Migrating the WSUS Database from WID to SQL

Applies to: Windows Server 2022, Windows Server 2019, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2016

Use the following steps to migrate the WSUS database (SUSDB) from a Windows Internal Database instance to a Local or Remote instance of SQL Server.


  • SQL Instance. This can be the default MSSQLServer or a custom Instance.
  • SQL Server Management Studio
  • WSUS with WID role installed
  • IIS (This is normally included when you install WSUS through Server Manager). It is not already installed, it will need to be.

Migrating the WSUS database

Stop the IIS and WSUS services on the WSUS server

From PowerShell (elevated), run:

    Stop-Service IISADMIN
    Stop-Service WsusService

Detach SUSDB from the Windows Internal Database

Using SQL Management Studio

  1. Right-click SUSDB -> Tasks -> click Detach: Screenshot of SQL Server Management Studio showing the SUSDB > Tasks > Detach option selected.
  2. Check Drop Existing Connections and click OK (optional, if active connections exist). Screenshot of the Detach Database dialog box with the Drop Existing Connections option selected and the OK option highlighted.

Using Command Prompt


These steps show how to detach the WSUS database (SUSDB) from the Windows Internal Database instance by using the sqlcmd utility. For more information about the sqlcmd utility, see sqlcmd Utility.

  1. Open an elevated command prompt
  2. Run the following SQL command to detach the WSUS database (SUSDB) from the Windows Internal Database instance by using the sqlcmd utility:
        sqlcmd -S \\.\pipe\Microsoft##WID\tsql\query
        use master
        alter database SUSDB set single_user with rollback immediate
        sp_detach_db SUSDB

Copy the SUSDB files to the SQL Server

  1. Copy SUSDB.mdf and SUSDB_log.ldf from the WID Data Folder (%SystemDrive%\Windows\WID\Data) to the SQL Instance Data Folder.


For example, if your SQL Instance Folder is C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL12.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL, and the WID Data folder is C:\Windows\WID\Data, copy the SUSDB files from C:\Windows\WID\Data to C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL12.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\Data

Attach SUSDB to the SQL Instance

  1. In SQL Server Management Studio, under the Instance node, right-click Databases, and then click Attach. Screenshot of SQL Server Management Studio showing the Databases > Attach option selected.
  2. In the Attach Databases box, under Databases to attach, click the Add button and locate the SUSDB.mdf file (copied from the WID Folder), and then click OK. Screenshot of the Attach Databases dialog box with the Add option highlighted. Screenshot of the Locate Database Files dialog box with the S U S D B M D F file highlighted.


This is also able to be done using Transact-Sql. Please see the SQL documentation for attaching a database for its instructions.

Example (using paths from previous example):

   USE master;
       (FILENAME = 'C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL12.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\Data\SUSDB.mdf'),
       (FILENAME = 'C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL12.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\Log\SUSDB_Log.ldf')
       FOR ATTACH;

Verify SQL Server and Database Logins and Permissions

SQL Server Login Permissions

After attaching the SUSDB, verify that NT AUTHORITY\NETWORK SERVICE has login permissions to the instance of SQL Server by doing the following:

  1. Go into SQL Server Management Studio
  2. Opening the Instance
  3. Click Security
  4. Click Logins

The NT AUTHORITY\NETWORK SERVICE account should be listed. If it is not, you need to add it by adding New Login Name.


If the SQL Instance is on a different machine from WSUS, the WSUS Server's computer account should be listed in the format [FQDN]\[WSUSComputerName]$. If not, the steps below can be used to add it, replacing NT AUTHORITY\NETWORK SERVICE with the WSUS Server's computer account ([FQDN]\[WSUSComputerName]$) This would be in addition to granting rights to NT AUTHORITY\NETWORK SERVICE

Adding NT AUTHORITY\NETWORK SERVICE and granting it rights
  1. Right Click Logins and click New Login… Screenshot of SQL Server Management Studio showing the Logins > New Login option selected.
  2. On the General page, fill out the Login name (NT AUTHORITY\NETWORK SERVICE), and set the Default database to SUSDB. Screenshot of the General page of the Login dialog box showing the Login name and Defualt database fields populated.
  3. On the Server Roles page, ensure public and sysadmin are selected. Screenshot of the Server Roles page of the Login dialog box showing the public and sysadmin options selected.
  4. On the User Mapping page:
    • Under Users mapped to this login: select SUSDB
    • Under Database role membership for: SUSDB, ensure the following are checked:
      • public
      • webService Screenshot of the User Mapping page of the Login dialog box showing the public and webService options selected.
  5. Click OK

You should now see NT AUTHORITY\NETWORK SERVICE under Logins. Screenshot of the Object Explorer showing N T AUTHORITY NETWORK SERVICE under Logins.

Database Permissions

  1. Right-click the SUSDB
  2. Select Properties
  3. Click Permissions

The NT AUTHORITY\NETWORK SERVICE account should be listed.

  1. If it is not, add the account.

  2. On the Login name textbox, enter the WSUS machine in the following format:


  3. Verify that the Default database is set to SUSDB.


    In the following example, the FQDN is Contosto.com and the WSUS machine name is WsusMachine:

    Screenshot of the Login dialog box showing that the FQDN is Contosto.com** and the W S U S machine name is W s u s Machine.

  4. On the User Mapping page, select the SUSDB Database under Users mapped to this login

  5. Check webservice under the Database role membership for: SUSDB: Screenshot of the User Mapping page of the Login dialog box showing the SUSDB and webService options selected.

  6. Click OK to save settings.


    You may need to restart the SQL Service for the changes to take effect.

Edit the registry to point WSUS to the SQL Server Instance


Follow the steps in this section carefully. Serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Before you modify it, back up the registry for restoration in case problems occur.

  1. Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.

  2. Locate the following key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\UpdateServices\Server\Setup\SqlServerName

  3. In the Value text box, type [ServerName]\[InstanceName], and then click OK. If the instance name is the default instance, type [ServerName].

  4. Locate the following key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Update Services\Server\Setup\Installed Role Services\UpdateServices-WidDatabase Screenshot of the Registry Editor dialog box with the UpdateServices-WidDatabase key highlighted.

  5. Rename the Key to UpdateServices-Database Screenshot of the Registry Editor dialog box showing the key name update to UpdateServices-Database.


    If you do not update this key, then WsusUtil will attempt to service the WID rather than the SQL Instance to which you have migrated.

Start the IIS and WSUS services on the WSUS server

From PowerShell (elevated), run:

    Start-Service IISADMIN
    Start-Service WsusService


If you are using the WSUS Console, close and restart it.


Removing the WID role also removes a database folder (%SystemDrive%\Program Files\Update Services\Database) that contains scripts required by WSUSUtil.exe for post-installation tasks. If you choose to uninstall the WID role, make sure you back up the %SystemDrive%\Program Files\Update Services\Database folder beforehand.

Using PowerShell:

Uninstall-WindowsFeature -Name 'Windows-Internal-Database'

After the WID role is removed, verify that the following registry key is present: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Update Services\Server\Setup\Installed Role Services\UpdateServices-Database