How to manage Windows Updates from Registry Keys

Generally you will want to control Windows Updates through Local Policies or Group Policies. It is generally not necessary to edit your registry directly. However, some instances may require you to use registry modifications to fix certain issues.

The following steps came from Microsoft’s website.

Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs.

For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:322756 How to back up and restore the registry in Windows

In a non-Active Directory environment, you can edit registry settings to configure Automatic Updates.

Note You must create these registry keys manually.

Use one of the following methods to set these registry keys:

  • Manually edit the registry by using Registry Editor.
  • Centrally deploy these registry keys by using the Windows NT 4.0-style System Policy functionality.

To use Registry Editor, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start, click Run, and then type regedit in the Open box.
  2. Locate and then click the following key in the registry:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU
  3. Add one of the following settings:
    • Value name: NoAutoUpdate
      Value data: 0 or 1
      • 0: Automatic Updates is enabled (default).
      • 1: Automatic Updates is disabled.
      Registry Value Type: Reg_DWORD
    • Value name: AUOptions
      Value data: 1 to 4
      • 1: Keep my computer up to date has been disabled in Automatic Updates.
      • 2: Notify of download and installation.
      • 3: Automatically download and notify of installation.
      • 4: Automatically download and scheduled installation.
      Registry Value Type: Reg_DWORD
    • Value name: ScheduledInstallDay
      Value data: 0 to 7
      • 0: Every day.
      • 1 through 7: The days of the week from Sunday (1) to Saturday (7).
      Registry Value Type: Reg_DWORD
    • Value name: ScheduledInstallTime
      Value data: n, where n equals the time of day in a 24-hour format (0-23).
      Registry Value Type: Reg_DWORD
    • Value name: UseWUServer
      Value data: Set this value to 1 to configure Automatic Updates to use a server that is running Software Update Services instead of Windows Update.
      Registry Value Type: Reg_DWORD
    • Value name: RescheduleWaitTime
      Value data: m, where m equals the time period to wait between the time Automatic Updates starts and the time it begins installations where the scheduled times have passed. The time is set in minutes from 1 to 60, representing 1 minute to 60 minutes)
      Registry Value Type: Reg_DWORD

      Note This setting only affects client behavior after the clients have updated to the SUS SP1 client version or later versions.
    • Value name: NoAutoRebootWithLoggedOnUsers
      Value data: Reg_DWORD: 0 (false) or 1 (true). If set to 1, Automatic Updates does not automatically restart a computer while users are logged on.
      Registry Value Type: Reg_DWORD