Resetting Windows Update using CMD


Windows update now does cumulative updates, updating the OS only requires the latest download. This massively saves on download bandwidth for machines not connected to a WSUS server.

However when using RMM software sometimes the patch handling does not synchronise correctly, or asks for approval of older updates.

The Software Distribution folder is always best left alone, however under exceptional circumstances, it can be deleted or renamed. Files will automatically get downloaded for WU components. However you will loose windows update historyalthough now that updates are cumulative, all previous patches are included anyway!

Resetting Windows Update

Here is a quick and easy solution

  1. Run an eleveted cmd prompt
  2. Stop the windows update service
    net stop wuauserv
  3. Rename the Software Distribution folder
    rename c:\windows\SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistributionOLD
  4. Start the windows update service
    net start wuauserv
  5. Force a check and update – Note this only works if auto updates are enabled
    wuauclt.exe /detectnow /updatenow


More info on the wuauclt command can be found:


Author: Dan

IT Expert & System Administrator.

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