How to Stop Repeated ‘Update and Shutdown’ Prompts on Your Windows PC

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Your Windows PC keeps showing “Update and Shutdown” or “Update and Restart” options even after completing updates. This can be due to incomplete updates, system glitches, software conflicts, or corrupted update files. To fix it, you can try several methods.

1. Restart File Explorer

Restarting Windows File Explorer can resolve issues related to the user interface, including persistent update prompts:

  1. Access Task Manager: Right-click on an open spot on the Taskbar and click on Task Manager.
  2. Find Windows Explorer: In Task Manager, scroll down to find Windows Explorer.
  3. Restart Explorer:
    1. Right-click on Windows Explorer.
    2. Select Restart.
  4. Manual Restart: If Windows Explorer is not responding or has been closed, press Win+R, type explorer.exe, and hit Enter.

2. Run Windows Update Troubleshooter

The Windows Update Troubleshooter is a built-in tool that can automatically resolve common update issues:

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  • For Windows 10:
    1. Open Settings.
    2. Navigate to Update and Security > Troubleshoot.
    3. Select Windows Update and click ‘Run the troubleshooter’.
  • For Windows 11:
    1. Open Settings.
    2. Go to System > Troubleshoot.
    3. Select Windows Update and click ‘Run the troubleshooter’.

This tool will attempt to detect and fix common issues, which may include restarting the Windows Update service.

3. Change Power Button Action

Altering what the power button does can provide a temporary workaround to shut down the computer without installing updates:

  1. Access Control Panel: Open the Control Panel.
  2. Navigate to Power Options: Select Power Options.
  3. Modify Settings:
    1. Choose ‘Choose what the power buttons do’ from the left side menu.
    2. Set the ‘When I press the power button’ option to Shut down.

This change allows the computer to shut down directly, bypassing the update process.

4. Instantly Turn Off Without Updating

This method allows you to turn off your PC immediately without going through the update process:

  1. Using Run Prompt: Press Win+R, type shutdown -s -f -t 0, and hit Enter. This command instantly shuts down your computer.
  2. Using Ctrl+Alt+Del: Press Ctrl+Alt+Del and select Shutdown from the bottom right menu. This bypasses the update process.

5. Run Windows Module Installer

The Windows Module Installer can help fix issues with stuck Windows updates:

  1. Open Command Prompt as Administrator: Right-click on the Start menu and select Command Prompt (Admin).
  2. Execute the Command: In the Command Prompt, type SC config trustedinstaller start=auto and press Enter.
  3. Confirm Execution: Once the command is successfully executed, you should see [SC] ChangeServiceConfig SUCCESS in the Command Prompt.
  4. Check for Normal Operation: Exit Command Prompt and check if the update and shutdown buttons are back to normal.

6. Enter Clean Boot State

Performing a clean boot may resolve issues caused by third-party services interfering with Windows Update:

  1. Open System Configuration: Type msconfig in the Start menu search and click on the System Configuration result.
  2. Disable Non-Microsoft Services:
    1. Go to the Services tab.
    2. Check the ‘Hide All Microsoft Services’ box.
    3. Click on ‘Disable All’.
  3. Manage Startup Items:
    1. Click the Startup tab, then click ‘Open Task Manager’.
    2. Select and disable all startup items.
  4. Apply and Restart: Click Apply, then OK, and restart your computer for a clean boot.

This process ensures that only essential Microsoft services are running, which can help with update issues.

7. Reset Windows Update

Resetting Windows Update can resolve issues related to failed or stuck updates:

  1. Download the Reset Windows Update Tool: Obtain the tool from Microsoft TechNet.
  2. Extract and Run the Tool:
    1. After downloading, extract the contents of the ZIP file.
    2. Right-click the .BAT file named ResetWUEng and select ‘Run as Administrator’.
  3. Proceed with the Reset: In the Command Prompt, press Y to proceed and follow the instructions to reset the Windows Update components.
  4. Complete the Process: The tool may take some time to complete the reset. If it fails, rerun it for a successful reset.

8. Advanced Troubleshooting Steps

These steps are recommended for advanced users comfortable with command line operations:

  • Rename Software Distribution Folders: Stop specific services and rename the SoftwareDistribution and catroot2 folders through a series of commands in the Command Prompt run as an administrator.
  • Temporarily Remove Third-Party Security Software: Uninstall any third-party antivirus or security software that might be interfering with Windows Update.
  • Repair Hard Drive Errors: Use the Command Prompt to run a check disk operation.
  • Restore and Repair System Files: Utilize the DISM and System File Checker tools to repair system files.

9. Perform a Clean Installation of Windows

If all else fails, a clean installation of Windows might be necessary:

  1. Download the Installation Tool: Visit the official software download page and select ‘Download tool now’ to obtain the clean installation tool.
  2. Prepare for Installation: Ensure you read all the instructions on the software download page before proceeding with the installation.
  3. Perform the Clean Installation: Follow the provided instructions to complete a fresh installation of Windows.

Note: This should be the last resort, as it will erase all existing data on your system drive. Ensure to back up important files before proceeding.

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