Specifying Where to Store the Updates

Applies To: Windows Server 2003 with SP2, Windows Server Update Services

You can specify whether to store update files on your local WSUS server or on Microsoft Update. If you store updates locally, you can limit the updates downloaded by language. If you store the update files on Microsoft Update, then your WSUS server will download only update metadata. Update files are downloaded to the client computers at the time of installation. If you choose this option, you will need to make sure all your client computers have direct access to Microsoft Update.

Local storage considerations

If you decide to store update files on your server, the recommended minimum disk size is 30 GB. However, depending on your synchronization options (in particular, multiple update languages or express installation files), you might need more disk space. If you download updates in five languages, you will need approximately double the size of the content directory you would need for just one language.

If your disk gets full, you can move the update files to a different location. To do this you will need to run the WSUSutil.exe tool. For this procedure, see Managing WSUS 3.0 from the Command Line.

About express installation files

Express installation files are usually many times larger than a regular update package. An express installation file package containing all the versions of the update for different computer configurations is downloaded to your WSUS server. However, when your client computers connect to the server, they will download only the changes in the update files that the update needs. You should select the express installation file option only in situations where you are less concerned with external bandwidth than internal bandwidth usage.

Besides bandwidth, another consideration when choosing to download express installation files, as mentioned earlier, is disk space. If you choose to download express installation files, they will take more disk space. Therefore, use a larger disk (more than 30 GB) if you select this option.

To specify where to store downloaded update files

  1. In the WSUS administrative console, click Options, and then click Update Files and Languages.

  2. Click the Update Files tab.

  3. Select whether to store update files locally or on Microsoft Update. If you decide to store update files on your server, you can also choose to download update files only when they are approved, or to download express installation files.

  4. If you decide to store the files on the WSUS server, click the Update Languages tab, and then select whether to limit the updates downloaded to your WSUS server by language. You should limit the languages you download if you are going to store update files on your WSUS server.

  5. Click OK.


If your WSUS server is running in replica mode, you will not be able to perform this task. For more information about replica mode, see Running WSUS 3.0 in Replica Mode.

Updates, update files, and languages

If you are storing updates locally, and you have set up a WSUS server to download updates in a limited number of languages, you may notice that there are updates in languages other than the ones you specified. This is because many updates are in fact bundles of update files for different languages, and the update in question includes at least one of the language settings on the server

Changing the location where you store update files locally

You might need to change your local update storage location if the disk becomes full or fails and the replacement disk uses a new drive letter.

You accomplish this move with the movecontent command of WSUSutil.exe, a command-line tool that can be found in the WSUSInstallationDirectory \Tools\ directory (where WSUSInstallationDirectory is the directory to which you installed WSUS.

WSUSUtil.exe can be run only on the WSUS server itself. Only members of the local Administrators group on the WSUS server can run WSUSutil.exe

You must create the new path for local WSUS update storage before moving the content. The movecontent command takes an optional -skipcopy parameter, which enables you to change the storage location without copying any files. For more information about WSUSutil.exe, see Managing WSUS 3.0 from the Command Line.

To change the location of local WSUS update storage

  1. Open a command shell.

  2. Navigate to the directory that contains WSUSutil.exe:

    cd WSUSInstallationDirectory**\Tools**.

  3. Type the following command:

    wsusutil.exe movecontent contentpath logfile [-skipcopy]

    For example, type:

    wsusutil.exe movecontent D:\WSUS1\ D:\move.log

    where D:\WSUS1 is the new path for local WSUS update storage, and D:\move.log is the path to the log file.


If you do not want to use WSUSutil.exe to change the location of local WSUS update storage, you can also use NTFS functionality to add a partition to the current location of local WSUS update storage. For more information about NTFS, see NTFS technical documentation (https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=79488).