Configuring Automatic Updates via Windows Registry

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This article documents how to configure Automatic Updates in Windows through the Windows Registry in a non-Active Directory environment.

There are two ways to create these registry keys:

  • Manually editing the registry (regedit.exe, reg.exe or a similar tool)
  • Deploying the registry keys using the Windows NT 4.0-style System Policy functionality.

To open the registry editor you can do the following:

  • Windows 98, ME, 2000, XP, Vista: Open the start menu, click on "Run", and then type in "regedit.exe" and hit OK.
  • Windows 7: In the Windows Search, type "Registry" and click on Registry Editor. Alternatively, press and hold WINKEY + R and type in "regedit.exe" then hit OK.
  • Windows 8, 8.1, 10: Press and hold WINKEY + R and type in "regedit.exe" then hit OK.
Key Value Description
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU NoAutoUpdate 0: Automatic Updates are enabled (default).

1: Automatic Updates are disabled.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU AUOptions 1: Keep my computer up to date has been disabled in Automatic Updates.

2: Notify of download and installation.

3: Automatically download and notify of installation.

4: Automatically download and scheduled installation.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU ScheduledInstallDay 0: Every day

1 through 7: The day of the week starting from 1 (Sunday) to 7 (Saturday)

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU UseWUServer 0: Use Windows Update Server

1: Configure Automatic Updates to use a server that is running Software Update Services instead of Windows Update

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU ScheduledInstallTime n, where n equals the time of day in a 24-hour format (0-23).
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU RescheduleWaitTime m, where m equals the time period to wait between the time Automatic Updates starts and the time it begins installations where the scheduled times have passed. The time is set in minutes from 1 to 60, representing 1 minute to 60 minutes)

Note: This setting only affects client behavior after the clients have updated to the SUS SP1 client version or later versions.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU NoAutoRebootWithLoggedOnUsers 0: Automatic Updates will automatically restart a computer even while users are logged on.

1: Automatic updates will not automatically restart a computer while users are logged on.