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I have a Windows box I would like to manage remotely. When I logged in this morning, the Start menu shows a ! next to the Shutdown button, notifying me there are updates to install. But the only option it gives me to install the updates is to then shutdown. Is there not a way to tell it to "install updates and restart" ?

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What version of Windows? – Andy Shinn Jun 4 '12 at 17:20
Don't forget to mark answers on your questions - even the ones that you've ended up answering yourself. – mfinni Jun 5 '12 at 19:42
In case you wind up wanting to script the process, this may serve as a useful starting point: – Harry Johnston Jun 6 '12 at 3:10
This is by design, Microsoft assume you don't care generally don't care how long a shutdown takes (unless it's due to power failure, then a shutdown -s -t 00 would avoid updates) but you would care about how long a restart takes, seeing as restarting implies you want the services hosted on the box up and running. – Alex Berry Nov 7 '12 at 16:40
up vote 13 down vote accepted

Yes. You can install all of the updates available - via either Windows Update in your Control Panel, or the yellow WU shield in the system tray near the clock. Then, when that's done, you can do a reboot from the Start Menu (or calling shutdown /r from the command line.)

The only other ways to automate it all in one step is via writing your own code (not just a simple script), or using add-on tools, free or commercial, from either MS or 3rd parties.

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Yep, install manually and then do a normal restart. – Brent Pabst Jun 4 '12 at 16:41
normal restart does not appear to actually install the updates. – CoolUserName Jun 4 '12 at 16:42
CoolUserName - yes, I know. That's why I said 1) install the updates and then 2) do a restart. – mfinni Jun 4 '12 at 17:02

There are certain benefits to installing updates during rebooting/shut-down:

  • The installation is not slowed down, or tampered with by other running software, AVP, etc.

  • There's no UI to deal with, click through, etc. It goes through faster. When it's done, in case of a reboot, the computer is ready to go.

Unfortunately there seems to be no way to do it with Microsoft provided tools. I use this free utility that will do it for you. I created a shortcut with the following parameters and placed it into my Start button menu:

ShutdownWithUpdates /r /f

From what I see it can also reboot and install updates on a remote workstation in an active directory setup.

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There is no way to initate a "Install Updates and Restart" manually. You could set a time for the updates to install, and then specify that the machine can reboot after Automatic Updates, either via the Automatic Updates (or Windows Update) control panel, directly via the registry, or via Group Policy:

But as far as a one-click "Install updates and reboot" option, there is none.

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In Windows 10 there is – Mick Dec 17 '15 at 14:14

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