What is wuauclt.exe?

The .exe extension on a filename indicates an executable file. Executable files may, in some cases, harm your computer. Therefore, please read below to decide for yourself whether the wuauclt.exe on your computer is a Trojan that you should remove, or whether it is a file belonging to the Windows operating system or to a trusted application.

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Wuauclt.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with wuauclt
Wuauclt.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as Automatic Updates or Windows Update Automatic Updates or Windows Update or Windows Update AutoUpdate Client or Automatische Updates or Actualizaciones automáticas

belongs to software Microsoft Windows Operating System or Betriebssystem Microsoft Windows or Windows Update or Sistema operativo Microsoft Windows

by Microsoft ( or Microsoft Windows XP Publisher or Microsoft Windows Component Publisher (

Description: The original wuauclt.exe from Microsoft is an important part of Windows, but often causes problems. The file wuauclt.exe is located in the C:\Windows\System32 folder. Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 53,080 bytes (22% of all occurrences), 124,184 bytes and 67 more variants. 
The file has a digital signature. It is a trustworthy file from Microsoft. The program has no visible window. Therefore the technical security rating is 10% dangerous; however you should also read the user reviews.

Recommended: Identify wuauclt.exe related errors

Viruses with the same file name

Is wuauclt.exe a virus? No, it is not. The true wuauclt.exe file is a safe Microsoft Windows system process, called "Automatic Updates". However, writers of malware programs, such as viruses, worms, and Trojans deliberately give their processes the same file name to escape detection. Viruses with the same file name are for example W32/Suspicious_N.gen (detected by F-Secure), and Win32:Pakes-OD (detected by Avast).
To ensure that no rogue wuauclt.exe is running on your PC, click here to run a Free Malware Scan.

How to recognize suspicious variants?

Important: Some malware disguises itself as wuauclt.exe, particularly when not located in the C:\Windows\System32 folder. Therefore, you should check the wuauclt.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.


User Comments

Very laggy. But not nessisary at some points.
With ALL XP support Gone This File is only a patway for Microsoft to push For Update your OS Spam
Now that XP MS support is ended, I suppose it should be OK to disable this.
ıt only works while windows update. after I close the update page iexplorer ıts not there .
its the totally slow & hang my PC
  Suraj Patil  
The latest version I have on XPP is 7.5.7600.256 from 2012.06.02 at 15:19:34 and a file size of 53,784 bytes. This file is in windows\system32\dllcache, windows\system32 and windows\LastGood\system32 There are older versions around which stem from an auto repair process, which were erroneously retrieved from Windows\ServicePackFiles\i386 (MS-Bug)
  Hardy Hoffmann  
Anyone who says this is dangerous doesn't know what they are talking about. It is the client process for the Windows Update service, which installs security patches, hotfixes, and other various updates for your Windows system to keep it secure from virus attacks.
I got 50% CPU from svchost.exe -k -netsvcs and I fixed it by disabling Windows Update.
More comments can be found here:
    (further information)

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of wuauclt.exe: based on 438 votes with 9 reviews. 159 users think wuauclt.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. 31 users think it's probably harmless. 89 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. 62 users suspect danger. 97 users think wuauclt.exe is dangerous and recommend removing it. 56 users don't grade wuauclt.exe ("not sure about it").

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Best practices for resolving wuauclt issues

A clean and tidy computer is the key requirement for avoiding problems with wuauclt. This means running a scan for malware, cleaning your hard drive using cleanmgr and sfc /scannow, uninstalling programs that you no longer need, checking for Autostart programs (using msconfig) and enabling Windows' Automatic 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 resmon 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 DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth command. This allows you to repair the operating system without losing data.

To help you analyze the wuauclt.exe process on your computer, the following programs have proven to be helpful: Security Task Manager displays all running Windows tasks, including embedded hidden processes, such as keyboard and browser monitoring or Autostart entries. A unique security risk rating indicates the likelihood of the process being potential spyware, malware or a Trojan. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware detects and removes sleeping spyware, adware, Trojans, keyloggers, malware and trackers from your hard drive.

Other processes

wuauclt.exe [all]