Windows Server 2016 – Disable Updates Are Available Popup

Environment

Server: Windows Server 2016 GUI and Core
Microsoft Updates provided by an on premises WSUS Server

Problem

On Login to a Server 2016 with pending updates you are prompted with a full screen pop up that you can’t get around until you click the View Updates.

Various attempts were made to suppress the alerts using Group Policies but nothing seems to work.

Solution / Workaround

After using some google-fu I came across the following article for the same issue with Windows 10.  This will change the permissions on the following files, which basically stops the full screen pop ups from happening.  Just what i was looking for!

    • musnotification.exe
    • musnotificationux.exe

https://winaero.com/blog/disable-updates-available-windows-10/
As per the article Credits go to jingyu9575 of superuser.

I have packaged these up as batch files for future deployments

  • Open a command prompt with Administrator access (important)
  • Run the following
    • cd /d “%Windir%\System32”
    • takeown /f musnotification.exe
    • icacls musnotification.exe /deny Everyone:(X)
    • takeown /f musnotificationux.exe
    • icacls musnotificationux.exe /deny Everyone:(X)

Back out procedure

  • cd /d “%Windir%\System32”
  • icacls musnotification.exe /remove:d Everyone
  • icacls musnotification.exe /grant Everyone:F
  • icacls musnotification.exe /setowner “NT SERVICE\TrustedInstaller”
  • icacls musnotification.exe /remove:g Everyone
  • icacls musnotificationux.exe /remove:d Everyone
  • icacls musnotificationux.exe /grant Everyone:F
  • icacls musnotificationux.exe /setowner “NT SERVICE\TrustedInstaller”
  • icacls musnotificationux.exe /remove:g Everyone

Conclusion

I have tested this on Windows Server 2016 Core and Desktop Experience with no reported issues. I have now embedded this into my Windows Server 2016 Template and build notes.

If you have other ideas or suggestions on how to work around this please comment below

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