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.
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 (www.microsoft.com) or Microsoft Windows XP Publisher or Microsoft Windows Component Publisher (www.microsoft.com).
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
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?
If wuauclt.exe is located in the C:\Windows folder, the security rating is 70% dangerous. The file size is 230,518 bytes (40% of all occurrences), 230,520 bytes and 5 more variants. Wuauclt.exe is not a Windows system file. The process is loaded during the Windows boot process (see Registry key: MACHINE\Run, Run, RunOnce, MACHINE\RunServices, User Shell Folders, DEFAULT\Run). The application has no file description. Wuauclt.exe is an unknown file in the Windows folder. The process uses ports to connect to or from a LAN or the Internet. The program is not visible. Wuauclt.exe is able to hide itself and monitor applications.
If wuauclt.exe is located in a subfolder of C:\Windows, the security rating is 82% dangerous. The file size is 5,632 bytes (37% of all occurrences), 34,816 bytes and 4 more variants. There is no description of the program. Wuauclt.exe is an unknown file in the Windows folder. The program is not visible. It is not a Windows system file. Wuauclt.exe is able to monitor applications, record keyboard and mouse inputs, manipulate other programs, connect to the Internet and hide itself.
If wuauclt.exe is located in a subfolder of the user's profile folder, the security rating is 76% dangerous. The file size is 33,068 bytes (66% of all occurrences) or 77,824 bytes.
If wuauclt.exe is located in the C:\Windows\System32\drivers folder, the security rating is 56% dangerous. The file size is 81,794 bytes.
If wuauclt.exe is located in a subfolder of C:\Windows\System32, the security rating is 86% dangerous. The file size is 26,967 bytes.
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.
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.