Windows 10/11 Automatic Restart Initiative

Summary of the Automatic Restart Initiative:

Microsoft regularly releases monthly security updates that require a restart before they are fully applied. It is necessary to have the latest Windows security updates installed to be in compliance with UBC's security standards. UBC IT's Automatic Restart Initiative is a new service that will automatically restart your Windows 10 PCs after these Windows security updates are installed.

Once a PC is enrolled into this new service, any newly installed Windows Updates that require a restart will trigger a two-week countdown to an automatic restart. During these two weeks, pop-up notifications will display every three hours, requesting that you restart your device.
Note: Pop-up notifications are the Windows notifications that appear in the lower right of your screen and the Notification Center (known as the Action Center in Windows 10).

A final warning screen that cannot be suppressed or minimized will display 24 hours before the two-week countdown finishes. This is the last opportunity for users to restart their PC before it is done automatically.

What you need to know

Over the past six months UBC IT Vancouver and Okanagan teams have enrolled approximately 5000 PCs into an automatic restart service. It is now time to enroll the remaining ~8000 UBC IT Vancouver-managed PCs.

If your UBC PC falls into this group of PCs that have not yet been enrolled in this new service, and we have a record of your 1-to-1 assignment for your PC, we will send you an email notification prior to August 9, 2022 when the service goes live for the remaining PCs.

How to apply for an exclusion

Due to security compliance requirements, exclusions are only granted on a limited basis. If you are the owner or responsible for an impacted UBC IT-managed PC that for operational requirements needs to be excluded from this service, please use this form to request an exclusion:

Background Resources

How to check for installed updates

The below screenshots demonstrate how to check your PC to see which updates have been installed, when an automatic restart will take place, or optionally how to restart your PC yourself before it happens automatically.

Check Installed Updates | Pop-up Notifications | Action Center and Restart Icon | Restart Windows | Sign Out

Check Installed Updates

Fig 1

Figure 1- The Software Center icon is located in the taskbar. Visit the Software Center and then navigate to the Updates node. Once in the Updates node, you can see which updates require a restart. In this example, an update triggered the 2-week countdown to an automatic restart and notifications.

Pop-up Notifications

Fig 2

Figure 2 - This is the pop-up notification that will display every 3 hours starting immediately after the update finishes installing from the Software Center.

Action Center and Restart Icon

Fig 3

Figure 3 - Click on the Action Center icon to bring up the Action Center where you can manage notifications.

Fig 4

Figure 4 - You can restart your PC using the green Restart Icon on the bottom right of your screen. This icon can be used to restart right away or display the exact date/time when an automatic restart will happen 2 weeks after the installation of the update.

Restart Windows

Fig 5

Figure 5 - Click the green Restart Icon to access the Restart Window. You will see a pop-up notification allowing you to restart or you can open the Restart Window.

Fig 6

Figure 6 - If you open the Restart Window you will find the exact time and date your PC will be restarted if it has not been done beforehand (this is also what the final warning screen that appears 24 hours before the restart countdown completes looks like, except it cannot be snoozed or minimized).

Restart Warning Message

Fig 7

Figure 7 - If you click Restart from the Restart Window, this is the final message you will be presented with.

How to Sign Out

Fig 8

Figure 8 - Sign out by clicking your profile name on the left-hand navigation. If you are signed out when an installation requiring a restart takes place, your computer will automatically be restarted and your 2-week countdown will be cleared. Any system restart via any method will apply the update that was installed and clear any countdown to an automatic restart.