Command Line Equivalent of wuauclt in Windows 10 / Windows Server 2016

Windows Update with Windows 10 & Windows Server 2016 was modified so that it could be integrated with the new UI. The old Windows Update is now gone from Control Panel (I am so sad...) and if you have to view updates, all you can do is

Start -> Settings -> Update & Security -> Windows Update

With earlier versions of Windows, there used to be utility wuauclt but that does not work anymore since it does not update the UI which is accessed through Settings.exe.

Now, if you try typing the following command in an Administrator command prompt on Windows 10 or Windows Server 2016, nothing will happen - wuauclt /detectnow

Now, in order to force check Windows Update, follow the below instructions -

  1. Open a Command Prompt with Administrator privileges.
  2. Type in usoclient StartScan
  3. You will see that Windows Update in Settings.exe will start refreshing as below -

Note: USOClient.exe is located in C:\Windows\System32

This will also force the client to report its status to the WSUS server (if configured).

On using Sysinternal's Strings on UsoClient.exe, I found that there are more switches which can be used -

  • StartScan Used To Start Scan
  • StartDownload Used to Start Download of Patches
  • StartInstall Used to Install Downloaded Patches
  • RefreshSettings Refresh Settings if any changes were made
  • StartInteractiveScan Not sure
  • RestartDevice Restart device to finish installation of updates
  • ScanInstallWait Combined Scan Download Install
  • ResumeUpdate Resume Update Installation On Boot

Recently, I was working with the Windows Update API on Server 2016 and initially this caused a lot of trouble because patches were installed but were not being reported properly in the UI. I found this executable by checking out the following -

C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\ReportingEvents.log

Task Scheduler -> Microsoft -> Windows -> Update Orchestrator

Hope this helps!

Pranav V Jituri

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India

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