Microsoft Tweaks Windows Update's Automatic Restarts In Windows 8

Brad Chacos

One of the minor annoyances of computer usage is needing to restart your computer. Yeah, it doesn’t take too long – especially if you have a speedy SSD drive – but it’s still downtime that interrupts your previously scheduled Skyrim time. Microsoft has been working to reduce the number of restarts required to run a computer, buy hey, they still need to happen every now and again. Windows 8 will make some changes to the Windows Update and automatic restart process to make restarts as infrequent and unobtrusive as possible.

Unless a critical update is pushed out, your Windows 8 PC will only restart once per month, on Patch Tuesday. “With this improvement, it does not matter when updates that require restarts are released in a month, since these restarts will wait till the security release,” Microsoft's Farzana Rahman writes on the Building Windows 8 blog .

Once the security update is downloaded, Windows 8 will prompt you to install the updates and restart your PC for three days, using a message on the login screen. “You will no longer see any pop-up notifications or dialogs about pending restarts,” Rahman writes, so you won’t have to worry about a prompt interrupting you in the midst of a streaming movie – or an important business presentation.

If you haven’t told the computer to restart by the end of those three days, Windows 8 will restart your computer automatically. If you have any “critical applications” open, it won’t automatically restart until the next time you log in, at which point a 15 minute countdown timer will be displayed and you’ll  be warned to save your data before time runs out. You won’t be able to postponethe restart the way you can on current Windows 7 and Vista.

So, Maximum PC readers, will you miss the ability to delay restarts in Windows 8 (beyond the three days, that is), or does the lack of in-use prompts make up for it?

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