Step 5: Configure client updates


Applies To: Windows Server Update Services, Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP2, Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1

In WSUS 3.0 SP2, the WSUS Setup automatically configures IIS to distribute the latest version of Automatic Updates to each client computer that contacts the WSUS server.

The best way to configure Automatic Updates depends on the network environment. In an environment that uses Active Directory directory service, you can use an existing domain–based Group Policy Object (GPO) or create a new GPO. In an environment without Active Directory, use the Local GPO. In this step, you will configure Automatic Updates and then point the client computers to the WSUS server.

The following procedures assume that your network runs Active Directory. These procedures also assume that you are familiar with Group Policy and use it to manage the network.

For more information about Group Policy, see the Group Policy Resources on Windows Server Tech Center.

Step 5 Procedures

In Step 4: Configure updates and synchronization, you completed configuration of the updates that you want to download. Use this set of procedures to configure automatic updates for client computers.

  1. Configure Automatic Updates in Group Policy.

  2. Point a client computer to the WSUS server.

  3. Manually start detection by the WSUS server.

Perform the first two procedures on the domain–based GPO of your choice, and the third procedure at a command prompt on the client computer.

To configure Automatic Updates

  1. In the Group Policy Management Console (GPMC), browse to the GPO on which you want to configure WSUS, and then click Edit.

  2. In the GPMC, expand Computer Configuration, expand Administrative Templates, expand Windows Components, and then click Windows Update.

  3. In the details pane, double-click Configure Automatic Updates.

  4. Click Enabled, and then click one of the following options:

    • Notify for download and notify for install. This option notifies a logged-on administrative user before the download and before you install the updates.

    • Auto download and notify for install. This option automatically begins downloading updates and then notifies a logged-on administrative user before installing the updates.

    • Auto download and schedule the install. This option automatically begins downloading updates and then installs the updates on the day and time that you specify.

    • Allow local admin to choose setting. This option lets local administrators to use Automatic Updates in Control Panel to select a configuration option. For example, they can choose their own scheduled installation time. Local administrators cannot disable Automatic Updates.

  5. Click OK.

To point the client computers to the WSUS server

  1. In the Windows Update details pane, double-click Specify intranet Microsoft update service location.

  2. Click Enabled, and type the HTTP URL of the same WSUS server in the Set the intranet update service for detecting updates box and in the Set the intranet statistics server box. For example, type https://servername in both boxes, and then click OK.


If you are using the Local GPO to point the computer to WSUS, this setting takes effect immediately, and this computer appears in the WSUS Administrative Console after a short time. You can speed up this process by manually initiating a detection cycle.

After you set up a client computer, it will take several minutes before the computer appears on the Computers page in the WSUS Administration Console. For client computers configured with a domain-based Group Policy, it can take about 20 minutes after Group Policy refreshes (that is, applies any new policy settings to the client computer). By default, Group Policy updates in the background every 90 minutes, with a random offset of 0–30 minutes. If you want to update Group Policy sooner, you can go to a command prompt on the client computer and type gpupdate /force.

For client computers configured by using the Local GPO, Group Policy is applied immediately, and the update takes about 20 minutes.

If you begin detection manually, you do not have to wait 20 minutes for the client computer to contact WSUS.

To manually start detection by the WSUS server

  1. On the client computer, click Start, and then click Run.

  2. Type cmd in the Open box, and then click OK.

  3. At the command prompt, type wuauclt.exe /detectnow. This command-line option instructs Automatic Updates to contact the WSUS server immediately.

Next step

Step 6: Configure computer groups