How to Download Microsoft Updates Using the Command Prompt

by Dustin Thornton

Microsoft periodically releases system updates for the Windows 7 operating system -- some of which are critical updates that patch urgent problems or fix security issues that arise. To download and install the updates automatically you must enable automatic updates in Windows. You can do this quickly by adding a specific registry key to the Windows registry using the Windows command prompt. Once enabled, Windows will automatically routinely check the Microsoft website and download and install system updates when available.


Log in to Windows using an Administrator account. Press the "Windows" and "R" keys on your keyboard at the same time to launch the "Run" application.


Type in "cmd" into the empty field and click "OK." The command prompt will appear.


Input the following command and press "Enter:"

reg add "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate\Auto Update" /v AUOptions /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f

This creates a registry key that enables automatic updates on your computer.


Input the following command and press "Enter:"

net start wuauserv

This starts the automatic update service on your computer.


Input the following command and press "Enter:"

sc config wuauserv start= auto

This configures the automatic update service to start when you boot your computer so that it will automatically check for and download updates when you start your system.


Input "exit" into the command prompt window and press "Enter" to close the prompt. Restart your computer.

About the Author

Dustin Thornton has been writing since 2003. He has served as a newspaper columnist for the "Troy Tropolitan" and a contributor to various websites. Thornton received a partial scholarship for an outstanding essay in 2003. He has a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Troy University.