What does the wuauclt.exe file do?
The wuauclt.exe process is also known as Windows Update or, as the case may be, Automatic Updates and is a part of Microsoft Windows Operating System. 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:
- Windows Update has stopped working. Windows is checking for a solution to the problem... (Windows 10, 8, 7)
- Windows Update has stopped working. A problem caused the program to stop working correctly. Windows will close the program and notify you if a solution is available. (Windows 10, 8, 7)
- wuauclt.exe has encountered a problem and needs to close.
- Access violation at address FFFFFFFF in module wuauclt.exe. Read of address 00000000.
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What you should know about wuauclt.exe Windows Update
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 53,784 bytes (62% of all these files), 53,472 bytes as well as 12 other variants.
It is part of the Windows operating system found in C:\Windows\. The original file has a digital certificate (see its file properties). To verify its trustworthiness, Microsoft has provided it with an embedded certificate. The application does not appear as a visible window, but only in Task Manager. For this reason, 5% 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." However, some viruses or Trojans use the same file name in order to remain undetected (e.g. Virus:Win32/Virut.BN or, as the case may be, Trojan:Win64/CoinMiner (recognized by Microsoft), as well as W32.Virut.CF or, as the case may be, PUA.Gen.2 (recognized by Symantec)).
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 in a subdirectory of the Windows Temp folder. In this case, the file size is usually 342,528 bytes (50% of all these files) or, as the case may be, 593,920 bytes. It does not supply any version information or other description. It was developed by a so-called third party provider - and not by Microsoft. This wuauclt.exe process is connected to a server on the Internet or in your local network. This wuauclt program does not appear as a visible window, but only in Task Manager. Wuauclt.exe is capable of monitor other applications.
- A wuauclt.exe file has a 100% certainty of being dangerous if it is found in a subdirectory of C:\. In this case, the file size is usually 24,064 bytes. Wuauclt.exe does not supply any version information or other description. When Windows starts, this process is automatically started at the same time (Registry: RunOnce, MACHINE\Run, Run). The program executes in the background, and can only be terminated using Windows Task Manager. This file was developed by a so-called third party provider - and not by Microsoft. Wuauclt.exe is capable of interpret keystrokes.
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 |
|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
To remove Windows Update from your computer, please follow the manual instructions below or use an automatic uninstaller product.
- Click the Windows Start Button. You find it in the lower left corner of the taskbar.
- Type the word uninstall.
- Click Add or remove programs.
- Now locate the program in the list of displayed applications.
- Click the program, and then click Uninstall.
How to tell if wuauclt.exe (Windows Update) 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. To do this, start "Regedit", then look under "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE" > "Software" for Windows Update 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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