Force BITS to download WSUS updates in the foreground in Windows Server

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Written By Jan Reilink

Windows Server system administrator & enthusiast.

When WSUS downloads are slow. WSUS uses BITS for downloading updates, and it does so in background mode. Unfortunately, this utilizes remaining bandwidth of the server instead of its full capacity. To speed up WSUS downloads, you can configure BITS in WSUS to use foreground priority.

When to use foreground or background BITS priority

The default Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) mode for WSUS is background priority mode. As written in Microsoft Docs:

Unless the job is time critical or the user is actively waiting, you should always use a background priority. However, there are times when you may want to switch from background priority to foreground priority.

Best Practices When Using BITS

If you feel your WSUS updates download take too long to complete, you can switch to foreground priority. This may speed up WSUS.

Speed up WSUS update downloads by switching to BITS foreground priority

So, to speed up the download of WSUS updates through BITS, configure it to foreground priority. In Powershell you can do this quite easily:

$Configuration=(Get-WSUSServer).GetConfiguration() $Configuration.BitsDownloadPriorityForeground=$True $Configuration.Save() (get-wsusserver).GetConfiguration()
Code language: PowerShell (powershell)

Whenever you want to switch back to normal background BITS priority, set BitsDownloadPriorityForeground back to $false.

You can get its current value using:

Code language: CSS (css)

This will show you whether the setting has been enabled (True) or not (False).

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2 thoughts on “Force BITS to download WSUS updates in the foreground in Windows Server”

  1. There is also option to increase the download limit by doing the following:
    $Configuration.MaxSimultaniousFileDownload =
    and also to update the value in BITS configuration in the following Reg value
    After that restart the BITS service, and start sync process
    U will see that the number of BITS jobs increased and the download rate became faster


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