I have installed a new windows machine and configured windows update to automatically download updates.

I need to quickly reboot the machine and I forgot to click the fly out window that allows the system to shut down without installing updates.

Now I have to wait for 92 updates to install. Is there anything I can do to cancel the updates and shutdown quickly?

closed as off-topic by Greg Askew, womble Sep 21 '15 at 0:51

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions on Server Fault must be about managing information technology systems in a business environment. Home and end-user computing questions may be asked on Super User, and questions about development, testing and development tools may be asked on Stack Overflow." – womble
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 1
    When faced with the option of missing the last express train home or leaving your computer on all night, always choose the latter. – TTT Jan 28 '15 at 23:17
  • It isn't offtopic if this is a server! OP doesn't specify. – dunxd Feb 4 '17 at 12:32


If you rename or remove C:\Windows\WinSxS\pending.xml file, you could postpone update to next reboot. I advice renaming it. It may require changing the permissions and ownership of the file. I haven't tested it on running windows image, but I am sure it works when you interrupt windows boot. Boot into recovery mode or from windows installation disc (shift+F10) start cmd, remove the file, next reboot will install updates.

  • 1
    What an awful hack. – duenni Jan 29 '15 at 10:18
  • It is usually done when you encounter cyclic reboot due "configuring updates" we use it often with other steps to correct windows update. – flipvarga Jan 29 '15 at 10:23


You either do a hard shut down by killing the power to the device (pull the plug or hold down the power button) and risk corrupting the OS, or you can wait for it to finish, but there is no way to interact with the OS once it's started the process of shutting down and applying updates.


Next time, use the command line.

shutdown -f -r -t 0

To restart, for shutdown use -s

This will skip installing updates.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.