Stop Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8 from automatically rebooting the server after logging in

One of the recent issues in managing Windows Server 2012 is the way Automatic Updates works by default. If automatic updates are installed on a server, it may or may not automatically reboot the server or PC.

At the log in screen, you may see this message.

Upon logging in, you may be faced with the prospect of the server rebooting in 15 minutes. The countdown timer has started and there is no apparent way to click on a “Postpone” button.

In many cases, this will cause some distress. Particularly if this is a Hyper-V host server, and you have an entire network of 120 users accessing the virtual machines!

Fortunately, there is a fix to prevent the server from counting down and restarting.

  1. Open an administrative command prompt.
    to stop the Windows Update service.

This will stop the Windows Update service, and stop the countdown timer until the server is restarted manually. Don’t forget to restart the server at the next possible opportunity.

8 thoughts on “Stop Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8 from automatically rebooting the server after logging in”

    1. Thanks Michael,
      That will be useful in getting the server to automatically restart after updates. However, there may be a time, when you may not wish a server to restart automatically or to count down when you log in to work on a server. This will be useful in delayng that countdown until a reasonable restart time is scheduled.

  1. What sort of halfwit thought that allowing a server to reboot automatically when a user logs in was a good idea? probably the same moron who removed a useful message tracking interface from Exchange 2013.

    1. I’m still searching for the message tracking interface. It was invaluable in Exchange 2007 and 2010 and the powershell just isn’t as useful.

  2. Nice article, but doesn’t work for me. I get an error “The Windows Update service is not started”… followed by the annoying countdown and an automatic restart.

    I kid you not 🙁

    1. I had that same issue when logging into a server as the administrator and running CMD as administrator. The user that logged in to trigger the automatic restart however was a different domain admin. When I logged on as that user, ran the CMD as administrator, and typed in the command it successfully stopped the service.

      … now to see if this actually works….

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