Most of these programs demands a restart because they want the Windows Registry to be re-read. An actual restart is required only for hardware changes, or for system level software like operating system patches or drivers. Most of the other programs should be satisfied by a registry re-read. To force a registry re-read you just have to terminate and restart the Windows Explorer process(explorer.exe).
To do this, press [Ctrl]+[Shift]+[Esc]. The Windows task manager opens up. Select the Processes tab and terminate the ‘explorer.exe’ process by right-clicking on it.
After this we need to restart the explorer.exe process. Go to ‘File>Run’ in Windows task manager itself and type in explorer.exe. The Windows Explorer process will be started and the registry will be re-read in the process.
To make this process simpler, we can take the help of a batch file. Type the following commands into an empty text file and save it as ‘reg_read.bat’.(Notice the .bat at the end)
taskkill /f /IM explorer.exe
This batch file terminates the explorer.exe process and then restarts it.
Now, whenever you need to make windows reread the registry to avoid a restart after you install a new program, double click on ‘reg_read.bat’ and start using the software right away.
Note : It is recommended that you perform an actual restart after installing Windows patches, hotfixes and drivers.