Microsoft will enable Windows 10 users to choose when security updates are installed once they arrive rather than enforcing them straightaway.
Users have complained that the reboots required for some updates, which cannot currently be deferred, are disruptive.
People using Windows 10 devices will now be able to schedule an update within three days of receiving notification, the firm said in a blog.
However, delaying security updates can be risky, experts say.
Apple customers can already delay Mac Operating System updates or opt for them to be automatically installed overnight - which includes carrying out any essential reboots.
The change to Windows, part of a project called Creative Update, came in response to complaints about enforced reboots, said John Cable, a director of program management at Microsoft.
"What we heard back most explicitly was that you want more control over when Windows 10 installs updates," he wrote.
"We also heard that unexpected reboots are disruptive if they happen at the wrong time."
The three-day window is designed to give people more control over when updates occur - and they can also change the time they have chosen while they are waiting.
As part of Creative Update, Microsoft is also exploring changes to privacy settings, Mr Cable said.
'Enemy of security'
Cybersecurity expert Prof Alan Woodward, from Surrey University, said that delaying updates could help hackers.
"I'm not 100% sold on the idea precisely because quite often these updates have critical security fixes in them, and you really want them on people's machines as quickly as possible," he told the BBC.
"Once a critical flaw gets understood by hackers they will be out there trying to exploit it.
"Convenience and complexity are often the enemy of security."