Windows Server 2016 Update settings

In Windows Server 2016 there are no GUI options available to change the update behavior.
In this blog I was outline the different ways to change the Windows Server 2016 Update settings.

Windows Server 2016 Update settings

Windows always looks at registry keys located in the following hive:

Typically there is a key named ‘AUOptions’ with a value in the range 2-5, and have the following meaning:

– 2 = Notify before download.
– 3 = Automatically download and notify of installation.
– 4 = Automatically download and schedule installation. Only valid if values exist for ScheduledInstallDay and ScheduledInstallTime.
– 5 = Automatic Updates is required and users can configure it.

But if there is a ‘NoAutoUpdate’ key with the value of ‘1’, no updates will be processed by Windows.


You can change the registry key with the help of Powershell directly:

Set-ItemProperty -Path HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU -Name AUOptions -Value 3

In Windows Server 2012 I used to change the setting using the .NET object as below, this doesnt work anymore in 2016 as the API only allows “GET” statements.

$WUSettings = (New-Object -com "Microsoft.Update.AutoUpdate").Settings


Sconfig is basically a simple batch script, which is sufficient for configuration tasks such as update settings.
In the sconfig prompt you can select options ‘5’ to enter the update settings configuration and then choose:
A – Automatically scan, download and install updates. After installation perform a reboot.
D – Automatically scan, download updates
M – Never check for updates, trigger manually.


Open a command prompt with administrative permissions and run SCONFIG from there.

Group Policy

You can always use the trusted GPO’s in an Active Directory domain environment. The settings are located under ‘Local Computer Policy > Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update’.
You can configure the same range of numbers here.

More info on managing update polices with GPO’s here:


Scheduling Day / Time

When you set the update settings to “Automatically download and schedule installation” it could be that you also want to decide yourself which day/time it should update. This can be done using the ScheduledInstallDay and ScheduledInstallTime keys in the registry.



0 Install every day
1-7 Specific day of the week where Sunday =1 and Saturday = 7



0-23 Time of the day in 24-hour format

Setting the Scheduled Install Day to Tuesday:

Set-ItemProperty -Path HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU -Name ScheduledInstallDay -Value 3

Setting the Scheduled Install time to 6 AM:

Set-ItemProperty -Path HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU -Name ScheduledInstallTime -Value 6

The changes take effect after logoff


More info on this Windows Update settings here:

Thank you for reading my blog.
If you have any questions or feedback, leave a comment or drop me an email.

Darryl van der Peijl


6 thoughts to “Windows Server 2016 Update settings”

  1. Good information… One thing to add in the ‘registry section’ would be to define what setting NoAutoUpdate = 1 does. I noticed running the SConfig scrip in PowerShell that it set the NoAutoUpdate key to 1. I don’t know if it does other stuff or makes other changes, but just wanted to point it out. Thanks again for a clear well organized article. The only sad thing is that Google doesn’t have you ranked as number one on this subject.

    1. I think you overlooked it 🙂
      “But if there is a ‘NoAutoUpdate’ key with the value of ‘1’, no updates will be processed by Windows.”

  2. I was looking to see how to change the frequeny of the AU job, you say there needs to be a day time reg key but when I set auto which should be 3am everyday I dont see any keys for that? Do you have any more details on where they live/format?

  3. I figured out my previous question, if you set the “A” with sconfig you dont get to pick the time by default.
    If you set with a gpo you can set it. reg key for date/time

    ScheduledInstallDay – reg dword – 1-7 Sunday =1
    ScheduledInstallTime- reg dword – 0-23 3=3am (I am guessing at the range)

    It also sets AllowMUUpdateServce to reg dword 1 – not sure i know what it does. I am going to play with this a little more today and see if I can get it working with just reg keys versus GPO as then I can do it via IAC etc.

    1. Hi Martin,

      Thanks for your addition, I added some more info in the blog!
      The ‘AllowMUUpdateService’ is used for ‘Manage whether to scan for app updates from Microsoft Update.’


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