Windows automatically runs scheduled maintenance on a daily basis when you’re not using your computer. This feature is called Automatic Maintenance, which takes care of updating Windows Store apps and other software, running Windows Defender scans, system diagnostics, Disk Cleanup etc.
Besides the maintenance tasks created by Windows, third-party programs can add their Automatic Maintenance scheduled tasks. Automatic Maintenance scheduled jobs are triggered when you leave the system idle for about five minutes. If you start using the computer again, the Automatic Maintenance tasks stop within seconds, and they will run the next time the computer is not being used.
It’s a useful feature in Windows 8 and Windows 10, designed to run without negatively impacting the system performance and energy efficiency. Automatic Maintenance shouldn’t be disabled in most cases.
However, if you’re running multiple virtual machines at the same time on a single host and want to conserve CPU resources, you can prevent automatic maintenance tasks on the VMs from firing when idle. Here is how to disable Automatic Maintenance using a registry edit.
Disable Automatic Maintenance in Windows 10
1. Start the Registry Editor (regedit.exe)
2. Go to the following registry location:
3. Create a DWORD value named MaintenanceDisabled if it doesn’t already exist.
4. Double-click MaintenanceDisabled and set its data to 1
5. Exit the Registry Editor.
This disables Automatic Maintenance.
Automate using registry file
To automate the above setting, download automatic_maintenance_turn_off.zip, unzip and run the enclosed REG file. To reverse the changes, run the file named undo.reg.
Note that to disable Automatic Maintenance on a virtual machine, you’ll need to apply the registry settings on the virtual machine, instead of the host.
Quick Tip: Running Automatic Maintenance on demand, manually
To start Automatic Maintenance tasks on demand, press WinKey + R to bring up the Run dialog. Type the following command and hit ENTER:
Alternatively, you can open the classic Control Panel, open Security and Maintenance page, and click “Start maintenance”. You need administrative privileges to start the task on demand.
About the author
Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and has a vast experience in the ITeS industry — delivering support for Microsoft's consumer products. He has been a Microsoft MVP [2003 to 2012] who contributes to various Windows support forums.