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Windows 8 auto-update will consolidate restarts into one per month, give you three days to do it

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Microsoft has revealed plans for making Windows Update easier to use in its automatic mode on Windows 8. Those include a consolidation of restarts and a new three-day grace period when a reboot is required.

windows 8 login screen
windows 8 login screen

Trusting Windows Update to install new software to your Windows machine automatically is about to get that little bit easier in Windows 8, Microsoft has revealed. At present, the automated updater will initiate a reboot sequence on your computer after completing an installation that requires it, giving you only 15 minutes to make sure that the reboot doesn't interrupt something important. Microsoft's welcome solution to that inconvenience is to increase the post-install grace period to three whole days, while also consolidating the restart requests for non-critical updates into just one per month. That means most of the updates that will make your automated machine restart in Windows 7 today won't do so when you're running Window 8. They'll restrain themselves until the regular monthly security update is dropped — the second Tuesday of every month — and will hitch a ride, as Microsoft puts it, on that reboot.

Enterprise users will, of course, still be able to set a policy to avoid the three-day countdown, but otherwise they'll be treated exactly as home users. Additionally, if a PC reaches the deadline but identifies applications to be running at the time, it'll continue to wait until the next time you log in to execute the restart.

Importantly, apps bought at the Windows Store will also get their updates via Microsoft's updating mechanism, though we won't have the explicit details on how that will work until the full Store becomes available for public testing.