Using Reboot Notifications

For Windows and macOS devices, a reboot notification will warn end users when their computer needs to reboot.

It is possible to customize reboot notifications and configure deferral options that allow you to control when a reboot will happen.

What is a reboot notification?

When a Windows or macOS device update requires a reboot, a reboot notification lets the end user know that a reboot of their system needs to occur. This allows the end user to save any work that might otherwise be lost during a restart of their computer.  You can configure the message from the Create Policy page.

You must enable Automatic Reboot for the associated policy, and the policy must be active and scheduled.

What does a reboot notification look like?

The information in the reboot notification can differ depending on the operating system and how the message is configured.

For macOS users, a notification will look similar to this.

For Windows users, a notification will look similar to this:

What does a reboot notification indicate?

In general, the notification informs the end user that the device needs to restart because an update that requires a reboot has been installed.

The reboot notification message allows the end user to select from the configured deferral times. A drop-down menu indicates how many deferrals are allowed and for how long a reboot can be deferred. 


The default deferral options are 1 hour, 4 hours, and 8 hours and the default number of times you can select from the available hours is 3 times. 

For the example shown, when the message appears the first time, you could select to defer 4 hours before the reboot notification appears for the second time. Then you can decide if you need one more deferral before you want the device to reboot. When the notification appears for the third time, the only option available is to select Options > Now (macOS) to reboot. For Windows select Reboot Now. If you just ignore this message, the system reboots automatically after 15 minutes.


How to configure the Notification Duration

The notification duration is the amount of time a notification message is displayed to the user.

  • The default notification duration is 15 minutes.
  • You can configure the duration between 15 minutes and 8 hours (480 minutes).

Users might regularly have longer video conferences in which notifications can easily be missed. For this you can extend the duration that the message shows on a device. When the video conference ends, the user will still see the notification and can take appropriate action: update now or defer.

How reboot deferral options work

  • If the end user chooses to ignore the reboot notification (do nothing), the system will reboot automatically in 15 minutes (unless reboot notifications have been customized).
  • If the end user clicks Reboot Now, the device reboots immediately. When the device restarts, the patch completes installation.
  • The end user delays a reboot according to the configured deferral settings. After the reboot deferral maximum is reached, the system will show only a "Reboot Now" option and it reboot in 15 minutes if the message is closed or is not interacted with. 

What are automatic deferrals

You can decide to allow automatic deferrals in the case a user does not acknowledge the reboot notification. When you enable automatic deferrals, any notification that is present for longer than the notification duration is automatically deferred for the maximum deferral time option. This also counts as one of the allowed number of deferrals. See Managing End-User Notifications for details.

How can I configure reboot notifications?

Administrators can configure reboot notifications when they create or edit a policy. To be able to send customized reboot notifications, you must select Enable automatic reboot after updates are installed.

For a detailed description of configuring reboot notification messages and deferral settings, see Managing End-User Notifications.

NOTE: Windows 7 devices will not receive a reboot notification. See also Supported Operating Systems.