How to Get Updates From a WSUS Server Instead of Microsoft


Every month Microsoft releases updates to their software products to address security concerns and functional issues. Most home users receive these updates automatically from the Microsoft Update website. In a large enterprise environment, most network administrators prefer to control which updates the computers receive. By using Group Policy, she can tell every computer in the environment to look for updates on a WSUS server instead of the Microsoft Update website. But even if your computer is not part of a large domain, as long as there is a local WSUS server, you can still configure your computer to get updates from that location.

Things You'll Need

  • A computer with Windows XP or higher.
  • Network access to a computing running Windows Server Update Services.

Modifying WSUS settings on a stand-alone computer.

  • Click the "Start" menu and type "Gpedit.msc" to open the Group Policy Editor tool

  • Expand the "Computer Configuration" node, then expand the "Administrative Templates" node followed by the "Windows Components" node until you reach the "Windows Update" node.

  • Double-click on "Configure Automatic Updates" from the list of settings in the right pane of the Group Policy management tool.

  • Select the "Enable" radio button and click the "OK" button, leaving the other settings at their default values.

  • Double-click on "Specify intranet Microsoft update service location" from the right pane of the management console window to open its property settings.

  • Select the "Enabled" radio button and then enter the intranet update service location of the local WSUS server into the first field. For example, if the local WSUS server is named "WSUSServer" you would enter "http://WSUSServer."

  • Enter the location of the WSUS statistics server in the second field. In a small single-server WSUS installation, this will be the same value as the intranet update site.

  • Press "OK" to save your changes.

  • Click "File" on the menu bar and then click "Exit" to close the Group Policy Editor.

Tips & Warnings

  • Before your make any changes to Windows Update settings, ask your network administrator for permission to use the WSUS Server as your source for Windows updates.
  • If your computer is part of an Active Directory domain, any changes you make to the local policy settings may get overwritten by domain policies that take precedence over local policies.
  • Make sure to test any changes your make to the Windows updates settings. If not configured correctly, your computer may fail to receive monthly security updates and expose it to unnecessary risk.

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  • Photo Credit Jon Schulte/Photodisc/Getty Images
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