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Stop Windows Update service

Learn how to stop Windows update service from command line.  With stopping the service, you are opting out of all automatic updates to your Windows system. Perform the following steps to stop update service.

  1. Open elevated command prompt
  2. Run the net stop command for update service.
    net stop wuauserv


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

Update service restarts automatically

It’s observed that just stopping the service does not work in some cases and it restarts automatically. In such cases one can disable the service completely by running below command.

C:\>sc config wuauserv start= disabled
[SC] ChangeServiceConfig SUCCESS

Note that these commands to stop or disable service 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.

How to start windows update

net start wuauserv


C:\Users\Administrator>net start wuauserv
The Windows Update service is starting.
The Windows Update service was started successfully.
27 comments… add one
  • Carl, Sweden

    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

      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.

  • Linda

    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!

    • Justin Goldberg, MCSE

      Set to disabled and reboot!

  • josh

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

    • Precis

      Yes – agreed thanks much appreciated! On a very slow connection so bandwidth is at a premium. This made things much more pleasant.

  • Bob Sundquist

    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

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

    • mrfreezzzz

      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”

    • Srini

      You need to run it from elevated command prompt.

  • mrfreezzzz

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

  • Piet

    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 knows how I can stop this wuauserv forever????

    • Srini

      You need to disable the service using sc command. Added these commands in the post.

  • Banshee

    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… :)

    • David Bethke

      I wind up stopping and disabling this service every day or two, yet somehow Windows keeps turning it back to Automatic and running it! (on an older laptop which has to stay at XP)

  • Marlene

    Just want to say Thank YOU! I got nearly crazy (even more than normal) because my laptop was making so much noise while windows was checking updates for hours. Tried to close it through task manager to no avail but this tip worked as a charm.
    I had no problems at all that was until windows installed updates and I could not get into windows anymore. Thanks no thanks. So now I am going to try to see if I can download the updates one by one or so. Thanks again. Love the sound of silence

  • Robert Henlien

    Surely it would be much easier to use computer management services scroll down to windows update and apply the above directly with the advantage that you can see what you are actually doing.

  • Rick

    Thanks for the tip. CPU had been running crazy trying to keep up with the update service. The CPU temp has dropped from 43 degrees Celcius to 35 degrees.

  • Lynda

    Omg! Thanks you! I was stuck in windows update loop!

  • plutow

    Thanks for the info. I made a .bat file to stop, and one to start with this info. Just run as administrator and it works :)

  • Richard Kunz

    I hope the above stop up dates work as my computer is all bet useless

  • ofer

    from cmd run
    sc queryex wuauserv
    take pidnum from result and replace xxx in
    taskkill /PID xxx/F and run

  • abhishek

    this service starting or stopping. please try again later.
    in window update service.

  • Am_Soltani

    I have a problem with windows server 2003
    I want to start windows update but windows show me this error:” the service name is invalid”

    • Srini

      open services.msc and check the shortname for update service. May be it was named differently on server 2003.

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