How to enable / disable Active Hours on Windows 10

How to enable / disable Active Hours on Windows 10

To control when Windows 10 installs updates and reboots the system, you should enable Active Hours in Windows 10. Here’s how.

What is Active Hours?

The automatic updates in Windows 10 are quite helpful. They ensure your machine is up to date and patched. However, one major downside of automatic updates is that the system may force a reboot to complete the update installation. While this isn’t an issue for the vast majority of users, it can be annoying at times. To avoid this type of behavior, you need to turn on the Active Hours feature.

As you can guess from the name, Active Hours is the time you spend on your computer. Once activated, Windows will only install after-hours updates. For example, if you work on your system all day, from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., you can set that time period as Active Hours. After setting up Active Hours, Windows won’t install updates until after 10 p.m. and before 7 a.m.

The Active Hours feature is quite useful. Especially for home users who often turn off the system at night.

Enable / Disable Windows Update Active Hours in Settings

1. Open Settings, then click the Update & Security icon.

2. Next, click Windows Update in the list of the left pane, and then click the Change active hours link .

Select the Change active hours link

3. Turn off the Automatically adjust active hours based on activity option .

4. Now, click on the Change link .

Click the Change link

5. Set the start and end time in Start time and End time. The maximum interval is 18 hours.

6. Finally, click Save .

Select Save

7. Turn on the switch under Automatically adjust active hours based on activity option .

Turn on the switch below the option Automatically adjust active hours based on activity

8. Close Settings.

9. Restart Windows 10.

You have successfully enabled Active Hours and configured it to reboot when you are not using the system. If you open the Settings app and go to Update & Security> Windows Security , you will see the current active hours under the option ” Change active hours “.

You will see current operating hours in the option “Change active hours”.

Enable / disable Active Hours using Registry Editor

To enable / disable Windows Update Active Hours on Windows 10, follow the steps below:

1. Open the Start menu by pressing the Win key.

2. Enter the registry editor and click the result to open Registry Editor.

3. On the Registry Editor interface, copy the following registry path:

HKLMSoftwarePoliciesMicrosoftWindowsWindowsUpdate

4. Paste the copied path into Registry Editor’s address bar and press Enter .

5. Right-click on the WindowsUpdate folder and select New> Dword (32-bit) Value .

6. Name the value SetActiveHours.

7. Double-click SetActiveHours.

8. Enter 1 in the Value Data field and click OK.

9. Right-click on the WindowsUpdate folder again and select New> Dword value .

10. Name the value ActiveHoursStart.

11. Double-click the ActiveHoursStart value .

12. In the Value Data field, enter a number between 0 and 23. The number range represents 24 hours, where 0 is 12 a.m. and 23 p.m. 11 p.m. For example, to set the start time to 7:00 a.m., enter 7 in the Value Data field .

13. Click OK.

14. Right-click on the WindowsUpdate folder again and choose New> Dword value .

15. Name the value as ActiveHoursEnd.

16. Double-click the ActiveHoursEnd value .

17. In the Value Data field, enter a number between 0 and 23 . The number range represents 24 hours where 0 is 12 a.m. and 23 p.m. 11 p.m. For example, to set the end time to 9pm, enter 21 in the Value Data field .

24. Click OK.

25. Close Registry Editor.

26. Restart Windows.

You have finished creating the registry key to activate Active Hours. From now on, Windows will automatically restart out of operating hours to install Windows updates.

To turn off Active Hours, double-click the SetActiveHours value, enter 0 in the Value Data field, and press OK. Alternatively, you can also delete all 3 values.

Enable / Disable Active Hours GPO in Group Policy Editor

You can enable and configure Active Hours in the Group Policy Editor by using the turn-off auto-start GPO policy. This is especially useful if you want to enforce rules and not allow changes in the Settings app. Keep in mind that Group Policy Editor is only available for Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise editions.

Here are the steps to enable Active Hours in Group Policy Editor.

1. Open the Start menu by pressing the Win key.

2. Enter Edit Group Policy in the search bar and select it from the Start menu.

3. After opening the Group Policy Editor, go to Computer Configuration> Administrative Templates> Windows Components> Windows Update folder.

Go to Computer Configuration> Administrative Templates> Windows Components> Windows Update

4. On the right panel, double-click the Turn-off auto-restart for updates policy during active hours .

Double-click the Turn-off auto-restart for updates policy during active hours

5. In this window, select the Enabled option .

6. In the options section in the same window, set Start time and End time using the drop-down menus.

7. Click the Apply button > OK .

Click the Apply button> OK

8. Close the Group Policy Editor .

9. Restart Windows to apply the policy settings.

After system restart, Group Policy Active Hours will be applied automatically. From now on, Windows will only automatically restart the system after hours of operation to install updates.

To disable Active Hours, select Not configured in the Policy Properties window .

Refer to some more articles below:

  • Instructions for setting up and managing FTP Server on Windows 10
  • How do I use Cortana to shut down or restart Windows 10?
  • Instructions for setting up and managing Network Bridge on Windows 10

Good luck!

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