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:

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

3 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.”

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