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Windows 10 lets you schedule Windows Update restarts

Gone are the days of losing hours of work to a poorly-timed Windows Update!

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Sarah Jacobsson Purewal/CNET

Windows Update has been the bane of my existence -- until now. Here's why: While I appreciate the convenience of automatic downloads and installs, I do not appreciate automatic restarts. Luckily, Windows 10 now lets you schedule restarts for a specified time, no more "Remind me in 4 hours" pop-ups!

In the Windows 10 Technical Preview, Windows Update still downloads and installs updates automatically. And if you have Windows Update set to "automatic," it will work like it does in previous versions of Windows: it will wait until your computer is idling (this usually happens when you're in the middle of a major, unsaved project and you've just stepped away from your desk for an impromptu meeting with your boss), and it will restart automatically.

But if you'd rather not have this happen, you can now set up your PC to prompt you to schedule a specific restart time. Gone are the days of losing hours of work to a poorly-timed Windows Update! Here's how to do it.

1. Open the Settings menu and click Update & recovery.

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Under the Update & recovery screen, you can check for updates. Sarah Jacobsson Purewal/CNET


2. Under Windows Update, click Check for updates. If there's a new update available, your device will download and install the update. If the update requires a restart, you'll see a new section in the Windows Update window that says "A restart has been scheduled." Under this section, you can choose to have the computer automatically restart ("during a time you don't usually use your device"), or you can click Select a restart time to choose the time and day you want the restart to occur. If you want to simply restart the computer now, click Restart now.

You can now schedule a specific time to restart your computer. Sarah Jacobsson Purewal/CNET

3. To set up your computer to always prompt you to schedule a restart time, click Advanced options. Under Choose how updates are installed,choose Notify to schedule restart from the dropdown menu.

Use the Advanced options screen to set up your computer to always prompt you to schedule a restart time. Sarah Jacobsson Purewal/CNET

And that's it -- now updates requiring a restart will prompt you to schedule a specific restart time, so you no longer have to worry about leaving your computer alone.