Configuring Windows Update via GPO

by Chris Sanders [Published on 24 Jan. 2007 / Last Updated on 24 Jan. 2007]

Much to the appeal of network administrators everywhere, windows update settings for individual computers can be set via group policy. Here is how to do it.

Windows Update is something that needs to be configured on all computers in your network in order to ensure their individual security. Enabling an automatic update schedule on each individual machine in a network is something that can take an extraordinary amount of time. Luckily for us, these settings can be configured via group policy.

In order to access these settings you must first import the appropriate ADM file into the GPO you wish to use. To do this, open the group policy object you are going to use, and expand the “Computer Configuration” tab. Right click on “Administrative Templates” and select “Add/Remove Template”. Click “Add” and then select the wuau.adm file from the %WinDir%\Inf folder.

After doing this you will now be able to configure Windows Updates by browsing to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update. Here you can configure aspects of Windows Update including its general configuration, download location, scheduling, and auto-restart feature.


Chris Sanders is the network administrator for one of the largest public school systems in the state of Kentucky. Chris's specialties include general network administration, windows server 2003, wireless networking, and security. You can view Chris' personal website at

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The Author — Chris Sanders

Chris Sanders is a network security analyst for EWA Government Systems Inc. Chris is the author of the book Practical Packet Analysis as well as several technical articles. His personal website at contains a great deal of information, articles, and guides related to network administration, network security, packet analysis, and general information technology.

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