Skip to main content

Windows 8 will still automatically reboot your PC, but it will be nicer about it, says Microsoft

Image used with permission by copyright holder

There is nothing worse than Windows 7 automatically restarting your PC when you’re not around, but it does it all the time. Windows Updates are frequently downloaded, but often cannot complete installation until your PC is completely restarted. Instead of asking, Windows 7 just says it’s going to reboot your PC in a few minutes and starts a countdown clock. Manually, you can delay this process if you happen to be at your computer (for up to 4 hours), but if you stepped away to do anything, you could lose everything you’ve been working on. It’s both intrusive and scary, but Microsoft insists that it’s an important feature. With Windows 8, the team is making a few improvements to the system.

In a lengthy blog post, Farzana Rahman, the group program manager for Windows Update, explained that Updates will wait until the big monthly Security update to force a reboot of your Windows 8 machine, meaning it will still have to be restarted once every month. However, instead of giving no warning and just shutting everything down, a notification will appear on the Windows log in screen for three days, asking you to restart or it will do it automatically. When a restart is forced, applications will be able to save their state better as well. We assume this means Microsoft will begin mandating the log in screen. Currently, though widely adopted, it is an optional feature. 

Rahman also took a moment to explain that Windows Update will not begin serving all third party application updates because Microsoft doesn’t have the resources to thoroughly vet every single app update in the world. Much like iOS, Android, and Windows Phone, Windows 8 will have an app store that developers can use which has a built-in updating feature, allowing all publishers to push out app updates to users. 

The automatic restarting has helped about 90 percent of PCs regularly get important security updates, claims Microsoft. Still, it’s annoying that a lot of software can be installed on a machine without rebooting now, but almost every Microsoft program or update requires a full restart. You would think Microsoft software would be the easiest and most seamless to install. After all, Microsoft makes the OS. 

Editors' Recommendations

Jeffrey Van Camp
Former Digital Trends Contributor
As DT's Deputy Editor, Jeff helps oversee editorial operations at Digital Trends. Previously, he ran the site's…
Flouting Microsoft’s rules, man gets Windows 11 to work on a 15-year-old PC
Windows 11 is displayed on a laptop screen. The laptop is on a desk flanked by a task lamp and vase with flowers.

Amid Microsoft's statements that Windows 11 was made for newer machines, creative users continue to prove that you can run Microsoft's latest operating system on most computers. This time, a Twitter user managed to successfully install and run Windows 11 on an Intel Pentium 4-based system.

The news emerged when Twitter user Carlos S.M. posted screenshots, and later a video, of his computer running Windows 11. The video includes benchmarks that prove just how old all the components are, starting with the 15-year-old processor.

Read more
More than 60% of PC owners haven’t even heard of Windows 11
One of the wallpapers from the Windows 11 sunset theme.

Microsoft has a big change coming soon in the form of Windows 11, but that doesn't mean word has spread to the masses just yet. According to a survey by, 62% of Windows users are unaware of the existence of Windows 11. recently carried out a survey to “gauge awareness and excitement for Windows 11." A total of 1,042 current Windows users were asked about their awarenessof  and eagerness to upgrade to Windows 11.

Read more
Enable these 3 easy Windows settings to drastically improve your PC’s security
microsoft defender ccleaner unwanted application windows

These days, it seems like there's always a ton of security issues in Windows. PrintNightmare, malware, spyware, and viruses are just a few examples.

So, how you do protect yourself? Investing in antivirus software is one obvious answer, but there are also some built-in tools in Windows 10 (and in the upcoming Windows 11) that can help you improve the security of your system. We've gathered up a list of these tools for you below.
Enable Windows Security ransomware protection

Read more