Configure Automatic Updates

Specifies whether this computer will receive security updates and other important downloads through the Windows automatic updating service.

Note: This policy does not apply to Windows RT.

This setting lets you specify whether automatic updates are enabled on this computer. If the service is enabled, you must select one of the four options in the Group Policy Setting:

2 = Notify before downloading and installing any updates.

When Windows finds updates that apply to this computer, users will be notified that updates are ready to be downloaded. After going to Windows Update, users can download and install any available updates.

3 = (Default setting) Download the updates automatically and notify when they are ready to be installed

Windows finds updates that apply to the computer 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 Windows Update, users can install them.

4 = Automatically download updates and install them on the schedule specified below.

Specify the schedule using the options in the Group Policy Setting. If no schedule is specified, the default schedule for all installations will be every day at 3:00 AM. If any updates require a restart to complete the installation, Windows will restart the computer automatically. (If a user is signed in to the computer when Windows is ready to restart, the user will be notified and given the option to delay the restart.)

On Windows 8 and later, you can set updates to install during automatic maintenance instead of a specific schedule. Automatic maintenance will install updates when the computer is not in use, and avoid doing so when the computer is running on battery power. If automatic maintenance is unable to install updates for 2 days, Windows Update will install updates right away. Users will then be notified about an upcoming restart, and that restart will only take place if there is no potential for accidental data loss.

Automatic maintenance can be further configured by using Group Policy settings here: Computer Configuration->Administrative Templates->Windows Components->Maintenance Scheduler

5 = Allow local administrators to select the configuration mode that Automatic Updates should notify and install updates.

With this option, local administrators will be allowed to use the Windows Update control panel to select a configuration option of their choice. Local administrators will not be allowed to disable the configuration for Automatic Updates.

If the status for this policy is set to Disabled, any updates that are available on Windows Update must be downloaded and installed manually. To do this, search for Windows Update using Start.

If the status is set to Not Configured, use of Automatic Updates is not specified at the Group Policy level. However, an administrator can still configure Automatic Updates through Control Panel.


Supported on: Windows XP Professional Service Pack 1 or At least Windows 2000 Service Pack 3
Registry HiveHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
Registry PathSoftware\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU
Value NameNoAutoUpdate
Value TypeREG_DWORD
Enabled Value0
Disabled Value1

Configure automatic updating:


  1. 2 - Notify for download and auto install
    Registry HiveHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
    Registry PathSoftware\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU
    Value NameAUOptions
    Value TypeREG_DWORD
    Value2
  2. 3 - Auto download and notify for install
    Registry HiveHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
    Registry PathSoftware\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU
    Value NameAUOptions
    Value TypeREG_DWORD
    Value3
  3. 4 - Auto download and schedule the install
    Registry HiveHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
    Registry PathSoftware\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU
    Value NameAUOptions
    Value TypeREG_DWORD
    Value4
  4. 5 - Allow local admin to choose setting
    Registry HiveHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
    Registry PathSoftware\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU
    Value NameAUOptions
    Value TypeREG_DWORD
    Value5

The following settings are only required and applicable if 4 is selected.

Install during automatic maintenance
Registry HiveHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
Registry PathSoftware\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU
Value NameAutomaticMaintenanceEnabled
Value TypeREG_DWORD
Default Value0
True Value1
False Value0
Scheduled install day:


  1. 0 - Every day
    Registry HiveHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
    Registry PathSoftware\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU
    Value NameScheduledInstallDay
    Value TypeREG_DWORD
    Value0
  2. 1 - Every Sunday
    Registry HiveHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
    Registry PathSoftware\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU
    Value NameScheduledInstallDay
    Value TypeREG_DWORD
    Value1
  3. 2 - Every Monday
    Registry HiveHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
    Registry PathSoftware\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU
    Value NameScheduledInstallDay
    Value TypeREG_DWORD
    Value2
  4. 3 - Every Tuesday
    Registry HiveHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
    Registry PathSoftware\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU
    Value NameScheduledInstallDay
    Value TypeREG_DWORD
    Value3
  5. 4 - Every Wednesday
    Registry HiveHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
    Registry PathSoftware\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU
    Value NameScheduledInstallDay
    Value TypeREG_DWORD
    Value4
  6. 5 - Every Thursday
    Registry HiveHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
    Registry PathSoftware\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU
    Value NameScheduledInstallDay
    Value TypeREG_DWORD
    Value5
  7. 6 - Every Friday
    Registry HiveHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
    Registry PathSoftware\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU
    Value NameScheduledInstallDay
    Value TypeREG_DWORD
    Value6
  8. 7 - Every Saturday
    Registry HiveHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
    Registry PathSoftware\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU
    Value NameScheduledInstallDay
    Value TypeREG_DWORD
    Value7

Scheduled install time:


  1. 00:00
    Registry HiveHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
    Registry PathSoftware\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU
    Value NameScheduledInstallTime
    Value TypeREG_DWORD
    Value0
  2. 01:00
    Registry HiveHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
    Registry PathSoftware\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU
    Value NameScheduledInstallTime
    Value TypeREG_DWORD
    Value1
  3. 02:00
    Registry HiveHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
    Registry PathSoftware\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU
    Value NameScheduledInstallTime
    Value TypeREG_DWORD
    Value2
  4. 03:00
    Registry HiveHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
    Registry PathSoftware\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU
    Value NameScheduledInstallTime
    Value TypeREG_DWORD
    Value3
  5. 04:00
    Registry HiveHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
    Registry PathSoftware\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU
    Value NameScheduledInstallTime
    Value TypeREG_DWORD
    Value4
  6. 05:00
    Registry HiveHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
    Registry PathSoftware\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU
    Value NameScheduledInstallTime
    Value TypeREG_DWORD
    Value5
  7. 06:00
    Registry HiveHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
    Registry PathSoftware\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU
    Value NameScheduledInstallTime
    Value TypeREG_DWORD
    Value6
  8. 07:00
    Registry HiveHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
    Registry PathSoftware\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU
    Value NameScheduledInstallTime
    Value TypeREG_DWORD
    Value7
  9. 08:00
    Registry HiveHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
    Registry PathSoftware\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU
    Value NameScheduledInstallTime
    Value TypeREG_DWORD
    Value8
  10. 09:00
    Registry HiveHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
    Registry PathSoftware\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU
    Value NameScheduledInstallTime
    Value TypeREG_DWORD
    Value9
  11. 10:00
    Registry HiveHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
    Registry PathSoftware\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU
    Value NameScheduledInstallTime
    Value TypeREG_DWORD
    Value10
  12. 11:00
    Registry HiveHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
    Registry PathSoftware\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU
    Value NameScheduledInstallTime
    Value TypeREG_DWORD
    Value11
  13. 12:00
    Registry HiveHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
    Registry PathSoftware\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU
    Value NameScheduledInstallTime
    Value TypeREG_DWORD
    Value12
  14. 13:00
    Registry HiveHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
    Registry PathSoftware\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU
    Value NameScheduledInstallTime
    Value TypeREG_DWORD
    Value13
  15. 14:00
    Registry HiveHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
    Registry PathSoftware\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU
    Value NameScheduledInstallTime
    Value TypeREG_DWORD
    Value14
  16. 15:00
    Registry HiveHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
    Registry PathSoftware\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU
    Value NameScheduledInstallTime
    Value TypeREG_DWORD
    Value15
  17. 16:00
    Registry HiveHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
    Registry PathSoftware\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU
    Value NameScheduledInstallTime
    Value TypeREG_DWORD
    Value16
  18. 17:00
    Registry HiveHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
    Registry PathSoftware\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU
    Value NameScheduledInstallTime
    Value TypeREG_DWORD
    Value17
  19. 18:00
    Registry HiveHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
    Registry PathSoftware\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU
    Value NameScheduledInstallTime
    Value TypeREG_DWORD
    Value18
  20. 19:00
    Registry HiveHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
    Registry PathSoftware\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU
    Value NameScheduledInstallTime
    Value TypeREG_DWORD
    Value19
  21. 20:00
    Registry HiveHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
    Registry PathSoftware\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU
    Value NameScheduledInstallTime
    Value TypeREG_DWORD
    Value20
  22. 21:00
    Registry HiveHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
    Registry PathSoftware\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU
    Value NameScheduledInstallTime
    Value TypeREG_DWORD
    Value21
  23. 22:00
    Registry HiveHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
    Registry PathSoftware\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU
    Value NameScheduledInstallTime
    Value TypeREG_DWORD
    Value22
  24. 23:00
    Registry HiveHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
    Registry PathSoftware\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU
    Value NameScheduledInstallTime
    Value TypeREG_DWORD
    Value23

If you have selected "4 – Auto download and schedule the install" for your scheduled install day and specified a schedule, you also have the option to limit updating to a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly occurrence, using the options below:

Every week
Registry HiveHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
Registry PathSoftware\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU
Value NameNoAutoUpdate
Value TypeREG_DWORD
Default Value
True Value
False Value
First week of the month
Registry HiveHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
Registry PathSoftware\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU
Value NameNoAutoUpdate
Value TypeREG_DWORD
Default Value
True Value
False Value
Second week of the month
Registry HiveHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
Registry PathSoftware\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU
Value NameNoAutoUpdate
Value TypeREG_DWORD
Default Value
True Value
False Value
Third week of the month
Registry HiveHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
Registry PathSoftware\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU
Value NameNoAutoUpdate
Value TypeREG_DWORD
Default Value
True Value
False Value
Fourth week of the month
Registry HiveHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
Registry PathSoftware\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU
Value NameNoAutoUpdate
Value TypeREG_DWORD
Default Value
True Value
False Value
Install updates for other Microsoft products
Registry HiveHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
Registry PathSoftware\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU
Value NameAllowMUUpdateService
Value TypeREG_DWORD
Default Value0
True Value1
False Value0

windowsupdate.admx

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