Office 2016 September 4, 2018 updates breaks WSUS sync

Windows Update[German]Just a brief short note for administrators in WSUS environments observing synchronization failures since a few days. It’s not your WSUS, it’s probably caused by broken Office 2016 updates.


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Last Tuesday (09/04/2018) Microsoft released a new batch of non security updates for Microsoft Office (see my blog post Microsoft Office-Updates (September 3, 2018)).

WSUS fails during update synchronization

Shortly after my blog post was published, the first user comments arrived within my German blog. Several users claiming, that these updates do not arrive at WSUS, due to the fact that WSUS couldn’t synchronize. German blog reader Markus K. wrote:

No Office updates were synced on WSUS v3.x (2008 R2), no success manually either. The synchronization fails.

The WSUS v10.x (Server 2016) has received all Office updates.

This is not an isolated case, as other users confirm this error. At first glance, it looks as if only WSUS v3.x under Windows Server 2008 R2 is affected. But also the Small Business Server 2011 with WSUS 3.x and Windows Server 2012 R2 are probably affected. The same applies to Windows Server 2016 with WSUS v10.0.14393.2007 (although Marcus wrote above, that his Windows Server 2016 managed the synchronization).

It’s probably Office 2016 updates

German blog reader Michael R. mentioned within this comment, that there is a problem with the new Office 2016 updates released by Microsoft on Sept. 4, 2018. Michael wrote:

This is probably a problem with the new Office 2016 updates.
After removing Office 2016 from the product selection in WSUS, synchronization with Microsoft works again. I manually imported the missing Office 2016 updates.

He left a link to this Technet forum thread at Microsoft, where the issues has been discussed also. I guess, blog reader Markus K. mentioned above is the thread starter. He wrote:


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as of today synchronization fails on our 2008 R2 v3.x WSUS (2016 v10.x WSUS synced fine!) with following error:

SoapException: Fault occurred at
System.Web.Services.Protocols.SoapHttpClientProtocol.ReadResponse
(SoapClientMessage message, WebResponse response, Stream responseStream, Boolean asyncCall) at
System.Web.Services.Protocols.SoapHttpClientProtocol.Invoke(String methodName, Object[] parameters) at Microsoft.UpdateServices.ServerSyncWebServices.ServerSync.
ServerSyncProxy.GetUpdateData(Cookie cookie, UpdateIdentity[] updateIds) at
Microsoft.UpdateServices.ServerSync.CatalogSyncAgentCore.
WebserviceGetUpdateData(UpdateIdentity[] updateIds, List`1 allMetadata, List`1 allFileUrls, Boolean isForConfig) at
Microsoft.UpdateServices.ServerSync.CatalogSyncAgentCore.
GetUpdateDataInChunksAndImport(List`1 neededUpdates, List`1 allMetadata, List`1 allFileUrls, Boolean isConfigData) at
Microsoft.UpdateServices.ServerSync.CatalogSyncAgentCore.
ExecuteSyncProtocol(Boolean allowRedirect)

There is an error reported in the SOAP connection used by WSUS to the Microsoft servers. In the error string, I still mean that the synchronization fails when retrieving the metadata. If you go through the thread in the Technet forum, you will find a post where a user reached a partial synchronization:

Just tried again: the Synchronisation now works up to about 20% and then stops with the same error message. Then I deselected the updates for Office 2002-2016 in products/classifications and tried to synchronize again and everything now works fine. So there seems to be an error in the Office update files.

From that point on, it was clear that it had to do with the Office patchday and the released updates. Further attempts were made to narrow down the Office 2016 category updates as a root cause. As soon as users remove this category from the update synchronization, the synchronization works again.

Addendum: Microsoft has re-released some Office 2016 updates – maybe it fixes some issues, see Fix for Office 2016 updates related WSUS sync issues?

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10 Responses to Office 2016 September 4, 2018 updates breaks WSUS sync

  1. Pingback: Born: September non-security Office updates blamed for WSUS synchronization failures @ AskWoody

  2. tester says:

    I can confirm the above issue and the fix mentioned. Removing Office 2016 allows my windows server 2012 R2 to sync again.

  3. Belgium says:

    Same issue here on Windows Server 2102 R2 and I can also confirm that deselecting office 2016 makes the synchronisation work again.

  4. Jon says:

    2016 WSUS in production environment here, failing syncs since late-evening of 9/6/18. Unchecking “Office 2016” product in the Products & Classifications options does NOT fix syncing, unfortunately. Even restarted WSUS service serveral times to no avail.

  5. Alex says:

    For me, I had to not only uncheck “Office2016”, but also “Office365 client” from “Products and Classifications for syncing to start again. I had the same situation as @Jon above.

    Currently syncing at 28%

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  7. Hakon says:

    Server 2019 with WSUS 10.0.17763.1, same problem, unchecked Office 2016, Office 365 client and Office 2019 – still same problem.
    Syncronizing 0% – then fails.
    If I uncheck “everything” then only check “Windows” it syncronizes 24 % then fails.

  8. WillyWurm says:

    Got the same Problem with Server 2016 WSUS 10.0.14393.2007
    MUURL https[://]fe2.update[.]microsoft[.]com
    When uncheck “Windows 10” – sync is fine

    Server 2012
    MUURL https[://]sws.update[.]microsoft[.]com sync is fine

  9. isaka says:

    We had to uncheck all office products in order to make it work again!

  10. Andre says:

    Microsoft confirmed trouble on their cloud services (second time during this week).
    See post https://www.reddit.com/r/SCCM/comments/a3192q/wsus_failed_sync/

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