Windows Update Agent, download new Windows Update files.

      wuauclt Options


   /a or /ResetAuthorization  Initiate an asynchronous background search for applicable updates.
                              If Automatic Updates are disabled, this has no effect.

   /r or /ReportNow           Send all queued reporting events to the server asynchronously.

   /DetectNow                 Initiate detection right away, Query the WSUS server immediately 
                              to see if any new updates are needed.

WSUS uses a cookie on client computers to store computer group membership when client-side targeting is used. By default this cookie expires an hour after WSUS creates it. If you are using client-side targeting and change group membership, use /ResetAuthorization /detectnow to expire the cookie, initiate detection, and have WSUS update computer group membership.

If Windows Update has been blocked, disabled or failing for a long period of time a long history of updates will build up in the archive, this can cause high CPU use. Resetting the client can help with this, but it will take a long time to run Windows Update afterwards.

Preventing Automatic reboots

Run gpedit.msc

Navigate to: Computer Configuration ➞ Administrative Templates ➞ Windows Components ➞ Windows Update

Open this and change the "No auto-restart with logged on users for scheduled automatic updates installations" to ENABLED

In the control panel choose Update and Security > Windows Update.

Click "Check for updates"

Alternatively set this in the registry:

(DWORD=1 to disable automatic reboots)

Fixing Windows Update when it gets stuck

Open Settings ➞ Troubleshoot Other problems ➞ Windows Update.

In Windows 11, this can be found in Settings ➞ Troubleshoot ➞ Other Troubleshooters.

If that doesn't work, try deleting Windows Update's cache by booting into Safe Mode, stopping the wuauserv service, and deleting the files in C:\Windows\Software\Distribution.

If all else fails, download updates manually using the WSUS Offline Update tool.


Asynchronous background search for applicable updates:

C:\> wuauclt /a /DetectNow

Send all queued reporting events to the server asynchronously:

C:\> wuauclt /r /DetectNow

“We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves; otherwise we harden” ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Related commands

WUSA - Windows Update Standalone Installer.
wuauserv - The Windows Update Service
Windows Update Troubleshooting - completely reset the Windows Update client settings.
AskWoody.com - Blog with a focus on Windows Update conflicts.

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