Windows Enterprise Desktop

Mar 26 2019   10:59AM GMT

Win10 1903 Policy Handles Automatic Updates and Restarts

Ed Tittel Ed Tittel Profile: Ed Tittel

Tags:
Group Policy Editor
Group Policy management
Policy
Windows 10
Windows Updates

For the past few days I’ve been reading about a new Group Policy setting in 1903. Here’s the deal: A new Win10 1903 policy handles automatic updates and restarts. As is sometimes the case, I had a little trouble running the specifics down. Good old Martin Brinkmann, at Ghacks.net, came across with those. Thanks to his excellent description and depiction of the new policy, I was able to find it for myself. Open gpedit.msc, then navigate thusly: Computer Configuration → Administrative Templates → Windows Components → Windows Update. Within that policy folder, you’ll find an entry named “Specify deadlines for automatic updates and restarts” as shown here:
Win10 1903 Policy Handles Automatic Updates and Restarts.gpeitem

Once you know where to look, the policy setting is easy to find, enable, and configure.
[Click image for full-sized view.]

What Win10 1903 Policy Handles Automatic Updates and Restarts Actually DOES

To access this setting, click the link in the middle column that reads “Edit policy setting.” (This is a mock link; it doesn’t actually work.) When you do that the related policy setting window opens as shown below. First, you must click the “Enabled” radio button at the top left, to turn this policy on. Then you can manipulate the settings in the Options: pane at the lower left.

Win10 1903 Policy Handles Automatic Updates and Restarts.options

Once you enable this policy setting, the defaults show up in the Options tab.
[Click image for full-sized view.]

What Are Your Options Here?

You can set the deferral period for quality updates (stuff from WU other than feature updates) anywhere from 2 to 30 days. Ditto for feature updates. The grace period defines an interval between when that update is applied (either kind) and when the device will be restarted, forcibly and automatically. This value may be set anywhere from 0 (immediately following update installation) to 7 days. There’s also a checkbox that reads “Don’t auto-restart until end of grade period” that admins can choose if they’re so inclined.

For smaller businesses that use Windows Update, this group policy could be helpful. Most larger organizations manage their own update intervals and windows quite carefully and closely themselves, however. It’s unlikely to have much impact on organizations with formal change control and related update procedures already in place.

[Note: here’s a shout-out to Martin Brinkmann at Ghacks.net for his  March 21 story entitled “Windows 10 version 1903: new Windows Update policy.” It was the only story on this topic I found online that included all the details necessary to find and play with this new policy setting. Vielen Dank, Herr Brinkmann!]

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