How to avoid the dreaded Windows Update restart at Photo Booth Events!

We know the drill – photo booths can be so much fun for guests, and most of the time our jobs go off without a hitch, smooth sailing, and we leave the event knowing that we’ve made some good connections and everybody left having had fun and some awesome take-home memories to keep.

However, being photo booth operators, we also know that technical issues are inevitable. One such issue includes the Windows Update Restart in the middle of an event. This can mean a few things for your business – an uncertain amount of time away from operation, annoyed guests and hosts, or worst of all, having to cancel your job before the night has even properly started.

Windows Updates can be important to keep your operating system efficient and working properly. It’s no secret that updated equipment is optimal for many scenarios. What you may not know, is that the default update times for Windows updates are outside standard business hours. For photo booth operators, these times are often when we are the most busy!

Setting your ‘active hours’ on photo booth system is a reliable way to prevent your device from updating at an inconvenient time.

On the other hand, you may be very happy with the operation of your photo booth and equipment, and may not feel the need to update your setup altogether. Why fix what isn’t broken, right? If this is the case, the best option for you would be to disable Windows updates altogether.

To do this, you can change your active times through Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update


Clicking through the section detailed above will allow you to choose a start time and end time – you know when you are most active, so you can tailor this to your own business!

Once set, this means that Windows will update outside of these active hours… Outside when most events happen!!!

Disable via Local Group Policy

This our preferred option, as it works very well for Window 10 Pro and it doesn’t prevent you from manually updating. It, however, might not work as desired for Windows Home so the other options listed here might assist instead.

1. In the taskbar search or run command type gpedit.msc to find the Group Policy Editor
2. Head to: Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update
3. Double Click on Configure Automatic Updates

4. Select ‘Disabled’ on the left or change ‘Configure automatic updating’ setting to ‘2 – Notify for download and auto install’. Then click Apply and OK to disable the Windows automatic update feature.

Once you have disabled updates via Group Policy, Windows 10 will stop downloading updates automatically. To manually update, which is possible, head to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update, and click the Check for updates button to start the process.

Stop the Windows Update Service

This option turns off the Windows Updates completely, so you are unable to manually update your system while it is disabled – to update you will need to re-enable the service. Also, this disable option is temporary, the service will re-enable itself after a certain amount of time.

1. In the taskbar search type services.msc to find Windows Services (you can also get there through typing the same in the run command – Win + R , or via Administrative Tools in Control Panel)
2. Double Click to open the Windows Update Properties (or Right Click)

3. On the ‘General’ Tab, change the ‘Startup Type’ to ‘Disabled’

4. Restart your machine

If you want to re-enable Automatic Windows Updates follow the same process, however, change the ‘Startup Type’ to ‘Automatic’

Setting a Metered Connection

Metered connections will only automatically download and install priority updates, so minimises potential updates. So not a great option to avoid the update restart at your events, however, a reasonable option married with setting your ‘Active Hours’. Another downside of this option is; if, for example, the update has already been downloaded (via a different connection), it can still install and update even if the computer is connected to a metered connection – obviously, this would be an issue if it happened during an event.

1. Find your available Wi-Fi Connections, either via Start Menu > Settings > Network & Internet > Wi-Fi or via Available Connections on the Taskbar (assuming you are connected to the connection you would like to meter)

2. Click through to properties of the selected network and set the ‘Set as metered connection’ to ‘On’

You can also set this for known connections with the same process, just need to head to Start Menu > Settings > Network & Internet > Wi-Fi > Manage known networks

Most importantly, it’s a smart idea that you ensure that your computer still functions as normal after any time you make changes or updates are made to your setup. We recommend always have a backup (laptop?) on hand just in case worse comes to worst on the day of your event – 5 minutes of downtime to switch computers far outweighs the uncertain amount of time for a Windows update, or worse, having to cancel or finish your event early.

Of course, if you are having trouble and need help with your Windows Updates or your photo booth systems, be sure to reach out to us! We would love to help you so you can get back to doing what you do best – hosting photo booth fun!

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