Windows Software Update Service (WSUS)

WSUS facilitates the distribution of patches to workstations running Microsoft Windows.


To use WSUS, the workstation must be:

  • On campus
  • Connected to the University of Glasgow network
  • NOT a Standard Staff Desktop (SSD) or student computer cluster workstation
  • Running a copy of Windows 7, 8 or 10 that is licensed for the University of Glasgow
  • Configured as a workstation (not a server)

How to set up WSUS

  1. Ensure the machine meets the eligibility criteria above
  2. Right click this link: WSUS-express and select Save file as or Save target as
  3. Browse to the download location and double click wsus-express.reg
  4. When prompted, click Run
  5. When asked if you want to add information to the registry, click Yes (you may need to select Yes more than once)
  6. Click OK to finish and reboot your computer
  7. Next, you may wish to check automatic updates are active: a tool is available to do this

What WSUS covers

Products updated

WSUS provides updates for:

  • Windows 7
  • Windows 8
  • Microsoft Office

WSUS does not provide updates for:

  • Windows Server 2003
  • Exchange
  • SQL Server

Types of updates

The following are automatically installed on WSUS clients:

  • Security updates
  • Critical updates
  • Definition updates (for Windows Defender)
  • Service packs

The following are not installed:

  • Drivers
  • Feature packs
  • Update roll ups
  • Tools
  • Updates (non-critical fixes)

NOTE: Specific updates which do not impact on the users experience (eg. .NET) will be approved for installation.

Important note

Patching alone does not make a system secure. Basic security measures include configuration hardening, patching, firewall and antivirus software. Normally, the simplest way to take care of all this is to install a serviced desktop, such as SSD or CSCE, where the above are provided automatically. Where a serviced desktop is not installed, the above measures must be undertaken locally, and the WSUS can help with patching.

Find out more


The WSUS is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied. Patches are as supplied by Microsoft, and it is not practical for IT Services to test patches on workstations operated by Departments or Faculties. The risks associated with installation of patches are with the Department or Faculty itself.

NB - the risks can be minimised by installing a serviced desktop, such as SSD or CSCE, as IT Services performs appropriate testing prior to deploying patches in these environments.