If you've recently tried to update your Windows laptop or PC using the 'Update and Shutdown' function and run into a dead end, you’re not the only one. Multiple users have reported the same problem of trying to run the Windows Update process this way, only to find their systems refusing to shut down.
Usually, you could expect your system to download whatever new update is available, install it, and restart. However, as spotted by Windows Latest, multiple Reddit users and Microsoft Feedback Hub users have stated that the last part of this process doesn’t happen. They’ve expressed that they select their preference to Update and Shutdown, but then after the update install step, their computer turns on again and returns to the login screen. From here, you have to manually select shut down (again).
This problem doesn’t seem to be totally widespread and not all users are experiencing it. However, there have been enough cases for this to cause frustration for some users – especially those who would like to leave their PC alone at night to update and shut down automatically. Windows Latest editor Mayank Parmar notes that he’s experienced this glitch in the Update and Shutdown process with both Windows 10 and Windows 11.
Is a fix incoming?
Unhappy with this state of things, Parmar sought out a former Microsoft developer and asked for their opinion on the matter. The former Microsoft employee remained anonymous and provided some insight behind the unexpected performance.
Firstly, it may potentially have to do with the Fast Startup feature, which was designed to boot up your device more quickly. Fast Startup stores a selection of information into a file and retrieves it upon start-up, quickening the process (in theory). This feature could be responsible for the Update and Shutdown glitch as it may prompt a restart automatically during the update.
An alternative explanation might be found in the actual update process. Many users install Windows Updates fairly often, as is recommended for security reasons. Some users may not do this, however, and might allow for weeks or months to pass between updates. This means the number of things that need to be installed builds up, and larger updates often require a restart to complete the installation. In this case, prompting a Windows Update might require (and possibly force) a restart, overriding the Update and Shutdown command.
There are now numerous recent posts on the subject on the Feedback Hub, Reddit, and now the article from Windows Latest, but no word on the matter from Microsoft yet. Affected users are hopeful that Microsoft either patches up the issue in a future update, or at least temporarily renames the command so they know what to expect.
Some of these users have left their laptops to install updates and run on available battery power overnight expecting a shutdown afterward, only to find their device dead in the morning. This leaves them with the sense that Windows Update is unreliable and not able to be trusted to run as stated, as one Reddit user writes. We can only hope that Microsoft addresses the issue soon, since – as another Redditor remarks – it's “ridiculous that such a simple feature is busted.”