When software update deployments target client computers and software updates are available for installation, you can configure the end user experience for what is displayed and how software updates are received and installed.

Client Computer Machine Policy Polling Interval

When software updates are deployed to client computers, the software update deployment information is added to the Configuration Manager machine policy, and the client computer becomes aware of the deployment on the next Machine Policy Retrieval & Evaluation Cycle configured on the General tab of the Computer Client Agent Properties. The default setting is every 60 minutes.

Mandatory Software Updates

When a client receives a software update deployment policy with a configured deadline, it downloads the required software updates and stores them in the local cache. The client will run software update installation from the local cache when the deadline is reached or the installation is initiated manually from the Available Software Updates dialog box. If the software update no longer exists in the local cache at the time of install, it will be downloaded again from the distribution point and then installed.

When new software updates that have a configured deadline are available, a display notification is presented to users that informs them of the pending deadline. Display notifications are presented on a periodic basis until all pending mandatory software update installations have completed. By default, they display every 3 hours for deadlines more than 24 hours away, every hour for deadlines less than 24 hours away, and every 15 minutes for deadlines that are less than 1 hour away. For more information about the reminder settings, see Computer Client Agent: Reminders Tab.

When there is a maintenance window configured for the target collection in a mandatory deployment, the software update installation will be initiated after the deadline at the first available maintenance window. Users are not prevented from manually initiating a software update installation outside of the maintenance window from the Available Software Updates dialog box. For more information about maintenance windows, see About Maintenance Windows. For more information about planning for maintenance windows in software updates, see the "Planning for Maintenance Windows" section of Planning for Software Updates Server Settings.

Pending System Restarts

When there are software update installations that have run and require a restart for them to complete, new software updates that become available are not shown and the notification area icon will not be visible. A system restart will be forced on client computers when mandatory software updates have a pending restart and the deadline has been reached.

Optional Software Updates

When a client computer receives a software update deployment policy without an assigned deadline (optional deployment), it does not immediately download the optional software update files. The optional software updates are displayed in the Available Software Updates dialog box after the client computer receives the machine policy containing the deployment policy. When the end user manually initiates the installation for optional software updates, the update files are downloaded from a distribution point to the local cache on the client computer and then installed locally. There is an initial display notifications presented for optional software updates, but additional notification reminders do not display.

When the site-wide setting is enabled to hide deployments, the end user will not be able to install optional software updates. For more information, see the "Hiding Software Update Installation from End Users" section of Planning for a Software Update Deployment.

Scheduling Software Update Installation

Mandatory software updates can be installed on client computers using a configured schedule. This provides the ability to initiate software update installation at a convenient time and install mandatory updates prior to the configured deadline. At the scheduled time, all software updates from mandatory deployments will install. The Install required updates on a schedule setting is on the Updates tab in the Configuration Manager Properties that is opened from the Control Panel on client computers.

Selecting Software Updates to Install

When new software updates are available, the user is notified by a display notification and a notification area icon. When the user double-clicks on the display notification or right-clicks on the notification area icon, a different dialog box is presented for the following conditions.

Mandatory Software Updates Are Available

If any of the available software updates are mandatory, a dialog box is presented asking the user how he or she would like to install the software updates. The user has the option to select Express Install or Custom Install.

Express Install: Opens the Required Software Updates dialog box displaying only the mandatory software updates, initiates software update installation for each update, and minimizes the dialog box that displays installation progress for each update. The user cannot initiate any action in the dialog box, and closing it will not affect the software updates installation.

Custom Install: Opens the Available Software Updates dialog box with all mandatory software updates selected and optional software updates listed but not selected. The user chooses which software updates to install. Even though the mandatory software updates are selected by default, the user has the option to deselect them and install them at a later time.

Only Optional Software Updates Are Available

If only optional software updates are available, the Available Software Updates dialog box is displayed. All available optional software updates are listed. No software updates are selected by default.

Installation Progress

During a software update installation, the Software Updates Installation Progress dialog box shows the Installation Progress for the selected updates. There are three states for software update installation:

  1. Preparing for download: The client computer is scanned to make sure the software update is still applicable.

  2. Downloading: The software update is downloaded from the distribution point to the client's local cache, if required.

  3. Installing: The software update installation is in progress. When the installation completes, a verification scan is initiated to ensure the software updates have successfully installed.

When a software update successfully installs, it no longer appears in the Available Software Updates dialog box.

Software Updates Installed Outside of Configuration Manager

When software updates that are required are installed outside of Configuration Manager, for example manually installing the software update or by using Automatic Updates, the Software Updates Client Agent will continue to show the software update as pending. During the next scan for software updates compliance on the client computer, the software update will no longer show as pending. Until the scan for software updates compliance, the software update will continue to display as pending, display notifications might appear on the client computer alerting them of a pending installation, and so on. If the end user selects to install the software update from the Available Updates dialog box, the client scans for software updates compliance before installing the update, detects that the software update is not longer required, and aborts the installation.

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