WUAUSERV won’t stop – 3 fixes

WUAUSERV won’t stop article was updated Sept, 2020.

I’ve been plagued with the irritating WUAUSERV won’t stop issue.  Windows 10 store wouldn’t download / install new apps or updates. Deleting the updates, rebooting didn’t do a bit of good.

First fix for WUAUSERV won’t stop

In the past all it took was to fire up CMD in Admin and type in the following commands:

  • net stop wuauserv
  • cd %systemroot%
  • ren SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.old
  • net start wuauserv

And Bob’s your Uncle. Fire up the store and everything should work. However, a glitch cropped up that prevented Windows Update Service from shutting down. I worked through about 4 possible fixes, each increasingly invasive and complex, none of which worked.  They all tripped over WUAUSERV failing to stop.

Possible fix to WUAUSERV won’t stop – check your antivirus

This morning I was struck by a blindingly obvious solution. The culprit was my antivirus program, not windows. I use AVAST, so I disabled it and ran the CMD commands. In under 5 min, Windows 10 store was downloading all previous updates and installed new apps with no issues. I restarted AVAST, went back to the store and it still worked.

So, there you have it, problem solved.  However, I have to stress disabling your antivirus for any amount of time is a risk. I’d advice you to disable your internet connection first, then disable your antivirus and run the CMD commands. Restart your Internet and then start the store.

A third fix courtesy of a reader

Reader RON D wrote in with the following alternate fix:

Another way to do it is as follows —
  • From a command prompt, run “sc queryex wuauserv”
  • Look for the part where it says “PID: {number}” .. that is the process ID of wuauserv.
  • Then use pskill, or task manager, to terminate the process. 🙂
Apologies to Ron D for not having this in the comments section, but I was mid stream in switching to a new comment field so he was lost in the switch over.  Thanks for sending in this fix.