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How to Use Maintenance Windows in Configuration Manager


Updated: May 14, 2015

Applies To: System Center 2012 Configuration Manager, System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1, System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP2, System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager, System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager SP1

Maintenance windows in System Center 2012 Configuration Manager provide a means by which administrative users can define a time period when various Configuration Manager operations can be carried out on members of a device collection. You can use maintenance windows to help ensure that client configuration changes occur during periods that do not affect the productivity of the organization.

The following Configuration Manager operations support maintenance windows:

  • Software deployments

  • Software update deployments

  • Compliance settings deployment and evaluation

  • Operating system deployments

  • Task sequence deployments

Maintenance windows are configured for a collection with a start date, a start and finish time, and a recurrence pattern. Each maintenance window must have a duration of less than 24 hours. By default, computer restarts caused by a deployment are not allowed outside of a maintenance window, but you can override the default in the settings for each deployment. Maintenance windows affect only the time when the deployment program runs; applications configured to download and run locally can download content outside of the maintenance window.

When a client computer is a member of a device collection that has a maintenance window configured, a deployment program runs only if the maximum allowed run time does not exceed the duration configured for the maintenance window. If the program fails to run, an alert is generated and the deployment is rerun during the next scheduled maintenance window that has available time.

Using Multiple Maintenance Windows

When a client computer is a member of multiple device collections that have configured maintenance windows, the following rules apply:

  • If the maintenance windows do not overlap, they are treated as two independent maintenance windows.

  • If the maintenance windows overlap, they are treated as a single maintenance window encompassing the time period covered by both maintenance windows. For example, if two maintenance windows, each an hour in duration overlap by 30 minutes, the effective duration of the maintenance window would be 90 minutes.

When a user initiates an application installation from Software Center, the application is installed immediately, regardless of any configured maintenance windows.

If an application deployment with a purpose of Required reaches its installation deadline during the nonbusiness hours configured by a user in Software Center, it is installed regardless of the configured nonbusiness hours.

How to configure maintenance windows in Configuration Manager

  1. In the Configuration Manager console, click Assets and Compliance.

  2. In the Assets and Compliance workspace, click Device Collections.

  3. In the Device Collections list, select the collection for which you want to configure a maintenance window.

  4. On the Home tab, in the Properties group, click Properties.

  5. In the Maintenance Windows tab of the <collection name> Properties dialog box, click the New icon.


    You cannot create maintenance windows for the All Systems collection.

  6. In the <new> Schedule dialog box, specify a name, a schedule, and a recurrence pattern for the maintenance window. You can also enable the option to apply the schedule to only task sequences.

  7. For System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager and later: From the Apply this schedule to drop-down list, select whether this maintenance window applies to all deployments, only software updates, or only task sequences.

  8. Click OK to close the <new> Schedule dialog box and create the new maintenance window.

  9. Close the <collection name> Properties dialog box.