10 WSUS GPO Best Practices (2023)

WSUS is a vital tool for keeping Windows systems up to date with the latest security patches and hotfixes. However, deploying and managing WSUS can be a challenge, especially in large organizations.

In this article, we will discuss 10 WSUS GPO best practices that will help you deploy and manage WSUS in your organization. By following these best practices, you can streamline WSUS deployment and management, and reduce the risk of security vulnerabilities in your Windows systems.

1. Use Group Policy to configure WSUS settings

When you configure WSUS settings in the registry, those settings are specific to the machine on which they’re configured. That means if you have 10 machines, you have to configure WSUS settings on each one individually.

Configuring WSUS settings using Group Policy allows you to apply those settings to multiple machines at once, which saves a lot of time and effort. In addition, it ensures that all of your machines are configured consistently, which is important for maintaining a cohesive network.

2. Configure a computer group for each type of operating system you want to update

If you don’t do this, then all of the computers in your organization will be lumped together into a single group, and they will all receive updates for every operating system. This is obviously not ideal, as it means that some computers will receive updates that they don’t need, and it also makes it more difficult to manage your WSUS deployment.

By creating a computer group for each type of operating system, you can ensure that only the appropriate computers receive the updates they need. This makes it much easier to manage your WSUS deployment, and it also reduces the risk of problems caused by installing unnecessary updates.

(Video) LAB GUIDE:62 Configure Group Policy Settings for WSUS

3. Create an automatic approval rule to approve all security updates

If a new security update is released and you have not yet approved it, any computers that have not yet received the update will be vulnerable to attack. By creating an automatic approval rule for security updates, you can ensure that all new security updates are automatically approved and deployed to your computers, keeping them safe from attack.

4. Deploy the WSUS server in your environment using Group Policy

When you deploy WSUS using Group Policy, it ensures that all of your computers receive the same updates at the same time. This is important because it helps to prevent any potential conflicts that could arise from different computers having different versions of the same software.

It also allows you to more easily manage your WSUS server by allowing you to centrally control when and how updates are deployed to your computers.

5. Install the latest version of Windows Server Update Services (WSUS)

The latest version of WSUS offers many improvements and bug fixes over previous versions. Additionally, Microsoft is constantly adding new features and functionality to WSUS, so it’s important to stay up-to-date.

Some of the new features in WSUS include:

– A new user interface that makes it easier to manage updates
– The ability to approve updates for multiple computers at once
– Improved reporting capabilities
– And much more!

(Video) Windows Server 2022 - WSUS + IIS configuration , best practices , GPO and more

So, if you’re not running the latest version of WSUS, now is the time to upgrade. Not only will you get all of the new features and benefits mentioned above, but you’ll also be able to take advantage of future enhancements as they’re released.

6. Set up clients to use the WSUS server by using Group Policy

When you set up WSUS, you have the option of using Group Policy or not. If you choose not to use Group Policy, then you have to configure each client individually, which can be time-consuming and error-prone.

If you do use Group Policy, then you can automatically configure all of your clients at once, which is much easier and less likely to result in errors.

To set up WSUS GPO, open the Group Policy Management Console and create a new policy. Then edit the policy and go to Computer Configuration -> Policies -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Windows Update.

Enable the “Specify intranet Microsoft update service location” setting and enter the URL for your WSUS server. Be sure to include the “UpdateServices” virtual directory in the URL (for example, http://server_name/UpdateServices).

Save the changes and close the Group Policy Editor. The next time clients check for updates, they will use the WSUS server that you specified.

(Video) Configure automatic updates using group policy

7. Synchronize with Microsoft Update servers at least once per day

If you don’t synchronize with Microsoft Update servers at least once per day, you run the risk of not having the latest security patches and updates available for your clients. This could leave your network vulnerable to attack.

Additionally, if you have a large number of clients, it’s possible that some of them may never check in with WSUS for updates. By synchronizing with Microsoft Update servers on a daily basis, you can be sure that all of your clients will have the latest updates and security patches.

8. Test new updates before deploying them to production computers

When a new update is released, it’s not always completely stable. In some cases, the update may cause problems with existing applications or hardware drivers.

To avoid these potential issues, it’s best to test new updates on a small group of computers before deploying them to all of your production machines. That way, you can be sure that the updates are compatible with your environment and won’t cause any unexpected problems.

9. Verify that client computers are receiving and installing updates

If you don’t verify that updates are being received and installed, you won’t know if your WSUS deployment is working as intended. Additionally, not verifying can lead to security vulnerabilities on client computers because they might not have the latest security patches installed.

To verify that updates are being received and installed, you can use the Update Services console or the Get-WsusClientDiagnostics PowerShell cmdlet.

(Video) WSUS Group Policy Configuration

10. Monitor the performance of the WSUS server

The WSUS server is responsible for downloading updates from Microsoft, distributing them to clients, and approving or declining updates.

If the WSUS server isn’t performing well, it can impact the entire update process. That’s why it’s important to monitor the performance of the WSUS server and make sure it’s running optimally.

There are a few things you can do to monitor the performance of the WSUS server. One is to use the Windows Performance Monitor. This tool will give you insight into how the WSUS server is performing.

Another way to monitor the performance of the WSUS server is to use the Event Viewer. The Event Viewer is a tool that shows you information about events that have occurred on your computer.

You can use the Event Viewer to look for any warning or error messages that have been logged by the WSUS server. If you see any warnings or errors, you can investigate further to see if there’s anything you can do to fix the problem.

Finally, you can also use the Task Manager to monitor the performance of the WSUS server. The Task Manager is a tool that shows you information about the processes that are running on your computer.

(Video) WSUS Updates - Best Practice

You can use the Task Manager to see if the WSUS server is using a lot of resources. If the WSUS server is using a lot of resources, it could be causing performance problems.

Monitoring the performance of the WSUS server is an important best practice because it can help you identify and fix problems before they cause major disruptions.


What is the maximum number of connections for WSUS? ›

Capacity limits

Although WSUS can support 100,000 clients per server (150,000 clients when you use Configuration Manager), we don't recommend approaching this limit. Instead, consider using a configuration of 2-4 servers sharing the same SQL Server database.

How do I enable Windows Update in Windows 10 Group Policy? ›

To enable Microsoft Updates, use the Group Policy Management Console go to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update > Configure Automatic Updates and select Install updates for other Microsoft products.

What are the 2 ways workstations can be assigned to WSUS groups? ›

You can assign computers to computer groups by using one of two methods, server-side targeting or client-side targeting.

What are the 4 stages of the WSUS update management process? ›

To determine the tasks necessary to deploy updates into production, plan the update releases, build the releases, and then conduct acceptance testing of the releases.

What is the maximum number of simultaneous client connections to accept? ›

Hi, By default, SQL Server allows a maximum of 32767 concurrent connections which is the maximum number of users that can simultaneously log in to the SQL server instance.

What is the maximum number of connections that can simultaneously be made to a Windows 10 workstation? ›

Device connections. You may allow up to 20 other devices to access the software installed on the licensed device for the purpose of using the following software features: file services, print services, Internet information services, and Internet connection sharing and telephony services on the licensed device.

How do I force all computers to update Group Policy? ›

In the Command Prompt window, type gpupdate /target: computer and press Enter to update only those computer policies that have been changed. To update all computer policies, in place of the previous command, type gpupdate /target: computer /force and press Enter.

How often does Windows 10 update Group Policy? ›

Group Policy is automatically refreshed when you restart the domain member computer, or when a user logs on to a domain member computer. In addition, Group Policy is periodically refreshed. By default, this periodic refresh is performed every 90 minutes with a randomized offset of up to 30 minutes.

How do I force Group Policy to update? ›

Click on either Command prompt or command prompt (Admin) to open the CMD window.
  1. Step 2) Run gpupdate /force.
  2. Step 3) Restart Your Computer. When the update has finished, you should be presented with a prompt to either logoff or restart your computer.

How do I configure automatic updates in WSUS Group Policy? ›

Open the Group Policy Management console, and open an existing GPO or create a new one. Navigate to Computer Configuration, Policies, Administrative Templates, Windows Components, Windows Update. Double-click Configure Automatic Updates and set to Enabled, then configure your update settings and click OK.

How do I push updates from WSUS to clients? ›

  1. In the WSUS Administration Console, go to Update Services\Server_Name\Updates\All Windows 10 Upgrades.
  2. Right-click the feature update you want to deploy, and then click Approve.
  3. In the Approve Updates dialog box, from the Ring 4 Broad Business Users list, select Approved for Install.
Feb 27, 2023

Is Active Directory required for WSUS? ›

WSUS does not require the use of Active Directory; client configuration can also be applied by Local Group Policy or by modifying the Windows registry. WSUS uses . NET Framework, Microsoft Management Console and Internet Information Services.

How many times per day can WSUS synchronize with Windows Update servers? ›

Synchronize your WSUS server once every 24 hours at an off-peak time. If you are automatically approving Definition Updates, synchronize the server at least 2-3 times daily.

What is the difference between updates and upgrades in WSUS? ›

Updates: Specifies a widely released fix for a specific problem. An update addresses a non-critical, non-security-related bug. Upgrade: Specifies an upgrade for Windows 10 or later features and functionality.

What are the six steps in the patch management process? ›

Patch management is defined as a comprehensive cycle of ensuring baseline data, identifying available patches and known vulnerabilities, reviewing patches for applicability and OEM-vendor approval, designing deployment or mitigation strategies, executing patch deployment and confirmation, and finally re-establishing ...

Can a client connect to multiple servers at the same time? ›

Yes - you need one socket for each connection. A socket is a client IP address + client port + server IP address + server port combination. If a client is talking to multiple servers, it is using multiple ports on the client machine. Each time you connect() a socket, you are allocating a new port.

How many HTTP connections can a client make? ›

Most modern browsers allow six connections per domain. Most older browsers allow only two connections per domain. The HTTP 1.1 protocol states that single-user clients should not maintain more than two connections with any server or proxy.

Can two clients connect to the same port? ›

A single listening port can accept more than one connection simultaneously. There is a '64K' limit that is often cited, but that is per client per server port, and needs clarifying.

How many applications can be opened simultaneously in Windows? ›

There's no set limit. The number of applications one can run simultaneously depends entirely upon how many system resources (CPU cycle, RAM, HDD seek/write activity, etc.) each program "consumes," and how much RAM and processing power (CPU speed) you have.

How to minimize the number of simultaneous connections Windows 10? ›

To Minimize Number of Simultaneous Connections to Internet in Windows 10,
  1. 0 = Allow simultaneous connections.
  2. 1 = Minimize simultaneous connections.
  3. 2 = Stay connected to cellular.
  4. 3 = Prevent Wi-Fi when on Ethernet.
Jan 13, 2020

How many users can simultaneously use a Windows server? ›

After buying a Windows Server 2019 Remote Desktop Services license to enable multiple connections in our Windows Server 2019 server for multiple users. We know that without a licence, only 2 simultaneous RDP connections are allowed.

Which GPO will apply if conflicts occur? ›

First the local computer policy is processed, followed by Active Directory policies from site level to domain, then into OU (GPOs in nested organizational units apply from the OU closest to the root first, and continues from there). If there are any conflicts, the last applied policy will take effect.

How often does GPO get applied? ›

By default, user Group Policy is refreshed/applied in the background every 90 minutes, with a random offset of 0 to 30 minutes (method 3). But for this 90 minutes and 0 to 30 minutes, we can configure GPO to customize refresh interval.

What is the difference between enabled and enforced GPO? ›

Enabled. If the GPO link is enabled, the settings of the GPO are applied when Group Policy is processed for the site, domain or OU. Enforced. If the GPO link is enforced, it cannot be blocked at a lower-level (in the Group Policy processing hierarchy) container.

What is the default GPO refresh interval? ›

By default, Group Policy refreshes every 90 minutes for typical machines and users and every 5 minutes for domain controllers (DCs). To change these intervals, perform the following steps: Open the relevant Group Policy Object (GPO).

What is the order of GPO processing? ›

GPOs are processed in the following order: The local GPO is applied. GPOs linked to sites are applied. GPOs linked to domains are applied.

Why are my GPO changes not taking effect? ›

When you make a change to a group policy, you may need to wait two hours (90 minutes plus a 30 minute offset) before you see any changes on the client computers. Even then, some changes will not take effect until after a reboot of the computer.

How many connections can Windows Server handle? ›

The theoretical maximum for Windows is approximately 25,000 socket handles; however, in practical terms, it is safe to estimate that the Windows Server platforms can allocate approximately 16,000 handles on a system with 2G or more of RAM.

What is the limit for connections to a server? ›

Most modern browsers allow six connections per domain. Most older browsers allow only two connections per domain. The HTTP 1.1 protocol states that single-user clients should not maintain more than two connections with any server or proxy.

What is the maximum connection in Windows Server? ›

On Windows platforms, the default timeout is 120 seconds, and the maximum number of ports is approximately 4,000, resulting in a maximum rate of 33 connections per second.

What is the maximum number of connections that can be handled by the application server? ›

SQL Server allows a maximum of 32,767 user connections.


1. Episode 23 - WSUS GPO Configuration
2. 8. How to Configure Client Side Targeting in WSUS Server 2019
(MSFT WebCast)
3. WSUS Patching Process Step By Step | Windows Server 2019
4. Most popular Group Policies for organization
(microsoft lab)
5. WSUS and Group Policies
(StormWind Studios)
6. LAB GUIDE:63 Configure computer groups in WSUS Server 2019
(Must be Noob)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Nathanial Hackett

Last Updated: 10/12/2023

Views: 6031

Rating: 4.1 / 5 (72 voted)

Reviews: 95% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Nathanial Hackett

Birthday: 1997-10-09

Address: Apt. 935 264 Abshire Canyon, South Nerissachester, NM 01800

Phone: +9752624861224

Job: Forward Technology Assistant

Hobby: Listening to music, Shopping, Vacation, Baton twirling, Flower arranging, Blacksmithing, Do it yourself

Introduction: My name is Nathanial Hackett, I am a lovely, curious, smiling, lively, thoughtful, courageous, lively person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.