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How To Configure Windows Update Proxy Server Setting?

You should have known where the Windows Update proxy server setting is. As noted in previous post, Windows Update doesn’t refer to Internet Explorer proxy server settings.

With reference to Microsoft KB 842773, Microsoft Windows Update is one of the many network-enabled program that rely on Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) to transfer files by using idle network bandwidth (to avoid slow down other “critical” network applications such as network game, IPTV, video chat, etc.).

A guide to configure WinHTTP proxy server setting used by Windows Update program
BITS uses WinHTTP to send HTTP requests and process, i.e. the network connection between your computer and Microsoft Update servers goes like this:

Windows Update -> BITS -> WinHTTP.

There is no proxy server setting you can configure in Windows Update, at least now in Windows 7 and Windows Vista. So, you have to configure WinHTTP proxy server for Windows Update to be able download patches and updates from Microsoft servers over the Net (if your network environment requires proxy server to online):

1) Open an elevated Command Prompt window (a true administrator Command Prompt window in Windows Vista, Windows 7, or above). Refer to earlier articles if you’re not sure how to open an elevated Command Prompt window.
  • To display or check WinHTTP proxy server setting, execute netsh command as this:
    netsh winhttp show proxy
  • To set / change / update WinHTTP proxy server IP address and port number (e.g. to IP and port 3355):
    netsh winhttp set proxy

    Why Windows Update is not using Internet Explorer proxy server setting?
  • To disable Windows Update proxy server, execute this netsh command to reset proxy server setting to “Direct access (no proxy server)”:
    netsh winhttp reset proxy

    Where is the Windows Update proxy server setting and how to configure Windows Update proxy server setting?

Why can Microsoft includes the proxy setting as part of Windows Update configuration? Instead of BITS clients refer to WinHTTP proxy setting, let BITS applications pass the proxy setting to WinHTTP for reference? Guess that is not an effective programming practice :-)

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