Windows Update and Forced Reboots

Staff and Students should refer to the below guidance for an overview of the University's policy on Microsoft Windows (a PC operating system) updates and forced reboots.


About Windows Update and Forced Reboots

To protect your data, it is important that you keep your Windows 10 operating system up to date and make sure security updates are applied regularly. To make sure this happens, devices need to rebooted as soon as possible once updates have been installed.  As part of our commitment to protecting the data of Staff and Students, University of Leeds devices will automatically reboot if they are left on for longer than 14 days and any work left open may not be saved.

What do I need to do?

We recommend that you save your work and reboot your device before it reaches its restart deadline. Where possible we recommend that devices be fully turned off each evening to reduce power consumption and ensure updates are applied as soon as they are deployed.

How will I know when my device will Reboot? 

Each evening at 11pm devices that have been left on for longer than 14 days will automatically reboot.

To help you plan ahead if your device is left on for longer than 4 whole days you will start receiving reminders in the bottom right hand corner of your screen each hour:

Image displaying 'Reboot your device' Dialogue Box
If the device is left on for 8 days or more you will be given a countdown to let you know how long you have left until your device reboots:

Image displaying 'Time until reboot' Dialogue Box

After 12 days, to ensure you don't miss these reminders they will remain on your screen until you dismiss them. You can also set another reminder (although this will be in addition to the existing reminders every hour):

Image displaying 'Your PC will be rebooted tomorrow' Dialogue Box

After 4pm on the day you are due to be rebooted your notifications will be accompanied by an audible alarm to ensure you remember to save your work or reboot before the end of the day:

Image displaying 'Your PC will be rebooted tonight' Dialogue Box


If your device is not rebooted by the deadline it will reboot:

Image displaying 'Your PC will reboot in 60 seconds' Dialogue Box

If you reboot at any time before the 14-day deadline the timer is reset.

What happens if I can’t reboot my device every 14 days?

We understand that there may be exceptional circumstances where a device is unable to be rebooted every 14 days. If this applies to you, please fill out the Automatic Reboot Exclusion Request form, giving details of the device, the reason it cannot be rebooted that often and what measures will be put in place to ensure that the device is regularly rebooted to ensure it is being updated effectively. A requirement of any device on the campus network is that it is regularly updated as detailed in the Security Patching Policy.

Circumstances where we may consider excluding a device from a forced reboot include:

The decision on whether a device can be exempt from the standard updating schedule will be made by the IT Service, considering the needs of securing the campus network and any potential available workarounds.

Devices that are exempt will continue to receive messages after 4 days telling them how long its been since there last reboot, however they wont be forcibly rebooted:

Image displaying 'Your PC hasn't rebooted in 17 days' Dialogue Box

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