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Manage automatic updates from the command line

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by Steve Wiseman on October 4, 2012 · 7 comments

in Patches,Utility


A few weeks ago I showed you how to force automatic updates using a simple script.

This week I came across another interesting tool that can manage automatic updates.

Best of all it is free, and can be executed from the command line.

It is called WUInstall.

If you just want to see what updates are needed, you can call it like this:

WUInstall.exe /search

WUInstall Search

To download those same updates you can use the /download option:

WUInstall.exe /download

WUInstall Download

You can install updates just as easily using /install

WUInstall.exe /install

WUInstall Install

My favorite, and I think the most powerful feature is the /match option. It allows you to narrow down the list of patches you want to install by name.

For example, Last month Internet Explorer had a zero day flaw that would allow remote execution. The patch number for it was KB2744842. Instead of waiting around for Windows Update, you could call WUInstall like this to force it to install right now:

WUInstall.exe /Install /match "KB2744842"

If you needed to run this on machines across your network you could easily push it across using the ‘remote execute’ feature of Network Administrator:

Network Administrator WUInstall

Get your copy of WU Install from here:

The free edition is free for personal, and commercial use.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Markus October 4, 2012 at 8:52 am

Great tip steve. I will have to check this one out

2 Bob Chad October 4, 2012 at 9:31 am

Hey Steve. Big Bob here. Any idea if this thing will work on 2000? I have a bunch of 2000 boxes that for irritating reasons I cannot upgrade right now.

3 Steve Wiseman October 4, 2012 at 9:33 am

Hey Bob – Good to hear from you again. No. I have not tried it, but I would automatically assume it will not work with 2000. This is because the automatic update subsystem is totally different.

Plus, I don’t think MS is pushing updates for 2000 any more! So no need for it.

I would just try and get those 2000 boxes out of your hair as fast as you can.

4 Frank Ramage October 4, 2012 at 11:22 am

Just a note: The Pro version is need to push pass EULA screens with the /autoaccepteula parameter…

5 Rick June 20, 2013 at 11:12 am

How do you do this for Windows Vista Home Premium 32 bit?

6 Marty June 15, 2015 at 12:28 pm

Hey Steve,
Is there a way this can be used like WSUSOffline and allow me to install updates to several machines that never touch the internet?

7 Steve Wiseman July 29, 2015 at 12:31 pm

Hi Marty,

Sorry for the long delay. I missed some messages in our spam queue.

One thing I can think of is:

I believe it allows you to package the updates into a setup file that you can run silently.

Many moons ago I used this to help a friend update some computers off the grid at a campground and it worked well…except the computers would only get updates 2 or 3 times a year instead of weekly 🙂

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