 8/18/2004 (I have SP3 and all updates) so there was probably some minor update on this file…
    The point is that there no such option in this template. I think this option cames probably with Vista.
    And now the funniest thing, here is webpage of Microsoft technet page describing (like in this article) that this option came with Win XP SP2…
    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb457141.aspx

  3. This doesn’t work on Win 7. I have no Local Group Policy editor. I typed in the gpedit.msc & it wasn’t there. I also searched throughout my entire computer – no luck. I found services, but no policy editor. I could turn on or off the winUpdates, but no choices were given to be able to mess with the shutdown option.

  4. Hey! Bless your heart! I was vexed with this. I got this computer XP PRO spyware the rogue security threats and did a system restore. the machine never rebooted. then I learned how to do a system restore from safe mode command prompt and restroed it even further back and it worked fine everything great but the sheild always appeared and whenyou clicked on it it instaqlled 10 updates and never rebooted. then into safemode back to system restore and it would be ok but the updates would be there andif you forgot and cilcked the turn off botton BAM they installed andit wouldnt reboot. back to safe mode and system restore again. this ugly cycle had to end and you helped . thanks worked great Flawless I loked for a long Just goes to show how important those words you put into the search engones are. thanks again. Mad maven aka Leslie O

  5. FRICKITY FRICK FRICK FRICK! My computer runs on Windows 7 and there is no Group Policy editor! Every time my computer shuts down, it sits there saying it’s installing Update 1 of 15 for about 45 minutes before I finally have to turn the thing off! I need this thing for college NOW! Should I just stop shutting it down completely or what? I don’t know what to do! Someone help!

  6. Stacymay Denny:
    For whatever weird reason or bug, Windows 7 sometimes hides the Group Policy Editor in the Control Panel. In case you can’t even open it by typing gpedit.msc though, that’s really weird.
    Try opening the Control Panel and typing “group” in the search field to the top right. The Group Policy Editor node should appear under the Administrative Tools heading. If your Windows’ language is not set to English you have to search for the appropriate translation of “group policy”.

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