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What does the wuauclt.exe file do?

The wuauclt.exe process is also known as Windows Update Automatic Updates or, as the case may be, Windows Update AutoUpdate Client and is a part of Microsoft Windows Operating System or, as the case may be, Windows Update. This software is produced by Microsoft (www.microsoft.com). An obsolete or defective version of wuauclt.exe can cause problems for your computer that can range from slowness to error messages such as these:

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What you should know about wuauclt.exe Windows Update Automatic Updates

wuauclt.exe is a Windows system file. The file wuauclt.exe is found in the C:\Windows\System32 directory. Frequently occurring are file sizes such as 53,472 bytes (26% of all these files), 53,080 bytes as well as 25 other variants.
The file has a digital signature. This confirms that the producer has been registered with a certificate authority. The original file by Microsoft is digitally signed. So please check the file on your computer. The application does not have a visible window, and does not appear on the taskbar. For this reason, 9% of all experts consider this file to be a possible threat. The probability that it can cause harm is high.

wuauclt.exe is a system file used by Microsoft Windows, and appears in Windows Task Manager as a process named "Windows Update Automatic Updates." However, some viruses or Trojans use the same file name in order to remain undetected (for example New Malware.dw (recognized by McAfee), as well as Virus:Win32/Virut.BN or, as the case may be, Trojan:Win32/Msposer.A (recognized by Microsoft)).
To be really safe, you should scan your computer with two different anti-virus engines. You can use a free Anti-Malware scanner for this purpose.

Objectionable files with the same file name have the following characteristics: A wuauclt.exe file has a 100% certainty of being dangerous if it is found in a subdirectory of "C:\Users\USERNAME". In this case, the file size is usually 77,824 bytes. The program executes in the background, and can only be terminated using Windows Task Manager. Most users consider the process to be unreliable and advise terminating it. The file does not come from Microsoft and is not part of the operating system. Wuauclt.exe is capable of interpret keystrokes. wuauclt.exe appears to be a file that was compressed by an EXE-Packer. This technique is often used by trojans to keep the file size small and also hamper debugging efforts. However, this in itself is not sufficient reason to presume malicious intent, since even well-intentioned, professional software producers take advantage of compressed files.

If you see this file on your hard drive or in Windows Task Manager, please make sure that it is not a malicious variant. It's a fact that many trojans try to cloak their true identity by calling themselves wuauclt.exe. With the above information or by using tools like Security Task Manager you can determine if, in your case, the file is an undesirable variant.

What do other computer users say about wuauclt?

ran a search in windows no such file
steven laube
the size in my pc is 148kb
On one Windows XP system I used the Services to stop the Automatic Updates process but then it came back. Next I switched the AU service from Automatic to Manual and it still came back. Finally I changed AU from Manual to Disabled and stopped it again. Now I do not see it showing up. Don't know there was a virus but don't think so. Am running Windows Defender and it doesn't say there is a problem. (further information...)

Summary: 149 users judge wuauclt.exe to be an essential file that should not be touched. 29 users consider it harmless. However, 62 users consider this to be a suspicious process and would like to get rid of it. For this reason, 91 users have already deleted wuauclt.exe. source: file.net

How to uninstall the program or Windows Update

wuauclt.exe Windows Update Automatic Updates fix

To remove Windows Update Automatic Updates from your computer, please follow the manual instructions below or use an automatic uninstaller product.

  1. Click the Windows Start Button. In Windows 8, look for Control Panel.
  2. Click Control Panel.
  3. Click Uninstall a program.
  4. Look for the program or Windows Update in the list of available programs.
  5. Click Uninstall.

How to tell if wuauclt.exe (Windows Update Automatic Updates) was uninstalled cleanly

After uninstalling, restart your computer. Then start Windows Explorer and see if there is still a folder with the name of the software under C:\Program Files. Be sure to check the Registry as well for remnants of Windows Update Automatic Updates. To do this, start "Regedit", then look under "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE" > "Software" for Windows Update Automatic Updates or the name of the producer. Always keep in mind that only a computer professional should ever directly delete entries in the Windows Registry.

What to do if a program does not uninstall

The easiest way to remove any kind of software cleanly and accurately is to use an uninstaller tool. Because the uninstaller automatically creates a backup, there is no risk of anything going wrong.

Last but not least

If Windows not working quite right for you, or if startup is taking a long time, or wuauclt.exe is causing problems for you, a good Windows diagnostic tool may very well help. This is especially effective when it comes to older computers that have accumulated vast quantities of "garbage data" as the result of many software installs and uninstalls.

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