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Windows Server Update Services

Windows Server Update Services (WSUS)
WSUS can display precise information about which updates each client needs
Developer(s) Microsoft Corporation
Stable release 4.0 / October 26, 2012; 7 years ago (2012-10-26)
Operating system Windows Server 2012
Windows Server 2008 R2
Windows Server 2008 SP1 or later
Windows Server 2003 SP2 or later
Windows Small Business Server 2011
Windows Small Business Server 2008
Windows Small Business Server 2003[1]
Platform Hardware: IA-32 and x86-64
Software: .NET Framework 2.0 and Microsoft Management Console
Size 80 MB[1]
Available in English[1]
Type Remote administration
License Freeware

Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), previously known as Software Update Services (SUS), is a computer program developed by Microsoft Corporation that enables administrators to manage the distribution of updates and hotfixes released for Microsoft products to computers in a corporate environment. WSUS downloads these updates from the Microsoft Update website and then distributes them to computers on a network. WSUS runs on Windows Server and is free to licensed Microsoft customers.


The first version of WSUS was known as Software Update Services (SUS).[2] At first, it only delivered hotfixes and patches for Microsoft operating systems. SUS ran on a Windows Server operating system and downloaded updates for the specified versions of Windows from the remote Windows Update site which was operated by Microsoft. Clients could then download updates from this internal server, rather than connecting directly to Windows Update.[3] Support for SUS by Microsoft was originally planned to end on December 6, 2006, but based on user feedback, the date was extended to July 10, 2007.[4]

WSUS builds on SUS by expanding the range of software it can update. The WSUS infrastructure allows automatic downloads of updates, hotfixes, service packs, device drivers and feature packs to clients in an organization from a central server(s).


Windows Server Update Services 2.0 and above comprise a repository of update packages from Microsoft. It allows administrators to approve or decline updates before release, to force updates to install by a given date, and to obtain extensive reports on what updates each machine requires. System administrators can also configure WSUS to approve certain classes of updates automatically (critical updates, security updates, service packs, drivers, etc.). One can also approve updates for "detection" only, allowing an administrator to see what machines will require a given update without also installing that update.

Administrators can use WSUS with Group Policy for client-side configuration of the Automatic Updates client, ensuring that end-users can't disable or circumvent corporate update policies. 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. WSUS 3.0 uses either SQL Server Express or Windows Internal Database as its database engine, whereas WSUS 2.0 uses WMSDE. System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) interoperates with WSUS, and is able to import third party security updates into the product.[5]

Version history

Version Date Comments
2.0 Release Candidate March 22, 2005
2.0 RTM June 6, 2005
2.0 Service Pack 1 May 31, 2006 Adds support for Windows Vista clients, additional client languages, and using Microsoft SQL Server 2005 as a database backend, as well as performance improvements with the web-based user interface
3.0 beta 2 August 14, 2006 MMC based UI and loads of new features
3.0 Release Candidate February 12, 2007
3.0 RTM April 30, 2007 WSUS 3.0 and WSUS Client 3.0 were made available via WSUS on 22 May 2007[6]
3.0 Service Pack 1 Release Candidate November 1, 2007
3.0 Service Pack 1 RTM[7] February 7, 2008
3.0 Service Pack 2 RTM August 25, 2009 Included as a role within Server 2008 R2
4.0 RTM October 26, 2012 Included as a role within Server 2012


  1. ^ a b c "Download details: Windows Server Update Services 3.0 SP2". Microsoft Download Center. Microsoft Corporation. 25 Aug 2009. Retrieved 4 May 2011. 
  2. ^ Foust, Mark; Chellis, James; Sheltz, Matthew; Sage London, Suzan (2006). "Chapter 7: Planning Server-Level Security". MCSE Windows Server 2003 network infrastructure planning and maintenance study guide. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons. p. 532. ISBN 978-0-7821-4450-5. 
  3. ^ "Software Update Services". Microsoft TechNet. Microsoft Corporation. Retrieved 4 May 2011. 
  4. ^ Keizer, Gregg (16 Nov 2006). "Microsoft Keeps Software Update Services Alive Until July". InformationWeek (UBM TechWeb). Retrieved 4 May 2011. 
  5. ^ "About System Center Updates Publisher". Microsoft. Retrieved 11 August 2011. 
  6. ^ Harder, Bobbie (22 May 2007). "Updates for WSUS available today". WSUS Product Team Blog. Microsoft Corporation. Retrieved 4 May 2011. 
  7. ^ Cole, Cecilia (7 Feb 2008). "WSUS 3.0 SP1 is now RTM". WSUS Product Team Blog. Microsoft Corporation. Retrieved 4 May 2011. 

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