Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Question - software install, necessary to reboot computer?

  1. #1


    Posts : 10
    Windows 8.1

    -


    When installing something and the software doesn't ask for a reboot during installation, do I really need to reboot the computer? For me it's an old habit because so many people say that problems can occur if you don't reboot after installing something.

    One would like to think that later versions of Windows, especially Windows 8, can handle software installs without a reboot. Yet it's always adviced. Can someone give me a technical explanation as to why I have to, or don't have to reboot my computer after I've installed something?
    Last edited by Brink; 16 Dec 2016 at 08:50.

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  2. #2


    Posts : 1,875
    Windows 10 Pro Prieview x64


    If the installer changes a file that is in use (or the installer specifically asks) then you have to re-boot.

    Insights into the underlying Windows Installer reboot behavior. - Windows Installer Team Blog - Site Home - MSDN Blogs

    If it doesn't ask you to reboot on install (or uninstall) you needn't.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 10
    Windows 8.1


    Quote Originally Posted by adamf View Post
    If it doesn't ask you to reboot on install (or uninstall) you needn't.
    Yes. However, people are still saying that there can be registry errors and such if you don't reboot.

    Some installers say something like "It's recommended to close all programs so the installer can continue without restarting the computer". I never close anything during installation and yet I'm very rarely prompted to restart. It's mostly from driver installs, but sometimes I don't get prompted to restart on driver installs either. One example is Nvidia update which only sometimes requires a restart.
    Last edited by Brink; 16 Dec 2016 at 08:51.
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  4. #4


    Forever West
    Posts : 591
    WinVista, Win7, Win8.1, Win10, Mac OS X 10.10, Linux Mint 17.1


    Ditto Jarv0, seldom do I have to reboot but some programs that tend to run in the background or control devices and such do need to have the computer restarted to get itself working such as an antivirus program. WinXP started getting Windows being much better in not constantly needed rebooting. If something runs it the background it does need to be removed from RAM/memory and rebooting takes care of that.
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  5. #5


    Posts : 216
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center


    It really depends on the programming and the features being updated. Over the years NVidia used to require reboots. But with new hardware and new OS to deal with, they have been pretty good at updating without reboots.

    I definitely agree with adamf. If a update replaces a file in use and locked by the OS (like a background service), you will be asked to reboot. Once the file is no longer locked, the update can overwrite the file and then immediately use it during the reboot.

    That's why you see the 'preparing Windows' during shutdown and reboot. During shutdown, the system is creating the script to replace the files during startup. Then, of course, during startup the screen is showing the progress of the files being replaced. Once done, boot continues normally.

    Also ditto on Jarv0, I never close 'other programs' during installs.
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  6. #6


    Posts : 10
    Windows 8.1


    So the bottom line is that generally it's completely fine to assume that the computer doesn't need reboot unless it asks for it, correct?
    Last edited by Brink; 16 Dec 2016 at 08:51.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 1,875
    Windows 10 Pro Prieview x64


    Quote Originally Posted by Jarv0 View Post
    So the bottom line is that generally it's completely fine to assume that the computer doesn't need reboot unless it asks for it, correct?
    yes exactly.
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  8. #8


    Forever West
    Posts : 591
    WinVista, Win7, Win8.1, Win10, Mac OS X 10.10, Linux Mint 17.1


    Just be aware that if you have other programs open you need to save any data you are working on first or it will be lost.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    There is a point for restarting computer after a program installs, if computer shuts off or blocks up, some things may not be set properly yet and program would not work after. It boils down to quality of programing and installer used for it.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    In the past rebooting after an install was pretty much mandatory. While the need for that is much reduced it is still a good idea. A properly designed installer will warn you if a reboot is necessary but three are many installers in use that are not well designed. Some developers use their own installer and it may not have been adequately tested. Unfortunately the installer is often little more than an afterthought and does not receive the attention it warrants.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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Question - software install, necessary to reboot computer?
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