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Start or stop Windows update service

Windows update service can be started from command line(CMD) using the below command.

net start wuauserv


C:\Users\Administrator>net start wuauserv
The Windows Update service is starting.
The Windows Update service was started successfully.

Update service can be stopped using the below command

net stop wuauserv


C:\Users\Administrator>net stop wuauserv
The Windows Update service is stopping.
The Windows Update service was stopped successfully.

Note that on Windows Vista and Windows 7 machines net start/stop commands should be run from elevated administrator command prompt. Other wise you will get the following error.

C:\Users\administrator>net stop wuauserv
System error 5 has occurred.
Access is denied.
{ 14 comments… add one }
  • Carl, Sweden February 3, 2012, 8:28 pm

    Neat tip. However, it seems W7 is automatically restarting the Windows Update service every now and then. I’ve changed status to “Manual” under services.msc but the behavior remains. No fun at all.

    • Per Hansen August 1, 2012, 11:30 am

      Hi Carl
      FYI everytime you go into windows update it will start the service even though it is set to manual so if you need to look in windows update then stop the service again afterwards.

  • Edmond January 17, 2014, 7:53 am

    Please help me to stop the windows update, it is a disaster every time after windows update, totally stupid program, may be next time I should go for apple.

    • winhelp May 15, 2014, 3:49 pm

      you gott the error because you have’nt run cmd as administrator

    • Safal April 8, 2015, 4:28 am

      Apple is more stupid than the windows.

  • Linda May 6, 2015, 4:04 am

    I cannot get windows update to stop, finish, or go away! How do I get this to stop so I can get back on the computer? It’s a brand new computer, and useless at this point!

  • josh October 22, 2015, 2:40 pm

    Wow thank you for putting this line up here. I needed to restart my windows update and this did the trick

  • Bob Sundquist November 5, 2015, 10:28 pm

    AutoHotkey script:

    interval = 600 ; execution interval in seconds
    Menu, Tray, Add ; divider line
    Menu, Tray, Add, Execute Now, StopService
    Menu, Tray, Default, Execute Now
    timer_param := -1000 * interval

    Run %comspec% /c “sc query wuauserv | find “1 STOPPED” & if errorlevel 1 sc stop wuauserv”, , Hide
    time = %A_Now%
    time += %interval%, seconds
    FormatTime, time_string, %time%, Time
    Menu, Tray, Tip, Stop Windows Update Service`nNext Execution at %time_string%
    SetTimer, StopService, %timer_param%

  • Nico November 8, 2015, 9:44 pm

    Hi! even thou i star cmd as admin i still get the “error 5 access denied. can someone help me?

    • mrfreezzzz December 6, 2015, 9:29 am

      go to start menu —> type “cmd” in the search box, wait till cmd shows in the results list, right click on “cmd” and select “run as administrator”

  • mrfreezzzz December 6, 2015, 9:58 am

    otherwise, check your UAC and if it’s off, turn it on in your account settings.

  • Embee December 23, 2015, 11:00 pm

    This information is for those who wish to completely disable Windows 10 automatic updates. It is very simple and requires no real expertise.

    1. Bring up your task manager.
    2. Select the “Services” tab.
    3. Scroll down the lefthand side until you see “wuauserv”. (In the description column to the right, you’ll see “Windows Update”.)
    4. Right click on “wuauserv”.
    5. In the dropdown box that appears, click on “stop”.

    This stops all automatic updates from taking over your computer. In order to get future updates, you will have to follow the same steps, but click on “start” to restart it. I prefer simply to go to Microsoft’s website to find the updates, if I want them at all, which I don’t. I’ve struggled with Microsoft’s updates for years, from Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and now Windows 10. All of them have rendered my computer(s) less functional than they were prior to the updates.

    I use a separate security program in conjunction with Windows firewall and find that there is absolutely no need to upload their security updates.

  • Piet February 2, 2016, 12:41 pm

    Same problem on my PC. Svchost.exe takes continuously almost 100% processor time.
    Stopped wuauserv in the way described above and the processor is free!!! However after a restart it is running again. Same after stopping it via the command: net stop wuauserv.
    Anybody a receipt how I can stop this wuauserv forever????

  • Banshee February 19, 2016, 11:24 am

    Hi all, a tip for all of those having issues with Windows update, if you go to services.msc and stop the service in the second tab you can select a user to run the service with afterwards.
    So you only need to put a valid user and then change the password of that user and voila! it wont ever be able to run again since it will be trying to run with an invalid user… :)

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