Configure Automatic Updates by using local Group Policy

The info below applies to Local Policy, but you can go to the Group Policy Editor and make the same changes for domain users.


Configure Automatic Updates by using local Group Policy

  1. Click Start, and then click Run.
  2. Type gpedit.msc, and then click OK.
  3. Expand Computer Configuration.
  4. Right-click Administrative Templates, and then click Add/Remove Templates.
  5. Click Add, click Wuau.adm in the Windows\Inf folder, and then click Open.
  6. Click Close.
  7. Under Computer Configuration, expand Administrative Templates, expand Windows Components, and then expand Windows Update.

    The Configure Automatic Updates policy appears. This policy specifies whether the computer receives security updates and other important downloads through the Windows Automatic Updates feature. By using the settings for this policy, you can specify whether automatic updates are enabled on the computer. If the service is enabled, you must select one of the three configuration options.
  8. To view the policy settings, double-click the Configure Automatic Updates policy.
  9. To turn on Automatic Updates, click Enabled in the list of options that appear at the top of the Setting tab.

    If you click Enabled, you must select one of the configuration options that is described in step 10.
  10. Select one of the following options:
    • 2 - Notify for download and notify for install

      When updates are available, an icon appears in the notification area and you receive a message that states that the updates are ready to be downloaded. Click the icon or the message to view and select the updates that you want to download. Windows downloads the updates in the background. When the download is complete, an icon appears in the notification area and you receive a message that states that the updates are ready to be installed. You can click the icon or the message to select the updates that you want to install.
    • 3 - Auto download and notify for install

      Note This is the default setting.

      When updates are available, Windows downloads the updates in the background. The user is not notified or interrupted during this process. When the download is complete, an icon appears in the notification area and you receive a message that states that the updates are ready to be installed. You can click the icon or the message to view and select the updates that you want to install.
    • 4 - Auto download and schedule the install

      To specify the schedule, select the appropriate options in the Group Policy Settings dialog box. If you do not specify a schedule, updates are installed daily at 3:00 A.M by default. Windows restarts the computer automatically if it is necessary. If someone is using the computer when Windows is ready to restart it, a notification appears that states that Windows needs to restart the computer. The user can choose to restart the computer later. 

      If you select 4 - Auto download and schedule the install, you can set a recurring schedule. If you do not set a schedule, all updates are downloaded and installed every day at 3:00 A.M.
    • Other Options

      Additionally, you can select the Disabled option or the Not Configured option. If you select Disabled, an administrator must download and install any available updates manually from the Microsoft Windows Update website.

      If you select Not Configured, the status of Automatic Updates is not specified at the Group Policy level. The status is either "enabled" or "not enabled." However, an administrator can still configure Automatic Updates by using Control Panel. Control Panel includes the same settings that are available in Group Policy.

Article ID: 42, Created On: 8/22/2013, Modified: 8/22/2013

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