Change Active Hours for Windows Update in Windows 10  

How to Change Active Hours for Windows Update in Windows 10

Windows Update keeps Windows 10 updated by downloading and installing the latest updates, drivers, and hotfixes released by Microsoft.

Starting with Windows 10 build 14316, you can now set the time in which you are most active on your device by adjusting active hours. Active hours lets Windows know when you usually use this device. When a restart is necessary to finish installing an update, Windows won’t automatically restart your device during active hours.

When a restart is scheduled, you can use a custom restart time to temporarily override active hours and schedule a custom time to finish installing the current update(s). When your computer restarts on the scheduled custom time, custom restart time will automatically be turned off, and Windows Update will only restart outside of active hours again. You can also manually turn off custom restart time at anytime if you change your mind.

Starting with Windows 10 build 14942, Active hours valid range is now up to 18 hours instead of the previous 12 hours between start and end time.

The default active hours is 8 AM (8 on 24 hour clock) for Start time and 5 PM (17 on 24 hour clock) End time.

This tutorial will show you how to set active hours for when you use your PC to not automatically restart your Windows 10 PC during this time to finish installing a Windows Update.

 CONTENTS:

  • Option One: To Set Active Hours for Windows Update in Settings
  • Option Two: To Set Active Hours for Windows Update in Registry Editor
  • Option Three: To Set Active Hours GPO for Windows Update in Local Group Policy Editor
  • Option Four: To Set Active Hours GPO for Windows Update in Registry Editor

EXAMPLE: Active Hours in Windows Update

OPTION ONE

To Set Active Hours for Windows Update in Settings

Any user on the PC will be able to change this setting that will affect all users.
1. Open Settings, and click/tap on the Update & security icon.

2. Click/tap on Windows Update on the left side, and click/tap on the Change active hours link under Update settings. (see screenshot below)

3. Starting with Windows 10 build 18282, you will need to click/tap on the Change link. (see screenshot below)

4. Set the Start time and End time to the active hours you want by clicking/tap the hour for Start time, select an hour in the menu, select AM or PM in the menu, click/tap on the check mark in the menu, repeat for End time, and click/tap on Save when finished. (see screenshots below)

5. You can now close Settings if you like.

OPTION TWO

To Set Active Hours for Windows Update in Registry Editor

You must be signed in as an administrator to be able to do this option.
1. Press the Win+R keys to open Run, type regedit, and click/tap on OK to open Registry Editor.

2. If prompted by UAC, click/tap on Yes.

3. Browse to the registry key below in Registry Editor. (see screenshot below)
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsUpdateUXSettings


4. In the right pane of the Settings key, double click/tap on the ActiveHoursStart DWORD to modify it. (see screenshot below step 3)

5. Select (dot) Decimal, type in an hour (ex: 8) using the 24 hour clock format for your active hours Start time, and click/tap on OK. (see screenshot below)

6. In the right pane of the Settings key, double click/tap on the ActiveHoursEnd DWORD to modify it. (see screenshot below step 3)

7. Select (dot) Decimal, type in an hour (ex: 17) using the 24 hour clock format for your active hours End time, and click/tap on OK. (see screenshot below)

8. Close Registry Editor.

OPTION THREE

To Set Active Hours GPO for Windows Update in Local Group Policy Editor

You must be signed in as an administrator to be able to do this option.

If enabled, this option will remove the Change active hours link in Settings in Option One, and override Option Two.

The Local Group Policy Editor is only available in the Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, and Education editions.

All editions can use Option Four below.
1. Open the Local Group Policy Editor.

2. In the left pane of Local Group Policy Editor, navigate to the location below. (see screenshot below)
Computer ConfigurationAdministrative TemplatesWindows ComponentsWindows Update


3. In the right pane of Windows Update in Local Group Policy Editor, double click/tap on the Turn off auto-restart for updates during active hours policy to edit it. (see screenshot above)
If any of the following two policies are enabled, this policy has no effect:

1. No auto-restart with logged on users for scheduled automatic updates installations
2. Always automatically restart at scheduled time

4. Do step 5 (default) or step 6 (specify) below for what you would like to do.

 5. Use Default Active Hours GPO
A) Select (dot) Not Configured or Disabled, click/tap on OK, and go to step 7 below. (see screenshot below)

Not Configured is the default setting.

 6. Specify Active Hours GPO
A) Select (dot) Enabled, and perform the actions below:

  • In the Start drop menu, select the start time you want for active hours.
  • In the Ends drop menu, select the end time you want for active hours.
  • Click/tap on OK, and go to step 7 below. (see screenshot below)


7. When finished, close the Local Group Policy Editor.

8. Restart the computer to apply.

OPTION FOUR

To Set Active Hours GPO for Windows Update in Registry Editor

You must be signed in as an administrator to be able to do this option.

If enabled, this option will remove the Change active hours link in Settings in Option One, and override Option Two.
1. Do step 2 (specify) or step 3 (default) below for what you would like to do.

 2. Specify Active Hours GPO
A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below.

This downloadable .reg file will add the registry keys and values for you to make it easier to specify what you want starting at step 2D below.
Add_to_registry_Active_Hours_for_group_policy.reg


B) Double click/tap on the downloaded .reg file to merge it.

C) When prompted, click/tap on Run, Yes (UAC), Yes, and OK to approve the merge.

D) Press the Win+R keys to open Run, type regedit into Run, and click/tap on OK to open Registry Editor.

E) Navigate to the key below in the left pane of Registry Editor. (see screenshot below)
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftWindowsWindowsUpdate


F) In the right pane of the WindowsUpdate key, double click/tap on the ActiveHoursStart DWORD to modify it. (see screenshot below step 2E)

G) Select (dot) Decimal, type in an hour (ex: 8 for 8 AM) using the 24 hour clock format for the active hours Start time you want, and click/tap on OK. (see screenshot below)

H) In the right pane of the WindowsUpdate key, double click/tap on the ActiveHoursEnd DWORD to modify it. (see screenshot below step 2E)

I) Select (dot) Decimal, type in an hour (ex: 17 for 5 PM) using the 24 hour clock format for the active hours End time you want, and click/tap on OK. (see screenshot below)

J) Close Registry Editor, and go to step 4 below.

 3. Use Default Active Hours GPO
This is the default setting.
A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below.
Default_Active_Hours_for_group_policy.reg


B) Double click/tap on the downloaded .reg file to merge it.

C) When prompted, click/tap on Run, Yes (UAC), Yes, and OK to approve the merge.

D) Go to step 4 below.
4. Restart the computer to apply.

5. You can now delete the downloaded .reg file if you like.

That’s it,
Shawn

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