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ARCHIVED :: How to identify and decline superseded updates in WSUS

An Old WSUS Tip

This is a copy of an article from tecknowledgebase.com written by Tom Menezes. While this blog started as a way for me to jot down linux based scripts, tips, tricks, etc, its also a place for me to save a bunch of random stuff for my own personal reference. This particular article is one that I’ve referenced frequently over the years when managing WSUS servers. The orginal article (Archive Link) recently went offline so I wanted to make a copy for myself and for others who have bookmarked this in the past and need to still reference this.

Note: The article has slightly been reformatted when copying

How to identify and decline superseded updates in WSUS

Although you can use the server cleanup wizard, you may want from time to time to clean manually all superseded updates to clean your WSUS infrastructure.

Open the Windows Update Services MMC then select the All Updates View as you can see below.

Set the display to show the Approval status of ‘Any except Declined’ with a Status of ‘Any’, then click Refresh.

WSUS All Updates / Any Except Declined

Right-click in the title bar and Enable the ‘Supersedence’ column to make it visible.

Image of superseded updates

Select and Decline the Superseded Updates

The updates to be declined have one of two particular flowchart symbols for their updates pictured in the attached image. Select the correct updates and Decline them by either right-clicking the selected updates and clicking decline or by pressing the decline button in the action pane.

Now there are 4 options:

  • No icon: update doesn’t supersede another one nor is it superseded by an update.
  • blue on top of triangle Blue square on top: this update supersedes another update, these updates you do not want to clean…!!
  • blue on middle Blue square in the middle: this update has been superseded by another update and superseded another update as well, this is an example of an update you may want to clean (decline).
  • blue on bottom right Blue square in the right below corner: this update has been superseded by another update, this is an example of an update you may want to clean (decline).

Run the Server Cleanup Wizard

Make sure you have all the options selected in the wizard and let it run. It will delete the files from the declined updates.

OPTIONAL: Automatic Approval Options

In the automatic approval options, under the advanced tab, there is an option to automatically approve update revisions for previously approved updates and subsequentially decline the now expired updates. I suggest you select them.

Note: Always verify that all superseding updates are approved before doing this operation!