Picture of the Shut Down Windows dialog box.

How to Shut Down Windows Without Applying Updates




When Windows updates are pending, as when some new ones have downloaded since the last time your computer started up, they generally wait to install until the next time the computer shuts down.  During shutdown, the first stage of installation takes place, which can take many minutes to complete before the computer boots again.

Sometimes, you might wish to avoid enduring the time required for installing updates when turning off your computer, such as when you’re in a hurry to get out the door for your bus home, or when you have little battery power left in your laptop, and you simply want to quickly but gracefully turn it off before the battery goes completely dead and possibly corrupt files on your storage drive.

For these situations, Windows offers at least two ways to exit it without installing any pending updates.

 

Method 1

To shut Windows down without installing any updates, first, bring up your desktop, as shown next.

Picture of a typical Windows 10 desktop.
Typical Windows 10 desktop.

 

Here, press keys ALT and F4.  This brings up the following dialog box.

Picture of the Shut Down Windows dialog box.
Shut Down Windows dialog box.

 

Make sure the “Shut down” option is selected in the drop down list box, as shown above.  Our machine has this set by default.

Press the OK button, then Windows shuts down without installing any updates.

 

Method 2

You can also shut down Windows without applying pending updates on the Windows logon screen as well.

Picture of the Windows 10 logon screen, with the Power button highlighted.
Windows 10 logon screen, with the Power button highlighted.

 

Click the Power button, and the following menu appears.

Picture of the Windows 10 logon screen, showing the Power button menu.
Windows 10 logon screen, showing the Power button menu.

 

If there are pending Windows updates, you’ll see an “Update and shut down” option, in addition to the plain “Shut down” one.   To power off without updating, click the “Shut down” item, and the computer will then close up shop and turn itself off without applying the updates.

In our case today, the Power button menu does not show the “Update and shut down” option, because there are currently no pending updates to install on our computer.

Hope this information is useful to many.  Take care.

 

Revision History

  • 2016-12-06: Originally published.