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How to modify timing of Windows Updates in Windows Server 2016 to control timing of updates and restarts

Our standard template for Windows Server 2016 enables a group policy to automatically download, install and apply (restart if needed) Windows Updates classified as important on a nightly basis around 3am.  You can modify and confirm the setting as shown below.

Modify the group policy settings located here. Open Local Group Policy Editor by typing Gpedit.msc. Go to: Computer Configuration / Administrative Templates / Windows Components / Windows Update.

  1. Enable the “Configure Automatic Updates” group policy. Use value of 4 for auto download/install. Select the scheduled and time (screenshow below shows every Monday at 3am; we usually use Every Day at 3am). Do NOT check the automatic maintenance box.
  2. Enable the “Always automatically restart at the schedule time” group policy. This will allow reboots/restarts approximately 15 minutes after the updates are installed. NOTE: The restart timer can’t be postponed once started and a restart will occur even if users are signed on.