Error “Windows cannot find wuapp.exe” And its Workaround in Windows 10

In Windows 10, when you click Windows Update from the Tools menu in Internet Explorer, the error “Windows cannot find wuapp.exe” occurs. This is because the file wuapp.exe, Windows Update page launcher tool that existed in earlier versions of Windows has been removed in Windows 10; but Internet Explorer 11 still references this file.

Windows Update page can be launched using many ways, such as from Search or Start -> Settings -> Update and Security. To access it quickly, you may simply Pin the Windows Update page to Start. Or create a desktop shortcut with the following command-line.

control.exe /name Microsoft.WindowsUpdate



Removal of wuapp.exe is only a trivial thing. However, if you’re used to typing wuapp.exe in the Run dialog to quickly launch the Windows Update applet all these years, here is how to get back the functionality.

Step 1: Make a Vbscript file

Open Notepad, copy these 2 lines, and save the file as WULaunch.vbs on your Desktop.

Set WshShell = WScript.CreateObject("Wscript.Shell")
WshShell.Run "control.exe /name Microsoft.WindowsUpdate"

Move the file to the C:\Windows directory.

Then follow any one of the options under Step 2.

Step 2

Option A: Change Wuapp.exe app path to point to the script file

Copy the following lines to Notepad:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths\wuapp.exe]

To apply the setting for all users, replace the text HKEY_CURRENT_USER with HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE. Save the file with the .reg extension, and double-click the file to run it.

When you run wuapp.exe (in Run dialog) without mentioning the full path or click Windows Update in IE’s Tools Menu, it should actually run the script file, which in turn launches the modern Windows Update page.

(To reverse this registry setting, open Regedit.exe and go to the above registry key, right-click wuapp.exe key, and choose Delete. Then remove the script file from the C:\Windows directory.)

Option B – Create your Own Wuapp.exe from Vbscript

If you don’t want to make changes to the registry as in Option A, then you may wrap the Vbscript code in a .exe file. There are vbs to exe converters online, as well as tools that can convert or wrap the script offline. I used the Convert into Executable… option available in the VbsEdit software which I already have.

Name the executable file as wuapp.exe, and place it in the Windows directory, or in any directory that’s included in PATH. Since we’re using the original file name (wuapp.exe) for the launcher .exe, don’t be surprised if a malware scanner warns you about wuapp.exe as being unsigned or untrusted.

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Ramesh Srinivasan is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a consecutive ten-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award in the Windows Shell/Desktop Experience category, from 2003 to 2012. He loves to troubleshoot and write about Windows. Ramesh founded in 2005.

4 thoughts on “Error “Windows cannot find wuapp.exe” And its Workaround in Windows 10”

  1. Couldn’t the app paths reg value directly refer to control.exe /name Microsoft.WindowsUpdate without creating the VB Script?

  2. To solve the error in regards to Windows Update problem in Windows 10.. why not just create a Widows Update to Windows 10 and send it out like you do all other program updates?


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