What Is Wuauclt.Exe And How To Fix Wuauclt.Exe High CPU Usage?

When we see a process that begins with wu…, in Task Manager, the first thought that comes to our mind is that it is a Windows Update process, right? But if there’s a .exe appended to it, and it is slowing the system, then?

In such a case, we think of it as a virus, and the thought is justified. If the file is unknown like Wuauclt.exe and is causing High CPU usage, it’s no longer doubt; why? Simple, executable files are prone to be injected by malware.

With that said, if you see the Wuauclt.exe file causing 100% CPU usage, then it seems the file is infected. In simple words, the file is being used to mine a cryptocurrency called Electroneum, due to which high CPU power is utilized. But what is this file, and why do we see it running on our Windows? Can we fix the Wuauclt.exe problem?

If you are looking for an answer to these questions, you are in the right place. Here we will discuss how to fix the Wuauclt.exe file causing 100% CPU usage.

What is Wuauclt.exe?

Wuauclt.exe is a Windows Update AutoUpdate background process that checks for available updates for Windows and other Microsoft related services.

Note: If Windows Automatic Updates are enabled, then Wuauclt.exe will remain active. Therefore, if you want to resolve the Wuauclt error, we suggest disabling the Windows update temporarily.

Alternatively, you can also try disabling it from Task Manager. To do so, follow the steps below:

  1. Press Windows + X
  2. Select Task Manager from the context menu
  3. Click the Processes tab and look for the Wuauclt process.
  4. Select > right click > End task > exit Task Manager

This will temporarily disable the process. Do note restarting the PC will start the Wuauclt.exe process.

What problems can you face due to Wuauclt.exe High CPU Usage?

  • Unable to run software
  • Slow PC performance
  • BSOD and frozen system screen
  • Slow boot time
  • Malware and virus infections

How to fix the Wuauclt.exe process causing 100% CPU usage on Windows 10?

Fix 1: Automatically fixing Wuauclt.exe

Suggested Action: To scan, detect, and repair common Windows problems, use Advanced System Optimizer – the best system optimization and PC cleanup utility. The system tweaking tool is designed to repair disk errors, clean junk files, remove duplicates, update drivers, and do many more. It can even clean malware, virus infection, fix invalid registry entries automatically. To use it, follow the steps below:

ASO Overview

1. Download, install and run Advanced System Optimizer.

2. Select Deep Scan and then click Smart PC Care to perform one-click optimization.

3. Once the errors are detected, fix them, afterward run individual scans to clean malware infection, check the disk for errors, fix invalid registry entries.

To learn about each module and what the tool can do, read the Advanced System Optimizer comprehensive review

This way, without spending much time, you can fix all major errors causing High CPU usage due to Wuauclt.exe.

However, if you are amongst those who like to do things themselves, then we have manual ways for you too. To learn them, let’s read further.

Fix 2: Perform an SFC scan.

To stop 100% CPU usage caused by Wuauclt.exe, try checking system files for errors. To do so, follow the steps below:

  1. Press Windows + X
  2. Select Windows PowerShell (Admin)
  3. Type SFC /scannow > press Enter key
  4. Let the command run. This will fix corrupt and missing system files.

Perform an SFC scan.

This should fix the high CPU resource consumption problem due to Wuauclt.

Fix 3: Update outdated drivers

When you have outdated drivers, then you can encounter the Wuauclt.exe process slowing down system performance issues. To fix it, update drivers. This can be done both manually and automatically.

If you have time and are ready to visit the manufacturer site, head to the device manager and update each driver one by one.

To learn how to do that, read our post on how to update drivers manually.

However, if you don’t want to spend time collecting system information and looking for available driver updates at the manufacturer site, use Driver Updater. To do so, follow the steps below:

1. Download, install and launch Advanced System Optimizer.

2. Click Windows Optimizers > Driver Updater

3. Click Start Scan Now to perform the scan, let it finish.

4. Update outdated drivers and restart the system.

Wuauclt process taking excessive CPU power problems should now be resolved.

Is Wuauclt.exe safe, or is it a virus?

Where some people are okay disabling the process every time, some want a permanent fix. Hence, it is necessary to check if the file running is genuine or not. To do so, follow the steps below:

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc
  2. Click the Processes tab and look for Wuauclt.exe.
  3. Right-click > Open file location. It should be C:\Windows\System32
  4. If it is not the same, it means the file is infected. To clean infections from the system, you can use the System Protector module available under the Security & Privacy section of Advanced System Optimizer.

5. Scan the system and fix all errors. This should fix Wuauclt.exe high CPU usage.

Hopefully, using the above steps, you can fix the Wuauclt process error on Windows 10. We would like to know which one worked for. So, please let us know the same in the comments section.

FAQ – 

What is Wuauclt?

Wuauclt.exe is a legitimate Windows process known as Windows Automatic Updates. This file is used to check for available updates.

What does Wuauclt detectnow do?

Wuauclt /detectnow is the file that tells the system to seek new updates. It is a managed computer file under WSUS, and it checks the system for infections.

Does Wuauclt work on Windows 10?

Yes, the Windows update command utility in windows is WUAUCLT.

How do I get rid of the Wuauclt.exe virus?

To get rid of the Wuauclt.exe virus, we suggest using the best and updated antivirus tool named Systweak Antivirus. Using this standalone utility, you can fix all system infections and can protect systems from real-time infections.

Where is Wuauclt.exe located?

Wuauclt.exe is located in C:\Windows\System32.


  • comment_avtar
    Mansi Vijay
    I tried using Advanced System Optimizer to fix the wuauclt high CPU usage error & I must say the tool worked like magic. The problem just disappeared. Plus, it has multiple modules to fix the registry, speed up the performance, and do a lot more!

    3 years ago
  • comment_avtar
    sometimes while going through the auto update, I encountered a few problems but didn’t know it was one of the above errors. Plus, now that I know about it, thank you for the resolution

    3 years ago

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