I have a domain with a group policy to run updates every night at 3AM.

If the computer is turned off, the next time a user logs into the computer, the updates are downloaded. When the users shuts down the computer, the updates are installed.

I noticed by chance that a couple of computers had their windows updates completely turned off in control panel. I'm wondering how this could happen, considering that all of the computer are joined to the domain and part of an OU that gets the Windows Updates GPO.

Lastly, I was wondering if there is a powershell script that I could run to check which computers have automatic updates turned off.

  • I'd look at ways to prevent turning off updates, or to control it remotely. As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
    – vonbrand
    Mar 18, 2014 at 17:20

1 Answer 1


You can check the status of the service on a remote system using Windows in-built sc (service control) command line utility:

sc \\<computer name or IP> query wuauserv

You could use that in a script in combination with a list of computer names to check the status on many systems.

IMO you're better off just taking control of the service(s)...

You can use Group Policy to force the start up of the Windows Update service to "automatic".

Look under Computer Configuration -> Windows Settings -> Security Settings -> System Services

It may take a reboot or two after the policy is set for it to take effect (one reboot to apply the policy, and one reboot to actually enable the service if it was previously disabled).

  • Hi, it turned out that the GPO that I thought that I had in place to force Windows updates at 3AM was not actually enabled or linked to an OU. Nov 5, 2014 at 4:51

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