Forcing SUS and WSUS Updates

When you set up SUS or WSUS you are prompted to set a specific time to check for and download updates to the server. There may be some instances however where you need to force this process. This often comes up when you first setup your SUS/WSUS server and want to test whether or not a client system can contact and update from your SUS/WSUS server.

Before we begin this process it is important to stop the automatic update service. On the client computer, go to the start menu, click run, and type “net stop wuauserv”.

Next, open the system registry editor by typing “regedit” in the run box. Browse to HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate\Auto Update, and locate and delete the following keys:


Once these keys have been deleted, start the update service by entering “net start wuauserv” into the run box. Once you have done this the update service should then poll the SUS/WSUS server for any missing updates.

Alternatively, here is another method which will work for WSUS:

To update a client & pull updates from the WSUS server open the command prompt and type in:

Wuauclt /detectnow

This will go and probe the WSUS server. Once this has completed, it will automatically download the missing patches to the PC that you have set to ‘install’.

Special thanks to Theo Theodorou with his assistance for this tip.


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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