Set Automatic Updates Options for Client-Side Troubleshooting

Updated: July 19, 2011

Applies To: Windows Server 2003 with SP2, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1, Windows Server Update Services, Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard

You can use the wuauclt utility to change the default Automatic Updates functionality. The following Automatic Update options can help you test and troubleshoot issues with client computers.

For more information about the wuauclt utility, see Manage WSUS 3.0 SP2 from the Command Line.

Option Description


Immediately starts the update detection process.


Asynchronously sends all queued reporting events to the WSUS server.


When you enable client-side targeting, WSUS stores information in cookies on the client computers. This information includes computer group membership. By default, this cookie expires one hour after WSUS creates it. If you use client-side targeting and change the group membership of a client computer, you can use the resetauthorization option in combination with the detectnow option to immediately expire the cookie, start detection, and update the computer group membership.

You can implement these options by using the following procedure:

To enable an Automatic Updates option

  1. Log on to the client computer by using an account that is a member of the local Administrators group.

  2. Open a command prompt (Cmd.exe) as an administrator. To open a command prompt as an administrator, click Start. In Start Search, type Command Prompt. At the top of the Start menu, right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as administrator. If the User Account Control dialog box appears, enter the appropriate credentials (if requested), confirm that the action it displays is what you want, and then click Continue.

  3. In the Command Prompt window, type the following command:

    wuauclt/ option

    where option is one of the following options:

    • detectnow

    • reportnow

    • resetauthorization /detectnow


You must issue the resetauthorization /detectnow options in the order that is presented here.