Automatic Updates (wuauserv) Service Defaults in Windows XP

Enables the download and installation of Windows updates. If this service is disabled, your computer will not be able to use the Automatic Updates feature or the Windows Update Web site.

Default Settings

Startup type: Automatic
Display name:Automatic Updates
Service name:wuauserv
Service type:share
Error control:normal
Path:%SystemRoot%\system32\svchost.exe -k netsvcs
Registry key:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\wuauserv

Default Behavior

Automatic Updates is a Win32 service. In Windows XP it is starting automatically along with the operating system. Then the Automatic Updates service is running as LocalSystem in a shared process of svchost.exe. Other services and drivers are allowed to run in the same process. If the Automatic Updates fails to start, the technical information about the error is added to the Event Log. Windows XP startup should proceed, but a message box should be displayed informing the user that the wuauserv service has failed to start.

Restore Default Startup Configuration of Automatic Updates

1. Run the Command Prompt.

2. Copy the commands below, paste them into the command window and press ENTER:

sc config wuauserv start= auto
sc start wuauserv

3. Close the command window and restart the computer.

The wuauserv service is using the wuauserv.dll file that is located in the C:\Windows\system32 directory. If the file is removed or corrupted, read this article to restore its original version from Windows XP installation media.