Configure Software Update Rules

In this task, you configure System Center Essentials to download software updates from Microsoft Update and then apply those updates to managed computers in your network. We strongly recommend that you complete this task.

securitySecurity Note
Microsoft is committed to protecting your environment from security vulnerabilities. As part of this effort, Microsoft periodically releases software updates that address known security vulnerabilities. To protect your environment, we strongly recommend that you configure Update Management to automatically download updates from Microsoft Update, and then apply those updates to managed computers in your Active Directory domain by using Windows Server Update Services. You must complete this task to begin synchronization with Microsoft Update.


System Center Essentials manages updates by configuring settings in Windows Server Update Services on the Management Server. In addition to running the System Center Essentials Update Management Configuration Wizard, it is recommended that you configure Windows Server Update Services to synchronize hourly with Microsoft Update. This is to ensure that updates to anti-malware and anti-spam signature files are downloaded as soon as they are available.

Before you configure updates, you must complete the following tasks:


After you configure System Center Essentials, wait at least 90 minutes before you configure updates.

To configure System Center Essentials to manage updates

  1. In the Configuration and Migration Tasks checklist, click Configure software update rules, and then click Start the Update Management Settings Wizard. The Update Management Configuration Wizard appears.

  2. On the Introduction page, click Next.

  3. On the Proxy Server page, accept the default proxy server settings that are configured for Windows EBS. Then click Synchronize. The wizard begins synchronizing, which determines which products on your network are available to update.

  4. On the Products page, by default all product categories are selected. To restrict updates to the specific software products that are used in your organization, click No, and then click the check boxes next to the products that you want to update. Click Next.

  5. On the Update Languages page, specify the languages that you want to download updates for. Choose one of the following:

    • Click Yes (the default value) to download languages only for the locale of the Management Server. Then click Next.
    • Click No, and then click the check boxes next the languages that you want to update. Then click Next.
  6. On the Classifications page, keep the default setting (No) to download only critical, definition, security, and service-pack updates. Click Next.

  7. On the Synchronization page, click Synchronize daily at and choose the time of day to synchronize available updates. Click Next.

  8. On the Summary page, review the update management settings, and then click Finish.


    It is recommended that you do not click Synchronize updates when the wizard closes at this time. Synchronization takes a lot of time and system resources. To have the least impact on your environment, you should wait for synchronization to occur at the time that you scheduled.

To configure Windows Server Update Services to synchronize hourly

  1. Log on to the Management Server by using a domain administrator account.

  2. In Administrative Tools, click Microsoft Windows Server Update Services 3.0 SP1.

  3. In the console tree, click Options.

  4. In the middle pane, click Synchronization Schedule.

  5. In the Synchronization Schedule dialog box, in the Synchronizations per day list, click 24.

  6. Click OK.