How to Enable Windows Update in the Windows Registry

How to Enable Windows Update in the Windows Registry. In this post, we introduce Windows updates, their importance and the types of Windows updates. We will then explain how to enable Windows Update via Windows Registry.

So, shall we start with How to Enable Windows Update in the Windows Registry.

What Is Windows Update?

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All in all, Windows update is a free maintenance and support service for Microsoft Windows users. Once activated, it automatically searches for and installs updates on your personal computer. This way, there are no widespread exploits. Also, includes service packs, software patches, and updates for device drivers. Hence, Windows update allows users to obtain bug fixes and new features for their version of Windows. Additionally, it also protects your computer from getting errors, crashing and getting hacked from remote attackers.

Presently, Microsoft generally releases patches and other security on the second Tuesday of every month. This day is traditionally known as Patch Tuesday. Hence, Windows Updates determines the PC’s configuration and list down relevant downloads for your systems. In effect, you access the Windows Update control panel in the Start Menu. Using this control panel, you set Windows Update to automatically install updates. If you cannot access it, you check for new updates once a week.

What is Windows Update Used For?

Simultaneously, Windows Update is a service that was first introduced with Windows Vista, and it has been included in every version of Windows since then. Provides users with the option to install various updates and new features on their systems.

With the help of Windows Update, you can keep Microsoft Windows and multiple other Microsoft Programs updated. These updates include feature enhancements and security updates to protect Windows from malware and malicious attacks.

Specifically, you can even access the update history using Windows Update. It shows a complete update that has been installed on the computer through the Windows Update service.

Why Is It Important to Install Windows Update?

Surely, system administrators do not find the updating process pleasing. However, it is extremely important in the times we live in. Sometimes, the updates conducted every month constitute security updates. These updates look for any exploit from malware practices or hackers. On the other hand, some updates also address bugs and issues in Windows. Even though they are not essential for security vulnerabilities, they impact the stability of your Operating System. Sometimes, Windows Updates also comes with new features that patch some known issues. All these issues are addressed with the help of Windows Update.

If you have a virus on your computer and you don’t have the latest version of Windows Update installed then the virus will still be there after the update has been installed. Therefore, if you get a new version of Windows Update then all of your old viruses will be removed automatically.

If you do not install security updates, you can witness damaged software, loss of data, or identity theft. Every year, millions of dollars get damaged worldwide due to malware. When you do not install critical software or operating system updates, malware exploits loopholes that exist in every software ever developed. Vulnerabilities tend to get destroyed hours of them becoming publicly known. Therefore, once the security update is available, you need to plan to install the fix to protect your system from malware attacks.

In addition, you can also control and monitor the deployment of Microsoft Updates in a corporate environment with products like WSUS or System Centre Configuration Manager (SCCM).

Common Types of Updates

  • Critical Updates – These updates are released to fix a specific problem that addresses a critical non security related bug.
  • Security Updates – These updates fix product specific, security related vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities are rated by their severity. It is rated in the Microsoft security bulletin as critical, important, moderate, or low.
  • Monthly Rollups – Monthly Rollups are tested, a cumulative set of updates. They constitute both security and reliability updates packaged and distributed over Windows Update. It is identified as an ‘Important’ update on Windows Update.
  • Service Packs – A service pack is a tested, collective set of all hotfixes, security updates, critical updates, and other updates. It also includes additional fixes for problems found internally since the product release.
  • Testing – As discussed above, Microsoft releases the latest updates on the second Tuesday of every month. However, Windows computers contain several hardware and software configurations. It makes testing almost impossible. When Windows Update causes a problem, it is due to a software or driver that has issues with the update, not the update itself.

Therefore, it is essential to install security updates to protect your systems from malicious attacks. Moreover, it is crucial to install software updates to access new features and be on the safe side in terms of security loopholes discovered in outdated programs.

How to Enable Windows Update in the Windows Registry

The Windows Registry is a collection of databases of configuration settings for Microsoft Windows operating systems. It manages resources and stores configuration settings for applications on the Windows operating system. You also can configure automatic updates on the server computer and client computers with Microsoft Windows registry settings.

In this section, we will show you how to enable Windows Update in the Windows Registry settings. Follow the below steps to enable the Windows Update:

Step 1

First, log in to your Windows system and press the Winkey+R key to open the Run window as shown below:

Step 2

Type regedit and click on the OK button. You should see the Registry editor on the following screen:

Step 3

In the registry editor windows, navigate to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE => SOFTWARE => Policies => Microsoft => Windows. You should see the following screen:

Step 4

Right click on the Windows directory. You should see the following screen:

Step 5

Click on the New => Key. Then, create a new folder named WindowsUpdate.

Step 6

Again right click on the WindowsUpdate => New => Key and create a new directory named AU. You should see the following screen:

Step 7

Right click on the AU directory. You should see the following screen:

Step 8

Following is to click on the New => DWORD. Then, define your key name as AUOptions.The following screen should appear:

Step 9

Now, double click on the AUOptions to edit the DWORD value. Then, you should see the following screen:

Step 10

Please type a number between 2 and 5 as value data in the above screen then click on the OK button to save the setting.

A brief explanation of each number value is shown below:

  • 2 – This setting will notify you before downloading and installing any updates on your system.
  • 3 – All updates will download automatically and notify you before installation.
  • 4 – This setting will automatically download and automatically set the time to install it.
  • 5 – Allow access to the local system admin to select the update status

Thank you for reading How to Enable Windows Update in the Windows Registry. We shall conclude. 

How to Enable Windows Update in the Windows Registry Conclusion

In this post, you learn about Windows updates and how to enable them via the Windows registry setting. Now, you don’t need to download and install Windows updates manually. Install all updates automatically as per your requirements via the Windows registry setting. Manually inspecting, authorizing, and installing updates takes a lot of time and effort. I hope this guide assists you with automation of updates in your Windows system and save a lot of time.

Take a look at more Windows content in our article blog over here. 

Avatar for Hitesh Jethva
Hitesh Jethva

I am a fan of open source technology and have more than 10 years of experience working with Linux and Open Source technologies. I am one of the Linux technical writers for Cloud Infrastructure Services.

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