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 8/7/XP are 124,184 bytes (28% of all occurrences), 53,080 bytes and 66 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 9% 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

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.
Whenever I first start up my computer, a windows xp, it is in the task manager under SYSTEM. Then a few seconds later another wuauclt comes up under my username. Once and a while my computer takes on some serious lag caused by the wuauclt under SYSTEM spiking to 135,000 K of memory usage. When I end the process it stops and sometimes restarts with lower mem usage. When I end the wuauclt under my user name the little yellow windows defender icon disappears.
Automatic updates. Safe and important, because it updates your system and programs. It's sometimes annoying because it consumes much RAM at times.
I dislable Windows Updates Service but this wuaucit.exe is runing.It's a virus!I shearch it but nothing.It's a hidden file.Destroy it!!
1. To turn it off, click Start/Run and type services.msc. Look for the service that says "Automatic Updates" and double click it. Press "Stop" to stop the service To prevent it from running on reboot, change startup type to "disabled" Press Ok.
  some tech   (further information)
I found it with procexp.exe tool, it was keeping my flash drives autorun.inf locked while moving files around my flash drive.. I removed it and puf! No more problems. P.S.: also found a wuauclt1.exe with a Windows Update icon(i believe it's the original file). The virus didn't have an icon!!
More comments can be found here:
    (further information)

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of wuauclt.exe: based on 432 votes with 9 reviews. 157 users think wuauclt.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. 31 users think it's probably harmless. 87 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. 62 users suspect danger. 95 users think wuauclt.exe is dangerous and recommend removing it. 55 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 doing a repair of your installation, or in the case of Windows 8, 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]