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Manage Windows Updates with ABC-Update

ABC-Update is a free program for Microsoft Windows devices to manage and control when Windows updates are delivered to computers in a network.

The application is available as a command line version and a graphical user interface version, and is free for use in commercial and non-commercial environments.

ABC-Update is compatible with all versions of Windows starting with Windows XP. It requires the Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 on clients and the .NET Framework 4.5 or higher for the GUI version, and that the Microsoft Automatic Update Service is not disabled.

Tip: An alternative that works well on single PCs are Sledgehammer. If you run Windows 10, check out our guide on upgrading the Windows 10 operating system.

ABC-Update

abc-update windows update management

ABC-Update was designed to address growing frustration with the default updating behavior of the Window operating system. Automatic updates and performance issues are mentioned specifically by the developers of the application.

Administrators may list, install, or uninstall updates on a schedule or immediately, and set up actions after update installations and logging.

Administrators may run the program from any location on a Windows PC. The interface displays all relevant options on a single screen in the interface.

Admins may select the update source at the top. ABC-Update supports WSUS and MS Update; the address and port of the WSUS server may be added if WSUS is selected.

ABC-Update supports four different update related actions: list missing, list all, install, or uninstall.

  • List missing: lists all updates that are available for the particular version of Windows that are not installed already.
  • List all: lists all available updates.
  • Install: install updates.
  • Uninstall: uninstall updates, works only if WSUS was used to install these updates.

The application offers options to set a desired power state after update installation or uninstallation, and whether the system should be rebooted if required.

Administrators who want even more control may configure the program to run queries for all update types or only for select types. Available update types include critical updates, Windows 10 feature upgrades, service packs, definition updates, or developer kits.

Additional options may limit updates to software or driver updates, and even find updates based on KB articles, titles, or dates.

Options to enable logging and email reports are provided as well. Administrators need to add targets for the operation to the targets field. A click on “this system” adds the current system to the process. ABC-Update attempts to query Windows Active Directory domain or forest on first start to make connected devices available for selection as well.

It is not possible to add targets directly in the form field though; a click on input opens options to select computers in the network for inclusion.

A click on Schedule starts the process. ABC-Update queries the selected update source based on the configured parameters and displays the progress in a new window.

updates on demand

The application lists all client devices and their status in the window. You may click on any client PC to display detailed information.

If you selected to check for missing updates, you find all missing updates in the log next to connection and selection details.

windows updates information

It is recommended to run a check for updates (without installation) first to find out more about updates before installation.

The log lists KB article IDs but no links; manual research is required to find the KB article pages.

Closing Words

ABC-Update is a powerful update management and installation program for Microsoft Windows devices. While its main purpose is the use in networks with multiple client PCs, it may be used on individual Windows PCs as well to install updates.

Now You: Do you use a third-party program to install Windows Updates?

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