If you are facing the issue related to wuauserv or Windows Update, these following methods are for you to choose from. You can try to perform the first one and then move to another if the first one cannot help with fixing the issue.
Wait until Windows Update process is one
The wuauserv process usually causes high CPU usage or higher compared to average CPU usage simply because Windows is checking for possible updates or downloading them. It is actually normal for wuauserv to use CPU resources during the Windows Update process. So, you are recommended to simply wait a little bit longer. The CPU usage normally returns to the normal state when the process is done. In case the updating takes hours, you can try these methods below.
Restart Windows Update service
If you want to restart the Windows Update process, the wuauserv service should be stopped. Then, delete the Software Distribution folder and then restart the wuauserv service. There are two simple methods that you can use to stop the wuauserv service. The first one is using the Windows Service and the second one is using the Command Prompt.
If you choose to disable the wuauserv by using the Windows Services, you can press Windows (Win) key + R or just simply right click Start and choose Run. In the Run dialog box, enter service.msc and then hit Enter or click OK. You have to find Windows Update service on the services lists. It can be done quickly by pressing W on your keyboard and scroll down a little until Windows Update is found. Then, right click it and choose Stop. Windows Update or wuauserv will not be stopped and you are able to delete the Software Distribution folder.
If you prefer to use a Command Prompt, you are required to enter a valid command along with any optional parameters. The command will be executed as entered and performs its certain Windows task or function. Some of them that are available in Windows need you to run them for a superior Command Prompt such as with the administrator level privileges. The command that you need to use requires the superior Command Prompt to be opened with the administrator privileges. Typing Command Prompt and right clicking the Command Prompt can open the superior Command Prompt. After that, select Run as administrator to be able to run it with the administrative privileges.
Selecting Run as administrator will show a User Account Control prompt, asking you if you would like to allow the Command Prompt to make changes to your computer. please hit Yes. In the Command Prompt window, you need to enter the net stop wuauserv command and hit Enter. The Windows Update service called wuauserv will now be stopped and you are able to delete the Software Distribution folder.
The Software Distribution folder is known as a temporary one in which Windows stores update files until all of them are completely downloaded. The Windows will begin to process the update. It can be found by following this path in Windows: C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution. Please open the SoftwareDistribution folder, choose all files and folders within it, right click the selection, and pick Delete from the contextual menu. After that, you will be able to restart the wuauserv or Windows Update service.
If you want to start the wuauserv service by using Windows Services, you can just open Services and follow the same steps mentioned before and find the Windows Update service. Do not forget to right click it and choose Start from the contextual menu.
For those who want to start wuauserv service by using the Command Prompt, you can run it as administrator by following the same instructions explained earlier, type the net start wuauserv command and then press Enter on the keyboard. Doing so will make the wuauserv service be started. Please check if it fixes the issue.
Run Windows Update troubleshooter
There are some troubleshooters designed by Windows with the ability to quickly diagnose and automatically fix some different kinds of computer issues. They cannot fix all issues, but they are a good one to start when you face the issue with your computer, operating system, or connected devices. In order to start troubleshooting, you can just go to Settings, type troubleshoot, and then choose Troubleshoot from the list. Then, find the Windows Update located under Troubleshoot. Once it is found, choose it and click Run the troubleshooter. By doing so, the process will be started. Please follow each step and see if it finds and solves the issue. In the end, you can restart your computer and see if it solves the issue of high CPU usage caused by wuauserv.
Windows Services, which is also called service.msc, has the ability to modify how Windows services run on your system. They are responsible for running the available programs and managing a lot of system settings and resources. You are able to modify the settings of the service for security, troubleshooting, and reasons related to performance. One of the services is known as Windows Update.
The Windows Update, which is commonly referred to as wuauserv or Windows Update Auto Update Service, enables detection, download and installation of updates for Windows systems and the other programs. If it is disabled, you will not be able to use Windows Update or its automatic updating feature. Aside from that, programs will be unable to use the Windows Update Agent or WUA. Basically, it is responsible for download and installation of the available updates for the Windows operating system and associated programs. Even though wuauserv or Windows Update is important, the process of updating can be problematic, even causing the high CPU usage and reducing system performance.
wuauserv or Windows Update high CPU usage has a few causes, including corrupted or missing system files, conflicts with the update client, a failed update process, and so on. You can try the methods described above to solve the issue. Reach out the representative of Windows if needed.