How To Run Windows Update From Command Line

Install Module PSWindowsUpdate
Install Module PSWindowsUpdate

Recently we discussed about stopping a specific update from installing in Windows 10. In this post, we will run Windows Update through command line. This is just a quick post on how to run Windows Update using command line tools in Windows. Sometimes it becomes important to run Windows Update from command prompt and install updates accordingly.

Run Windows Update using PowerShell

There is a PowerShell module for Windows Update. You can install and run the module to check for new updates. There are three steps for running Windows Update through PowerShell. Running the following commands step by step:

  1. Install-Module PSWindowsUpdate
    Install Module PSWindowsUpdate
    Install Module PSWindowsUpdate

    This will install the Windows Update module in PowerShell.

  2. Get-WindowsUpdate
    Get WindowsUpdate
    Get WindowsUpdate

    This command will check for updates.

  3. Install-WindowsUpdate
    Install WindowsUpdate
    Install WindowsUpdate

    This command will install the available updates (which were listed in step 2)

Run Windows Update using command line

Windows Update can also be run through legacy CMD. The only limitation running Windows Update through command prompt is that it won’t show any progress. Only results are shown. Let’s see how to run it:

  • Go to Run –> cmd
  • Run the following command to check for new updates:
    wuauclt /detectnow 
  • Run the following command to install new updates
    wuauclt /updatenow

Since command prompt does not show any progress, a better approach would be to check and install updates at the same. Here’s the command for this:

wuauclt /detectnow /updatenow

The above mentioned command will work in all versions of Windows including Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. But if you are using Windows 10 or Windows Server 2016, you can use UsoClient command which has more options than wuauclt. You can run UsoClient with the following switches:

StartScan – Start checking for updates

StartDownload – Start downloading updates

StartInstall – Start installing downloaded updates

RestartDevice – Restart Windows after updates are installed

ScanInstallWait – Check for updates, download available updates and install them

Hopefully this will be useful in situations where you want to automate certain Windows functions. What other purposes you want to use command line options for running Windows Update?

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Usman Khurshid
Usman Khurshid is a seasoned IT professional. He has been working in the IT industry for the last 15 years. From making a simple network including physical cabling to consulting for SMEs about cloud computing, he has vast experience in the computing industry. He is also certified in Microsoft Technologies (MCTS and MCSA) and also Cisco Certified Professional on Routing and Switching.