How to Configure Windows 10 to Notify You When a Restart Is Required

Microsoft dramatically changed business models by introducing Windows 10 “as a service,” rather than a typical version release. The effect of this new model is Windows 10 will continually evolve to include new features by way of updates. Because these updates keep your operating system on the cutting edge, Microsoft decided it’s in your best interest to automate the process and prevent you from stopping their installation.

Although that’s mostly a good thing to ensure an up-to-date system with the newest features and security patches, it can also be problematic when these updates require a system restart, which is more common than you might expect. There you are working tirelessly on a project and all of a sudden your system reboots, losing all your progress. This has reportedly happened to numerous Windows 10 users already.

Fortunately, you can avoid this problem by configuring Windows to notify you of a required restart, so you have the opportunity to schedule an appropriate time to reboot. This won’t prevent updates from occurring, but at least you’ll know when they will occur and can plan accordingly.

Scheduling Reboots

1. Click the Start button and select Settings.

2. Click Update & Security.

3. Click Advanced Options from the Windows Update tab.

4. Click the Choose How Updates Are Installed drop-down menu. If you haven’t scheduled restarts, it should currently show Automatic (Recommended).

5. Select Notify to Schedule Restart from the drop-down menu options.

If you have Windows 10 Enterprise or Professional, you’ll also notice another option: Defer Upgrades. By checking this option, updates are delayed for up to several months, during which time Windows 10 Home users are forced to receive the potentially problematic upgrades, report errors and have the upgrades corrected before your system is affected.

6. Click the Settings back arrow to return to the previous page.

7. If there is an update that needs a system restart, the option to set a time appears here (the Windows Update tab). Click the Select a Restart Time option and enter an appropriate time and day to schedule the restart. Alternatively, keep We’ll Schedule a Restart… option selected if the proposed time is acceptable. You can also click Restart Now to go ahead and get it over with.