How to remove the windows_update virus

Most antivirus programs identify windows_update.exe as malware—for instance Symantec identifies it as W32.Spybot.Worm or WS.Reputation.1, and Avast identifies it as Win32:Malware-gen.

The free file information forum can help you find out how to remove it. If you have additional information about this file, please leave a comment or a suggestion for other users.

Click to Run a Free Virus Scan for the windows_update.exe malware

Windows_update.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with windows_update
Windows_update.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The C: Documents and Settings nathu Desktop sdkljfhsldkjfhsdkljfhsdlkjfhkjxlcvhiucxyviousda.exe process contains no information about its author.

Description: Windows_update.exe is not essential for Windows and will often cause problems. Windows_update.exe is located in the C:\Windows\System32 folder. The file size on Windows 10/8/7/XP is 794,624 bytes. 
The software has no file description. The program is not visible. The file is an unknown file in the Windows folder. Windows_update.exe is not a Windows system file. The program is loaded during the Windows boot process (see Registry key: MACHINE\Run, MACHINE\RunServices, Run). Windows_update.exe is able to record keyboard and mouse inputs, hide itself and manipulate other programs. Therefore the technical security rating is 90% dangerous.

Recommended: Identify windows_update.exe related errors

External information from Paul Collins:

Important: You should check the windows_update.exe process on your PC to see if it is a threat. We recommend Security Task Manager for verifying your computer's security. This was one of the Top Download Picks of The Washington Post and PC World.


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Best practices for resolving windows_update issues

The following programs have also been shown useful for a deeper analysis: ASecurity Task Manager examines the active windows_update process on your computer and clearly tells you what it is doing. Malwarebytes' well-known Banti-malware tool tells you if the windows_update.exe on your computer displays annoying ads, slowing it down. This type of unwanted adware program is not considered by some antivirus software to be a virus and is therefore not marked for cleanup.

A clean and tidy computer is the key requirement for avoiding PC trouble. This means running a scan for malware, cleaning your hard drive using 1cleanmgr and 2sfc /scannow, 3uninstalling programs that you no longer need, checking for Autostart programs (using 4msconfig) and enabling Windows' 5Automatic Update. Always remember to perform periodic backups, or at least to set restore points.

Should you experience an actual problem, try to recall the last thing you did, or the last thing you installed before the problem appeared for the first time. Use the 6resmon command to identify the processes that are causing your problem. Even for serious problems, rather than reinstalling Windows, you are better off repairing of your installation or, for Windows 8 and later versions, executing the 7DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth command. This allows you to repair the operating system without losing data.

Other processes

windows_update.exe [all]