I have read some articles and discussion about the process for patching sharepoint server 2016 on-premises and the differences in patching sharepoint 2013 and 2016. now i could not find any official documentation, but seems that there are 3 main points to mention:-

  1. For SP 2016 Microsoft will release new CU each month, which is similar to 2013.
  2. For SP 2016 Microsoft will no longer provide separate security updates for sharepoint. and all the updates will be provided inside the whole CU. while in SP 2013 we can install a full CU or only install separate security updates.
  3. For SP 2016 we can patch the farm with zero downtime, while this option is not available in SP 2013.

so can anyone adivce if my above 3 points are correct? and are there other differences i need to know. as currently i am preparing a documentation on how SP 2013 and 2016 are being patched and how we need to manage them?


2 Answers 2


SharePoint 2016 doesn't have 'CUs', instead they're Public Updates, which are similar in function, but different in that the recommendation is to apply Public Updates as soon as possible and keep current with them, unlike the CU process which was 'apply only as required'.

There are no separate security updates for SharePoint 2016, that's correct. And with regards to ZDP, yes that exists as well. It involves a farm where each service is present on two or more servers in the farm and a load balancer is in place for end user traffic. Even though it's called 'zero downtime patching', each server will take an outage as the patch is applied, the server is rebooted, or the Config Wizard is run.

  • so you mean in 2016 it is recommended to install the "Public Updates" each month? but this mean it will take us a lot of effort in testing PUs before applying them to live servers... now not sure why you mentioned it is recommended to install the latest PU in 2016.. now let say our 2016 farm is stable and is working well,, then why we need to install any PU as soon as possible?
    – John John
    Apr 6, 2017 at 16:08
  • 1
    Microsoft's stance is that you should apply the latest available PU as soon as possible and keep up to date on PUs. There are significantly less regressions in 2016 PUs than there ever were in previous releases and should require less testing on your part. This is the same guidance the SQL PG and Exchange PG have put out.
    – user6024
    Apr 6, 2017 at 16:09

The below is answer for your question.

1: Yes Microsoft releases patches every month starting from April 2016.

2: SharePoint 2016 CU Software updates include any update, update rollup, service pack, feature pack , critical update, security update, or hotfix. in one patch.

3: ZDP refers to two things:

(I) Redundancy in the farm enabling the patches to be applied while keeping each service up.

(II)Running the Config Wizard doesn't take down the farm as a whole during a schema update.

  • Hi, seeing your answer and made me wander, I am currently seeing list of updates on toddklindt.com/blog/Builds/SharePoint-2016-Builds.aspx. So if I am understanding correctly if I apply the latest package (December 2017), they should include all previous builds? My current server currently has up to December 2016 builds or should I go and do one month at a time?
    – IanCian
    Dec 14, 2017 at 15:11

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