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Update Catalog no more: Microsoft makes PowerShell imports mandatory for WSUS

Installing Windows update

Microsoft is bringing a big change in the way IT admins and system admins will now be able to import WSUS (Windows Server Update Services) updates. While so far, importing updates was available via the Microsoft Update Catalog, the underlying ActiveX framework has been deprecated and hence WSUS imports will now have to be done with the help of PowerShell scripts.

In a Microsoft Tech Community blog post, Paul Reed, Azure Compliance Senior Program Manager, detailed the process:

The new import update process for WSUS

A new PowerShell script replaces the import functionality within WSUS. You will now use this script to download the updates and have them imported to your WSUS server.

There are two ways to get this new script:

  • Follow your typical steps in WSUS admin user interface: Actions > Import Updates. You’ll now be redirected to the documentation containing the script.
  • Go directly to PowerShell script to import updates into WSUS in the official WSUS and the Catalog site documentation.

Once you copy the script, you’ll follow a series of steps to import updates into WSUS using PowerShell. Briefly, here’s what you’ll have to do:

  1. Save the script.
  2. Open the Microsoft Update Catalog site in a browser.
  3. Search for an update you want to import into WSUS.
  4. Select the desired update from the returned list.
  5. Copy the UpdateID on the opened details page. Note: If importing multiple updates, create a text file with each UpdateID on a separate line.
  6. To import updates, open a PowerShell console as an administrator and run the script with the syntax provided in our documentation.

Note: The files for the imported updates aren’t downloaded at the time of import. Please check your Update files settings to review or change when they will be downloaded.

In a separate support document, Microsoft has listed the prerequisites required to run the PowerShell script:

The following prerequisites are required to import updates into WSUS with the PowerShell script:

  • Any computer that has the WSUS administrative console installed, whether or not it's a WSUS server, can be used to import updates.
    • When importing from a WSUS server, use an account that's a member of the WSUS Administrators group or the Local Administrators group.
    • When importing from a remote computer, use an account that's a member of the WSUS Administrators group and has administrative permissions on the local computer. Remote computers must be able to reach the WSUS server over the network.

You may find more details on the blog post itself on Microsoft's website.

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