Is wuauclt.exe safe to remove?

Posted on 2006-03-27
Last Modified: 2008-01-09
I have the process wuauclt.exe using 7Mb of RAM and running continually.

I know this isn't spyware, I have seen the details for it in process Explorer
and it is indeed the Windows Update scan thing - that scans for Updates
despite the fact that "Notify me when Updates..." etc etc is all unticked
and disabled, this process wuauclt.exe still runs using 7Mb of RAM.

I seem to be able to delete it (kill the process and delete it) and also
wuauclt1.exe and reboot, visit the Update site, all is fine - this process
has been complained about by many others, I have been through all
the usual spyware stuff and it simply is not spyware.

BUT - the reference in the registry to wuauclt.exe has a folder
However, there is not one single reference to this process (wuauclt
with ".exe" at the end) in the entire registry! Hmmmmmmmmmm.

Maybe "UserInit.exe" launches it?

"Userinit.exe is a key process in the Windows operating system.
On boot-up it manages the different start up sequences needed,
such as establishing network connection and starting up the Windows shell."

Probably, it is in the correct place so I know this is not a trojan.

Apparently if you delete this process "Should not be disabled,
required for essential applications to work properly."

Why, its Windows Update, is that the "essential application?"
I wouldnt call it essential if that is all it affects! I don't disable
the notifications for no reason! If I am not being notified about new
updates then why does my system have to still be scanning?
I would just visit Windows Updates and get them! I do not
want this running in the background using the RAM! Help!
Question by:EE33
    LVL 30

    Accepted Solution

    You can disable it.  In the Admin account go to your Services under Control Panel->Administrative Tools, select the Automatic Updates, tell it to Stop the Service, right click it and select Properties and change the Startup Type to Manual.  OK out and now you have to run Windows Update manually.
    LVL 2

    Expert Comment

    Hi there EE33 .
    I've got rid of this process .
    in my pc ,In the services menu , the Automatic update service is started and set to automatic
    But just in the control panel > Automatic updates > Turn off automatic updates
    That's all I have done to get rid of this process

    Try it and tell us
    LVL 3

    Author Comment

    No it was a fresh installation with registry settings
    to turn off the Update notifications. This I assumed,
    was the process 'wuauclt.exe' but after disabling the
    notifications, it was still running in task manager.

    I just deleted the files! 'wuauclt.exe' and 'wuauclt1.exe'
    so I will have to see what happens when I visit Windows

    I read somewhere in windows 2000 you can
    move the files out of system32, so I have
    deleted them. MS take the pi** out of us!

    I told it NOT to scan and yet, it just does not
    do what you set it to do.

    I am starting to think Windows is the Norton
    Systemworks of operating systems.
    LVL 30

    Expert Comment

    Are you running Win XP Home, Pro or Win 2000? Do you have SP2 installed or not?

    Have you tried what I explained in the first post?  If the statup type to Manual doesn't do it, try changing it to Disabled.

    Mine is set to Manual. And I have told the Windows Security Center that I would watch all the systems, firewall, av, and Updates.  

    I have told the auto updates to download but notify before installing.  Have you tried telling it to Turn Off or not?  Do you know how to get to it?  
    LVL 2

    Assisted Solution

    Hi there buddies.
    Actually even if u turn off automatic updates , the service is still running in task manager
    all u have to do is to end this process and when u restart the computer It musnt run again.

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