Step 4: Configure Updates and Set Up Synchronization

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server Update Services

Before downloading updates, you will need to specify which updates you want to download. This section describes how to configure the set of updates you wish to download.

The procedures in this step describe how to:

  • Save and download information about your upstream server and proxy server.

  • Choose the language of the updates you want.

  • Choose the products for which you want to get updates.

  • Choose the classifications of updates you want.

  • Specify the synchronization schedule for this server.

The next five procedures describe how to configure your updates using the configuration wizard. Later procedures describe how to perform this configuration from the WSUS Administration console by choosing specific options.

Save and download your upstream server and proxy information

  1. You should have completed configuration of the upstream server and the proxy server in the configuration wizard, and you should see the Connect to Upstream Server page.

  2. Click the Start Connecting button, which will save and upload your settings and get information about available updates.

  3. While the connection is being made, the Stop Connecting button will be available. If there are problems with the connection, click Stop Connecting, fix the problems, and restart the connection.

  4. After the download has completed successfully, click Next to go to the Choose Languages page, or select a different page from the left panel.

Choose update languages

  1. The Choose Languages page allows you to get updates from all languages or from a subset of languages. Selecting a subset of languages will save disk space, but it is important to choose all of the languages that will be needed by all of the clients of this WSUS server.

  2. If you choose to get updates for only a few languages, select Download updates only in these languages, and select the languages for which you want updates. Click Next to go to the Choose Products page, or select a different page from the left panel.

Choose update products

  1. The Choose Products page allows you to specify the products for which you want updates.

  2. You may check product categories, such as Windows, or specific products, such as Windows Server 2003. Selecting a product category will cause all of the products under it to be selected. Click Next to proceed to the Choose Classifications page, or select a different page from the left panel.

Choose the update classifications

  1. The Choose Classifications page allows you to choose the update classifications you wish to obtain. You can choose all the classifications or a subset of them.

  2. Click Next to proceed to the Configure Sync Schedule page, or select a different page from the left panel.

Configure the synchronization schedule

  1. You will see the Set Sync Schedule page, which allows you to choose whether to perform synchronization manually or automatically.

  2. If you choose to synchronize manually on this server, you will have to initiate the synchronization process from the WSUS administration console.

  3. If you choose to synchronize automatically, the WSUS server will synchronize at specified intervals. Set the time of the first synchronization and specify the number of synchronizations per day you wish this server to perform. For example, if you specify that there should be four synchronizations a day, starting at 3:00 A.M., synchronizations will occur at 3:00 A.M., 9:00 A.M., 3:00 P.M., and 9:00 P.M.

After you have completed all of the above configuration steps, select the Finished page in the configuration wizard. You can launch the WSUS Administration console by leaving the Launch the Windows Server Update Services Administrations snap-in check box selected, and you can start the first synchronization by leaving the Begin initial synchronization check box selected.


You cannot save configuration changes that are made while the server is synchronizing. Wait until synchronization is finished to make your changes.

The following procedures explain how to perform the above configuration steps through the Options page of the WSUS Administration console:

  • Choose products and classifications

  • Update files and languages

Choose products and classifications

  1. Launch the WSUS Administration console: Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Microsoft Windows Server Update Services.

  2. Select Options under your WSUS server in the left pane.

  3. In the middle pane, select Products and Classifications.

  4. You will see a dialog box with two tabs: Products and Classifications.

  5. In the Products tab, select the product category or specific product for which you want this server to get updates, or else select All Products.

  6. In the Classifications tab, select the update classifications you want, or else select All Classifications.

  7. Click OK to save your selections.

Update files and languages

  1. In the Options page, select Update Files and Languages.

  2. You will see a dialog box with two tabs: Update Files and Update Languages.

  3. In the Update Files tab, you can choose whether to store update files locally or to have all client computers install from Microsoft Update. If you choose to store update files on this server, you can choose whether to download only those updates that are approved or to download express installation files.

  4. In the Update Languages tab, you can choose to get updates for all languages (the default) or to get updates for only the specified languages. If this WSUS server has downstream servers, they will get updates only in the languages specified by the upstream server.

  5. Click OK to save these settings.

After you configure the network connection, you can download updates by synchronizing the WSUS server.

Synchronization involves the WSUS server contacting Microsoft Update. After making contact, WSUS determines whether any new updates have been made available since the last time you synchronized. Because this is the first time you are synchronizing the WSUS server, all of the updates are available and are ready for your approval for installation. The initial synchronization may take a fairly long time.


This document describes synchronizing with the default settings, but WSUS includes options that enable you to minimize bandwidth use during synchronization.

To synchronize your WSUS server

  1. In the WSUS Administration console, select Synchronizations.

  2. Right-click or go to the Actions pane on the right, and then click Synchronize now.


If you do not see the Actions pane on the right side of the console, on the console toolbar click View, click Customize, and ensure that the Action pane check box is selected.

After the synchronization finishes, click Updates in the left panel to view the list of updates.