Windows Software Update Services (WSUS)
Lesson 5


By Sai Kurada
August 12, 2023

After you install and configure WSUS, the next important task is to configure group policy settings for automatic updates. The new clients still don’t know about the new WSUS server that you just setup. Using group policy, you can point your client machines to new WSUS server.

In an active directory environment, you can use Group Policy specify the WSUS server. The group policy settings will be used to obtain automatic updates from Windows Server Update Services (WSUS).

You can create the group policy and apply it at domain level. Or you can create and apply the GPO to a specific OU (containing your computers).

Configure Automatic Updates WSUS

To configure Automatic Updates group policy settings for WSUS
  • Open the Group Policy Management console and open an existing GPO or create a new one.
  • Navigate to Computer Configuration > Policies > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update.
  • Double-click Configure Automatic Updates and set it to Enabled.
Under Configure automatic updating, select the desired option. Under Schedule install day, select the day when you want the updates to be installed. Set the scheduled install time.
In case you select Auto download and schedule the updates install, you get some options to limit updating frequency. If you have configured the settings, click Apply and OK.

Approve and Deploy Updates in WSUS

Computers in a computer group automatically contact the WSUS server over the next 24 hours to obtain updates. You can use the WSUS reporting feature to determine whether those updates were deployed to the test computers. When the tests are successfully completed, you can approve the updates for the applicable computer groups in your organization.

To approve and deploy WSUS updates

1. On the WSUS Administration Console, click Updates. In the right pane, an update status summary is displayed for All Updates, Critical Updates, Security Updates, and WSUS Updates.
2. In the All Updates section, click Updates needed by computers.
3. In the list of updates, select the updates that you want to approve for installation in your test computer group. Information about a selected update is available in the bottom pane of the Updates panel. To select multiple contiguous updates, hold down the shift key while clicking the update names. To select multiple non-contiguous updates, press down the CTRL key while clicking the update names.
4. Right-click the selection, and then click Approve.
5. In the Approve Updates dialog box, select your test group, and then click the down arrow.
6. Click Approved for Install, and then click OK.
7. The Approval Progress window appears, which shows the progress of the tasks that affect update approval. When the approval process is complete, click Close.

Configure auto-approval rules

Automatic Approvals enables you to specify how to automatically approve installation of updates for selected groups, and how to approve revisions to existing updates.

To configure Automatic Approvals

1. In the WSUS Administration Console, under Update Services, expand the WSUS server, and then click Options. The Options window opens.
2. In Options, click Automatic Approvals. The Automatic Approvals dialog opens.
3. In Update Rules, click New Rule. The add Rule dialog opens.
4. In add Rule, in Step 1: select Properties, select any single option, or combination of options from the following:
o When an update is in a specific classification - When selecting the Upgrades classification, be aware that Windows feature updates that get published monthly are also classified as Upgrades. Automatically approving these updates could cause devices to upgrade their OS. For example, applicable Windows 10 devices could get upgraded to Windows 11. Additionally, feature updates would require additional disk space.
o When an update is in a specific product
o Set a deadline for the approval

5. In Step 2: edit the properties, click each of the options listed, and then select the appropriate options for each.
6. In Step 3: Specify a name, type a name for your rule, and then click OK.
7. Click OK to close the Automatic Approvals dialog.

Review installed updates with WSUS Reports

24 hours after you approve the updates, you can use the WSUS Reports feature to determine whether the updates were deployed to the test group computers. To check the status of an update, you can use the WSUS Reports feature as follows.

To review updates

1. In the navigation pane of the WSUS Administration Console, click Reports.
2. On the Reports page, click the Update Status Summary report. The Updates Report window appears.
3. If you want to filter the list of updates, select the criteria that you want to use, for example, Include updates in these classifications, and then click Run Report.
4. You will see the Updates Report pane. You can check the status of individual updates by selecting the update in the left section of the pane. The last section of the report pane shows the status summary of the update.
5. You can save or print this report by clicking the applicable icon on the toolbar.
6. After you test the updates, you can approve the updates for installation on the applicable computer groups in your organization.