Configure automatic updating

Figure A The biggest limitation with this configuration is that, if there is an update that you do not want deployed automatically, it cannot be explicitly withheld; likewise, if you want something pushed out now, this isn't the best tool.

The other strategy for system updates is to stick to maintenance times, and the best way to do that is to assign this setting at the Organizational Unit (OU) level.

Enterprise management packages, such as Symantec's Altiris, Microsoft System Center Systems Management Server, Microsoft Software Update Services, and BMC Blade Logic Server Automation Suite, are good, but sometimes all we really need is a way to centrally manage updates for server and client operating systems.

In Active Directory domains, Group Policy can provide a limited way of achieving this functionality.

In this configuration, an OU would be created for a category of like servers.

These OUs would all undergo their Windows Updates at the same time that is configured in the GPO for that OU.

This can also be an easy way to address patching for Windows Server Core systems (read my Tech Republic tip on patching Windows Server 2008 Core Edition).

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Microsoft works hard to ensure its Windows 10 OS remains the most powerful and feature-rich operating system in the world.

With the release of Windows 10 Microsoft took the decision to make automatic updates the default setting.

This means that unless you have changed the setting manually then you’re already receiving the updates as soon as they come out.

If you want to see if there are any new updates available then click the Check for Updates button. Now Windows will periodically search for updates and then apply them as they arrive.

At the bottom of the screen you’ll see Advanced options written in blue text. Here you’ll see the heading Choose how updates are installed, with a drop down box below that gives you the options of Automatic (Recommended) or Notify to schedule restart. To see which ones have been applied in the past just click on the View your update history option.

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