Frequency of checking local WSUS and impact on devices and network

Bill Clark 181 Reputation points

We manage our Windows updates with an internal WSUS server that has all our devices in varying groups. We also have corresponding GPOs for the varying groups depending on what the end devices are and if we want an automatic install & restart, an automatic install w/ manual restart, or just auto-download w/ a manual install(just a few examples). My problem is the frequency of when the clients check for, and download newly released/approved updates through WSUS. When I release/approve an update to a group in WSUS, I want the corresponding client to check often enough that they start downloading the updates ideally within the hour or two at most. If I set the "Automatic Update Detecting Frequency" policy setting to 1 hour, how much extra work and traffic will this generate on the PC/server and the network? We have about 110 virtual servers and roughly 160 Windows 10 PCs and the network is healthy. I messed around with trying to do some batch scripting that could be ran that would tell the end devices to check for updates, but discovered that "wuauclt.exe" has been deprecated and that "usoclient.exe" only works for logged on users.

Windows Server
Windows Server
A family of Microsoft server operating systems that support enterprise-level management, data storage, applications, and communications.
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Windows Group Policy
Windows Group Policy
A feature of Windows that enables policy-based administration using Active Directory.
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  1. Adam J. Marshall 6,181 Reputation points MVP

    The real answer is you won't notice it with that few clients as long as you're performing the proper WSUS maintenance. 1 Hour is common for those who are using Microsoft Defender definition updates. With <500 clients you shouldn't notice anything at all. I recommend 4 hours ( but you could do every hour. A single WSUS server can handle thousands of clients when given the right resources and maintenance.

    Are you performing the proper WSUS maintenance including but not limited to running the Server Cleanup Wizard (SCW), declining superseded updates, running the SQL Indexing script, etc.?

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  1. Rita Hu -MSFT 9,441 Reputation points

    @Bill Clark
    Thanks for your posting on Q&A.

    Here are my ideas shared with you.

    First of the all, the clients will scan for updates at the specified interval not the specified time, even though you have enabled the Automatic Updates detection frequency policy for the client.

    In addition, we could review the actual scan time at the Task Scheduler on the client. Here is a screenshot on my computer for your reference:

    We could also check the size of updates on the WSUS console. Here is a screenshot for you about how to review the size of the updates:

    It is not recommended to run the usoclient.exe command. It is not recommended by MS and there is no such Official Document for reference.

    Hope the above will be helpful. Please feel free to keep us in touch if you have any questions.

    Thanks for your time and have a great day.


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  2. Limitless Technology 37,746 Reputation points

    Hi there,

    Automatic Update Detecting Frequency Specifies the hours that Windows will use to determine how long to wait before checking for available updates.

    If the setting is set to Enabled, Windows will check for available updates at the specified interval. If the setting is set to Disabled or Not Configured, Windows will check for available updates at the default interval of 22 hours. So this is not the frequency the Updates are installed but the frequency updates are checked.

    You can try Managing additional Windows Update settings through this


    If the reply is helpful, please Upvote and Accept it as an answer

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  3. Bill Clark 181 Reputation points

    Thanks for the detailed response but that isn't quite what I was asking. I want to know if there is any substantial impact to an end-device or the network if I set my end-devices to check for updates every hour or so. I control the release of updates via WSUS, but need my end-devices to be fairly responsive in checking for new updates. But I don't want the end-devices to generate a huge amount of unnecessary traffic that could impact the network in doing so.
    Also, typical Microsoft to deprecate a functional command and replace with something but tell us, the daily users that have to manage systems, "don't touch, it's only for us to use". Irritates me to no end how Microsoft continues to change Windows to steal more and more control away from our systems that run their OS. There, off my soap-box.

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