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Security: Windows Updates

IST maintains two different options for patching workstations and servers; Windows Software Update Services (WSUS) and System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM). All Academic Support workstations are patched via SCCM and this is the preferred method for patch management. WSUS remains available for groups who do not wish to use SCCM.

Groups interested in having machines managed via SCCM can put in an RT at:, or send an email to:

When do Patches happen?

The patch testers group known as “Vanguard” receive updates the second Wednesday of every month and have two days to install the updates or they will be automatically installed. More details can be found in this document. If you are interested in being part of the Vanguard group please submit a request to the IST Service Desk.

Academic Support computers have Windows updates applied on the third Wednesday of the month and are rebooted the following day by the IST reboot tool.

Both groups of workstations may receive critical or out of band updates outside of the normal windows listed above. When a high priority update is released, this information will be communicated through the normal campus communication methods.

What patches are released?

All Microsoft patches for the current month are released and client PCs determine which updates they need to apply. All current Microsoft software the University of Waterloo is licensed to use is approved for all machines. The one exception to this rule is Microsoft System Center updates, they must be downloaded and installed manually.

Have more questions?

For general questions about Windows updates at University of Waterloo please contact your local computing support person. If you have technical questions regarding Windows Updates please contact Greg Parks at or x47162.

Created by Greg Parks, Updated July 2017