Windows Update behavior on Windows Server 2016

In Windows Server 2016, we improved the desktop experience to provide a consistent experience by leveraging the same shell UI as the Windows 10 Client. This greatly improves the Remote Desktop Services (RDS) experience and made it easier to find things. The same is true for updating Windows Server. We leverage the modern settings user interface (UI) to access and interact in a consistent experience with the settings that control servicing Windows Server.

Along with sharing the same modern settings UI, you may have noticed that we also use the same notification system. For example, when updates are found and ready to be installed, depending on policies, we notify you with either a small toast notification at the bottom right corner of the desktop, in the Action Center, or a large modal notification like the one shown below.




Not to worry, you can dismiss this notification by clicking the Get updates button – this will not install updates. If you are not ready to install the updates, simply:

     1. Click the “Get updates” button and which launches the Windows Update Settings page in the Settings UI.

     2. Close the Settings UI.

NOTE: This notification will reappear daily until the updates have been installed.


We realize this is a change in behavior and are interested in your feedback in the comments section below.

Comments (31)

  1. anon says:

    This is the same large annoying notification that is in Windows 10. There are 2 main problems to this way of notifying: 1 – The message box is unnecessarily large, AND steals window focus; 2 – Cannot be dismissed without clicking Get Updates, which opens up the settings window for updates.

  2. ALu says:

    Is there a way to suppress this large notification? If so, please provide this information or a link to that information.

    1. No there is not, but agree that having this ability is a good idea. I will file a bug on it and bring this to their attention. Thank you for the feedback.

    2. mdw says:

      Me too! Please offer a way to suppress this modal popup.

  3. mdw says:

    Got a BIG problem with Windows Update on Server 2016.

    I’ve downloaded: “Cumulative Update for Windows Server 2016 for x64-based Systems (KB3201845)”. It downloads, but then stops “forever” at: “Downloading updates 95%”. Absolutely nothing happens after that… no install or restart.

    Happening on multiple machines. They are all just sitting there right now. Some are production so don’t want to mess around.

    Help! Need a safe way forward.

    1. mdw says:

      More details… one server has been stuck at “Downloading updates 0%” for several hours!

      Another one finished but only after a couple of DAYS.

      Furthermore, while the server is stuck at any number (0 or 95) the entire machine slows to a crawl, even though less than 10% of the CPU is being used by visible processes.

      What the hell is going on?


      1. DEG says:

        Microsoft; Why are there no replies to this post? I am having the same problem.

        1. I am sorry to hear that you have had problems installing the update. Please contact us via our support channel so that we can collect additional data from you that will help us assist you in finding a resolution to the problem you are experiencing. You can reach our support at

  4. Vilius Šumskas says:

    The previous UI was fine as it was. Why on earth you guys remove features which were present before (like simple popup which can be closed or disabled), bring new popup which doesn’t have a basic controls and then call it inovation? Sorry, but I’m mad, because MS Server was the last server enterprises could trust, but now it is going at the same direction as all other “server” products: more marketing bull%$#% – less code.

  5. Adam says:

    windows 10 & windows server 2016 just seem to be garbage, the simple task you want to do takes longer, windows updates is the most annoying thing ever, slows down the pc, having anjooying messages coming up all the time about updating, and the readom blue screens is just getting to me already, i already switch my windows 10 pc to windows 7 and wow how much better it runs

  6. Willy Iglesias says:

    This is very annoying when working in prod. environments. The ability to have this disabled is a must for any corp.!!!

  7. Steve Latsi says:

    Seems someone forgot to create a GPO setting to control this new functionality. Until this is fixed there are two options:

    disable windows update
    cd /d “%Windir%\System32”
    takeown /F MusNotification.exe
    icacls MusNotification.exe /deny Everyone:(X)
    takeown /F MusNotificationUx.exe
    icacls MusNotificationUx.exe /deny Everyone:(X)

    1. Disgruntlor says:

      Thanks, I think this did the trick on the machine we’re trying to use for UI tests

  8. Andy Jackson says:

    Hey Derk,

    Sorry for the off topic post but I couldn’t figure out an alternative way to reach you. Anyways, would you consider open sourcing Robocopy GUI? It hasn’t been in active development (as far as I am aware) but there is a sizable segment of the Windows user base that could use a tool such as Robocopy GUI. What do you say?

    I also asked Ken Tamaru to see if he would open source his RichCopy utility ( It would be great if we could somehow combine both the tools but even if we can’t, it would be great to have the source code available, so that we can fix issues and add features.

    1. Feel free to reach out to me via LinkedIn to discuss. Thanks!

  9. Disgruntlor says:

    This is interfering with automated Coded UI Tests that we’re trying to run on a server.
    How can we disable the popup?

    1. Thank you for bringing this to our attention, but unfortunately, no it cannot. I agree that it should have that capability and will bring this up to the Windows Update Engineering team.

  10. Marc Gehri says:

    We use a Windows Server 2016 RDS environment. The users get this Windows Update message also. The GPO’s unfortunately do not prevent this. This should be fixed.

    On a normal server the message does not bother me. But a cancel button would be nice

    1. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. I have reported this to the proper engineering team to investigate.

  11. Steve Latsi says:

    There also another issue, the “check for updates” button is gone. So you can’t switch update servers and do a refresh. Great progress M$!

    1. Thank you for sharing your feedback. This is a known issue which we are working to resolve in a future release.

  12. Hershel says:

    For some reasons, one of my non-administrator accounts gets this message, but my Administrator account does not!?

  13. Hello MS,

    We are using now a Server 2016 RDS Farm, all the normal users get acces to the windows update screen and are able to click “install updates” and even worse, .. they are able to reboot the server

    we have all nessesary GPO setting to prevent it in place, it works fine for all our 2008r / 2012r2 servers , but server 2016 just shows the gui and let end users install/reboot.
    please fix this behavior asap

    1. Thank you for your feedback. I have brought this to the attention of the Engineering team and they are investigating.

  14. Eirik says:

    There is one issue with the updates in Windows Server 2016 that is kinda crazy.
    If you press the “Check for updates” button, it not only checks for updates (like in Win2012/Win2008…), it also starts to install immediately.
    The Windows 2016 machines have the same update settings as our Windows 2012 machines (via GPO, and connected to WSUS).
    Is this expected behaviour, or a bug (hopefully the last one…)?

    1. Hello,
      Thank you for taking the time to provide your feedback. This is not by design. Can you articulate your repro steps so that we can attempt to isolate any potential issue?

      1. Nate says:

        We are seeing the same issue that Erik mentioned. On our 2016 Servers, if we click “check for updates” the 2016 Server not only finds what updates are needed, but also begins downloading AND installing them. We’d prefer the option to just see what updates Server 2016 detects as needed. This is what we do from time to time on our 2012R2 servers, if we are having an issue with pushing a patch with our Shavlik patching system.

        We’ve made sure sconfig is set to “manual” for updates. And the issue is easy to re-produce by simply clicking check for updates. I’m now doing a test of switching sconfig to “downloadOnly”, then will see if that can temporarily allow us to check for updates without auto-installing. Although it will download the updates, which we would like to postpone that until we click INSTALL.

        Let me know if you need any additional information


  15. Edward Laier says:

    My issue is I don’t see where the option is to just download updates automatically, and install later. Also my computer continues to use large processor amounts for “Windows Modules Installer Worker” when it isn’t even downloading or installing anything.

    1. Hello,
      Thank you for taking the time to provide your feedback.

      The behavior you are describing is the default setting for Windows Server 2016. We call it DownloadOnly and it will automatically scan for applicable updates, download the applicable updates and notify the user that the updates are ready to be installed.

      You can both verify your setting and change it using Sconfig which is talked about here (
      Regarding your last question Please contact us via our support channel so that we can collect additional data from you that will help us assist you in finding a resolution to the problem you are experiencing. You can reach our support at

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