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It often happens that I have to watch this screen for minutes:

enter image description here

I have no clue what's happening in the back. And I'm also not interested in watching the WindowsUpdate.log for changes.

I would love to know if there's a way that gives more feedback. Preferably something I can invoke from the command line (like apt-get).

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This might apply when Get Windows 10 hijacks the update process. See How to install security updates after “Upgrade to Windows 10” hijacks Windows Update? – jww Oct 16 at 23:36

4 Answers 4

You can invoke Windows Update from command line using wuauclt.exe utility located in %windir%\system32\ folder.

To check for updates,

wuauclt.exe /detectnow

To check and update,

wuauclt.exe /detectnow /updatenow

This will not work if you have set "Never check for updates" in Windows Update settings. Also probably automatic updates must be enabled for '/updatenow' switch to work (install updates).

You can also start the GUI for Windows Update by entering following command (located in %windir%\system32\ folder):


This only opens the update application and checks available updates, it does not install them. Also if you have set "Never check for updates" in Windows Update settings, this does not checks for updates too, you will have to click the "Check for updates" button.

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up vote 15 down vote accepted

I found some great suggestions when looking into How to to Install Windows Updates on Windows Server 2008 R2 Core.

One suggestion I really liked, is the WUA_SearchDownloadInstall.vbs script.

Available Updates being listed

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Update Installation

enter image description here

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Another option would be WSUS Offline. – Oliver Salzburg Mar 18 '13 at 22:07
+1 for being free – Umber Ferrule Jan 23 '14 at 11:17

I'm using WuInstall. It is a command line tool for managing Windows Updates. You have many great options like displaying the installation progress, to specify if you want a reboot and when, and logfiles are available for every process. Regards

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Here I am late to the game, but noone has mentioned using wusa.exe yet which is part of Windows 7.

I wanted to remove the Windows 10 Update icon from the taskbar, so I wrote this autohotkey script which invokes wusa.

wusa := "c:\windows\system32\wusa.exe"
runwait %wusa%  /uninstall /kb:2952664 /norestart
runwait %wusa%  /uninstall /kb:3021917  /norestart
runwait, %wusa%  /uninstall /kb:3035583 /norestart
msgbox, okay, all done!`rDon't forget to -hide- the updates now.

So you can use wusa.exe to manage windows updates and install .msu files. Here are the commandline parameters for wusa:

wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:123456 /quiet /norestart
wusa.exe Windows6.1-KB123456-x86.msu /quiet /norestart

This page has a collection of other ways to manage updates from the commandline.

This page explains how wusa.exe works.

To see what updates are installed (via commandline):

systeminfo | find ": KB"
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Its really sad that I am here looking at this answer because malware known as Update to Windows 10 has hijcaked the update process, and I can't install security updates. – jww Oct 16 at 23:38
There are a number of reasons why Windows Updates might quit working, and a number of solutions, I would be happy to answer, but this is not the right topic... Just suffice to say that in the end, I wanted offline updates and ended up doing this:… which works quite well! – BGM Oct 19 at 14:14

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