Manage additional Windows Update settings

Applies to

  • Windows 10
  • Windows 10 Mobile

Looking for consumer information? See Windows Update: FAQ

You can use Group Policy settings or mobile device management (MDM) to configure the behavior of Windows Update (WU) on your Windows 10 devices. You can configure the update detection frequency, select when updates are received, specify the update service location and more.

Important

In Windows 10, any Group Policy user configuration settings for Windows Update were deprecated and are no longer supported on this platform.

Summary of Windows Update settings

Group Policy setting MDM setting Supported from version
Specify Intranet Microsoft update service location UpdateServiceUrl and UpdateServiceUrlAlternate All
Automatic Updates Detection Frequency DetectionFrequency 1703
Remove access to use all Windows Update features All
Do not connect to any Windows Update Internet locations All
Enable client-side targeting All
Allow signed updates from an intranet Microsoft update service location AllowNonMicrosoftSignedUpdate All
Do not include drivers with Windows Updates ExcludeWUDriversInQualityUpdate 1607
Configure Automatic Updates AllowAutoUpdate All

Important

Additional information about settings to manage device restarts and restart notifications for updates is available on Manage device restarts after updates.

Additional settings that configure when Feature and Quality updates are received are detailed on Configure Windows Update for Business.

Scanning for updates

With Windows 10, admins have a lot of flexibility in configuring how their devices scan and receive updates.

Specify Intranet Microsoft update service location allows admins to point devices to an internal Microsoft update service location, while Do not connect to any Windows Update Internet locations gives them to option to restrict devices to just that internal update service. Automatic Updates Detection Frequency controls how frequently devices scan for updates.

You can make custom device groups that'll work with your internal Microsoft update service by using Enable client-side targeting. You can also make sure your devices receive updates that were not signed by Microsoft from your internal Microsoft update service, through Allow signed updates from an intranet Microsoft update service location.

Finally, to make sure the updating experience is fully controlled by the admins, you can Remove access to use all Windows Update features for users.

For additional settings that configure when Feature and Quality updates are received, see Configure Windows Update for Business.

Specify Intranet Microsoft update service location

Specifies an intranet server to host updates from Microsoft Update. You can then use this update service to automatically update computers on your network. This setting lets you specify a server on your network to function as an internal update service. The Automatic Updates client will search this service for updates that apply to the computers on your network.

To use this setting in Group Policy, go to Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Windows Update\Specify Intranet Microsoft update service location. You must set two server name values: the server from which the Automatic Updates client detects and downloads updates, and the server to which updated workstations upload statistics. You can set both values to be the same server. An optional server name value can be specified to configure Windows Update Agent to download updates from an alternate download server instead of the intranet update service.

If the setting is set to Enabled, the Automatic Updates client connects to the specified intranet Microsoft update service (or alternate download server), instead of Windows Update, to search for and download updates. Enabling this setting means that end users in your organization don’t have to go through a firewall to get updates, and it gives you the opportunity to test updates after deploying them. If the setting is set to Disabled or Not Configured, and if Automatic Updates is not disabled by policy or user preference, the Automatic Updates client connects directly to the Windows Update site on the Internet.

The alternate download server configures the Windows Update Agent to download files from an alternative download server instead of the intranet update service. The option to download files with missing Urls allows content to be downloaded from the Alternate Download Server when there are no download Urls for files in the update metadata. This option should only be used when the intranet update service does not provide download Urls in the update metadata for files which are present on the alternate download server.

Note

If the "Configure Automatic Updates" policy is disabled, then this policy has no effect.

If the "Alternate Download Server" is not set, it will use the intranet update service by default to download updates.

The option to "Download files with no Url..." is only used if the "Alternate Download Server" is set.

To configure this policy with MDM, use UpdateServiceUrl and UpdateServiceUrlAlternate.

Automatic Updates detection frequency

Specifies the hours that Windows will use to determine how long to wait before checking for available updates. The exact wait time is determined by using the hours specified here minus zero to twenty percent of the hours specified. For example, if this policy is used to specify a 20-hour detection frequency, then all clients to which this policy is applied will check for updates anywhere between 16 to 20 hours.

To set this setting with Group Policy, navigate to Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Windows Update\Automatic Updates detection frequency.

If the setting is set to Enabled, Windows will check for available updates at the specified interval. If the setting is set to Disabled or Not Configured, Windows will check for available updates at the default interval of 22 hours.

Note

The “Specify intranet Microsoft update service location” setting must be enabled for this policy to have effect.

If the “Configure Automatic Updates” policy is disabled, this policy has no effect.

To configure this policy with MDM, use DetectionFrequency.

Remove access to use all Windows Update features

By enabling the Group Policy setting under Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Windows update\Remove access to use all Windows update features, administrators can disable the "Check for updates" option for users. Any background update scans, downloads and installations will continue to work as configured.

Do not connect to any Windows Update Internet locations

Even when Windows Update is configured to receive updates from an intranet update service, it will periodically retrieve information from the public Windows Update service to enable future connections to Windows Update, and other services like Microsoft Update or the Microsoft Store.

Use Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Windows update\Do not connect to any Windows Update Internet locations to enable this policy. When enabled, this policy will disable the functionality described above, and may cause connection to public services such as the Microsoft Store, Windows Update for Business and Delivery Optimization to stop working.

Note

This policy applies only when the device is configured to connect to an intranet update service using the "Specify intranet Microsoft update service location" policy.

Enable client-side targeting

Specifies the target group name or names that should be used to receive updates from an intranet Microsoft update service. This allows admins to configure device groups that will receive different updates from sources like WSUS or SCCM.

This Group Policy setting can be found under Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Windows update\Enable client-side targeting. If the setting is set to Enabled, the specified target group information is sent to the intranet Microsoft update service which uses it to determine which updates should be deployed to this computer. If the setting is set to Disabled or Not Configured, no target group information will be sent to the intranet Microsoft update service.

If the intranet Microsoft update service supports multiple target groups, this policy can specify multiple group names separated by semicolons. Otherwise, a single group must be specified.

Note

This policy applies only when the intranet Microsoft update service the device is directed to is configured to support client-side targeting. If the “Specify intranet Microsoft update service location” policy is disabled or not configured, this policy has no effect.

Allow signed updates from an intranet Microsoft update service location

This policy setting allows you to manage whether Automatic Updates accepts updates signed by entities other than Microsoft when the update is found on an intranet Microsoft update service location.

To configure this setting in Group Policy, go to Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Windows update\Allow signed updates from an intranet Microsoft update service location.

If you enable this policy setting, Automatic Updates accepts updates received through an intranet Microsoft update service location, as specified by Specify Intranet Microsoft update service location, if they are signed by a certificate found in the “Trusted Publishers” certificate store of the local computer. If you disable or do not configure this policy setting, updates from an intranet Microsoft update service location must be signed by Microsoft.

Note

Updates from a service other than an intranet Microsoft update service must always be signed by Microsoft and are not affected by this policy setting.

To configure this policy with MDM, use AllowNonMicrosoftSignedUpdate.

Installing updates

To add more flexibility to the update process, settings are available to control update installation.

Configure Automatic Updates offers 4 different options for automatic update installation, while Do not include drivers with Windows Updates makes sure drivers are not installed with the rest of the received updates.

Do not include drivers with Windows Updates

Allows admins to exclude Windows Update (WU) drivers during updates.

To configure this setting in Group Policy, use Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Windows update\Do not include drivers with Windows Updates. Enable this policy to not include drivers with Windows quality updates. If you disable or do not configure this policy, Windows Update will include updates that have a Driver classification.

Configure Automatic Updates

Enables the IT admin to manage automatic update behavior to scan, download, and install updates.

When enabling this setting through Group Policy, under Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Windows update\Configure Automatic Updates, you must select one of the four options:

2 - Notify for download and auto install - When Windows finds updates that apply to this device, users will be notified that updates are ready to be downloaded. After going to Settings > Update & security > Windows Update, users can download and install any available updates.

3 - Auto download and notify for Install - Windows finds updates that apply to the device and downloads them in the background (the user is not notified or interrupted during this process). When the downloads are complete, users will be notified that they are ready to install. After going to Settings > Update & security > Windows Update, users can install them.

4 - Auto download and schedule the install - Specify the schedule using the options in the Group Policy Setting. For more information about this setting, see Schedule update installation.

5 - Allow local admin to choose setting - With this option, local administrators will be allowed to use the settings app to select a configuration option of their choice. Local administrators will not be allowed to disable the configuration for Automatic Updates.

If this setting is set to Disabled, any updates that are available on Windows Update must be downloaded and installed manually. To do this, users must go to Settings > Update & security > Windows Update.

If this setting is set to Not Configured, an administrator can still configure Automatic Updates through the settings app, under Settings > Update & security > Windows Update > Advanced options.