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Automatic Update Client Configuration

This page provides a basic outline of configuring the Automatic Update client to use a WSUS server. You need to review the settings for suitability in your environment.

A Client also refers to servers you may configure as well, as you are configuring the Automatic Updates client which is part of Windows server and client versions.

There is some information on issues with imaging and non Domain setups in the page as well.

How To Configure a Client

A Client can be configured using Group Policy or registry settings, Group Policy is the recommended way. Group Policy can be set either in a Domain in Active Directory User and Computers, using Group Policy Management console or locally using GPEDIT.MSC.


The configuration settings can be found in group policy under Computer Configuration;

  • Administrative Templates
  • Windows Components
  • Windows Update

Minimum Settings

As a minimum you will need to set the following;

  • Configure Automatic Updates
  • Specify intranet Microsoft update service location

For the setting "Configure Automatic Updates", you need to choose a method for download and install and to choose a day and time. You are advised to select Every Day for the install day. The time itself isn't important as long as you also configure the Reshedule option. Otherwise select a time during the day for the system to check for updates.

You must specify a location for the WSUS server, and the Statistics server. For Windows-Support's WSUS server this is

As of 1st March 2016 we have enabled https on the wsus server ( and will deprecate the use of http in the coming months.

Additional Settings

The settings you may want to configure are as follows;

Allow non-administrators to receive update notifications

Either enabled or disabled

No auto-restart for scheduled Automatic Update installations

Can be enabled or disabled

Reschedule automatic updates scheduled installations

Specify a time in minutes to re-do a missed scheduled install

Other settings

There are a number of other settings which may or may not be of use, you are advised to check them for suitability.

Forcing Client/Server Communication

On the client computer, open a command prompt, and enter:

  • wuauclt.exe /detectnow

Checking Settings

The best utility in a Domain environment is Group Policy Management Console (GPMC), which you have to download from Microsoft. This allows you to view, modify and delete group policy and to view policy settings applied to computers and users. If you install it on a DC you will no longer be able to edit policies in Active Directory Users and Computers, you will have to use GPMC (a button is available to load GPMC from the Group Policy Tab).

For checking on a system without GPMC you can use the Resultant Set Of Policy MMC (RSOP.MSC) which will display any policy settings applied and list from which policy they are set in. This is useful as it only displays sections of group policy where a policy has been applied.

Applying Settings in an Active Directory Environment

For full information on configuring settings using Group Policy please see:

Applying Settings in a Workgroup Environment

For those administering machines without the benefit of a Domain and Active Directory see:

Windows Update Registry Settings

For a full list of WSUS Registry settings and values see the WSUS Deployment Guide.

Client Issues

We list issues which have occured with the University or are aware of which we feel may be useful, this is not an all-inclusive list.

WSUS Issues