Configure Automatic Updates in a Non–Active Directory Environment

In a non-Active Directory environment, you can configure Automatic Updates by using any of the following methods:

  • Using Group Policy Object Editor and editing the Local Group Policy object
  • Editing the registry directly by using the registry editor (Regedit.exe)
  • Centrally deploying these registry entries by using System Policy in Windows NT 4.0 style

WSUS Environment Options

The registry entries for the WSUS environment options are located in the following subkey:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate

The keys and their value ranges are listed in the following table.

Windows Update Agent Environment Options Registry Keys

Entry Name Values Data Type
ElevateNonAdmins Range = 1|0
1 = Users in the Users security group are allowed to approve or disapprove updates.
0 = Only users in the Administrators user group can approve or disapprove updates.
Reg_DWORD
TargetGroup Name of the computer group to which the computer belongs, used to implement client-side targeting—for example, "TestServers." This policy is paired with TargetGroupEnabled. Reg_String
TargetGroupEnabled Range = 1|0
1 = Use client-side targeting.
0 = Do not use client-side targeting. This policy is paired with TargetGroup.
Reg_DWORD
WUServer HTTP(S) URL of the WSUS server used by Automatic Updates and (by default) API callers. This policy is paired with WUStatusServer; both must be set to the same value in order for them to be valid. Reg_String
WUStatusServer The HTTP(S) URL of the server to which reporting information will be sent for client computers that use the WSUS server configured by the WUServer key. This policy is paired with WUServer; both must be set to the same value in order for them to be valid. Reg_String

Automatic Update Configuration Options

The registry entries for the Automatic Update configuration options are located in the following subkey:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU

The keys and their value ranges are listed in the following table.

Automatic Updates Configuration Registry Keys







Entry Name Value Range and Meanings Data Type
AUOptions Range = 2|3|4|5
2 = Notify before download.
3 = Automatically download and notify of installation.
4 = Automatic download and scheduled installation. (Only valid if values exist for ScheduledInstallDay and ScheduledInstallTime.)
5 = Automatic Updates is required, but end users can configure it.
Reg_DWORD
AutoInstallMinorUpdates Range = 0|1
0 = Treat minor updates like other updates.
1 = Silently install minor updates.
Reg_DWORD
DetectionFrequency Range=n; where n=time in hours (1-22).
Time between detection cycles.
Reg_DWORD
DetectionFrequencyEnabled Range = 0|1
1 = Enable DetectionFrequency.
0 = Disable custom DetectionFrequency (use default value of 22 hours).
Reg_DWORD
NoAutoRebootWithLoggedOnUsers Range = 0|1;
1 = Logged-on user gets to choose whether or not to restart his or her computer.
0 = Automatic Updates notifies user that the computer will restart in 5 minutes.
Reg_DWORD
NoAutoUpdate Range = 0|1 0 = Enable Automatic Updates. 1 = Disable Automatic Updates. Reg_DWORD
RebootRelaunchTimeout Range=n; where n=time in minutes (1-1440). Time between prompting again for a scheduled restart. Reg_DWORD
RebootRelaunchTimeoutEnabled Range = 0|1
1 = Enable RebootRelaunchTimeout.
0 = Disable custom RebootRelaunchTimeout(use default value of 10 minutes).
Reg_DWORD
RebootWarningTimeout Range=n; where n=time in minutes (1-30).
Length, in minutes, of the restart warning countdown after installing updates with a deadline or scheduled updates.
Reg_DWORD
RebootWarningTimeoutEnabled Range = 0|1
1 = Enable RebootWarningTimeout.
0 = Disable custom RebootWarningTimeout (use default value of 5 minutes).
Reg_DWORD
RescheduleWaitTime Range=n; where n=time in minutes (1-60).
Time, in minutes, that Automatic Updates should wait at startup before applying updates from a missed scheduled installation time.
Note that this policy applies only to scheduled installations, not deadlines. Updates whose deadlines have expired should always be installed as soon as possible.
Reg_DWORD
RescheduleWaitTimeEnabled Range = 0|1
1 = Enable RescheduleWaitTime
0 = Disable RescheduleWaitTime(attempt the missed installation during the next scheduled installation time).
Reg_DWORD
ScheduledInstallDay Range = 0|1|2|3|4|5|6|7
0 = Every day.
1 through 7 = The days of the week from Sunday (1) to Saturday (7).
(Only valid if AUOptions equals 4.)
Reg_DWORD
ScheduledInstallTime Range = n; where n = the time of day in 24-hour format (0-23). Reg_DWORD
UseWUServer The WUServer value is not respected unless this key is set. Reg_DWORD