Windows 7: Slow update search (July 2016)

win7Many users are reporting a slow update search in Windows 7 since the last months. Also high CPU load on one kernel has been observed. Here are a few tips to speed up Windows 7 update search.


The symptom is always the same: It’s patch day and Windows 7 Update search works for hours but can’t find updates. Below is the Update search windows of my German Windows 7.


Some users observes a 100 % CPU load (for one core). My German blog post Windows 7: Update findet nichts oder es dauert ewig discusses, why the search could be slow on new installed machines. Also my blog post Windows 7 SP1: May 2016 Update search slow, taking forever addresses some issues. But in July 2016 people are facing new problems. Here a few hints, what’s to do.

Tip #1: speed up update seach

Blog reader René P. has send me a tip via e-mail, that could help speed update search. He wrote in his mail:

Since months it’s time consuming to install updates for Windows 7. Each patch day we have to wait for hours, until patches are shown.

He insists that this behavior is intended from Microsoft to force users to upgrade to Windows 10. I don’t know, whether this is true or not. He wrote, that on Juli patch day, his six 6 virtual machines with Windows 7 running on VMware ESXi doesn’t find updates. He now uses the following approach to speed up the update search:


1. Restart Windows 7 (this assures, that pending updates will be finished).

2. Wait a few minutes and open an administrative command prompt windows (enter cmd in Windows 7 start menu search bar an use context menu command Run as administrator for the search result). Confirm the UAC prompt.

3. Enter the command net stop wuauserv and press Enter to stop Windows Update service.

4. Download and install patch KB3161608 (June 2016 update rollup for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1) according to MS Answers.

5. Restart Windows 7 after installing the update mentioned above.

René writes that on his machines updates will be found and downloads after a few minutes. Also the CPU load is now low.

Tip #2: Force/speed up update search

Blog reader Stefan has postet a (German) comment how he forces Windows 7 to speed up update search in Windows 7. He has set update settings to “Check for updates but let me choose wether to download and install them” (see).

Then he uses the following steps to tune Windows update search.

1. Open an administrative command prompt window and stop Windows Update service using net stop wuauserv command.

2. Delete all files in folder C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution.

3. Use a net start wuauserv command in an administrative command prompt window to restart Windows Update service.

4. Download and manually install the newest Update for Update client (aka KB3161608).

Then let Windows Update search for updates. The update client should find updates within 15 – 30 minutes. Select the updates and let Windows install them. Hope these tips helps to speed update search.

Similar articles:
Windows 7 SP1: May 2016 Update search slow, taking forever

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2 Responses to Windows 7: Slow update search (July 2016)

  1. Jansen says:

    1. Set the patching to “Never check for patches”

    2. Download/Install Internet Explorer 11. (IE11-Windows6.1-x64-en-us) & Restart the PC

    3. Download/Install KB3020369 & Restart the PC

    4. Download/Install KB3172605 & Restart the PC

    5. Initiate a check for patches manually.

    6. It should now scan for patches and come back promptly (10-30mins)

    Happy Patching!

  2. Sascha says:


    had this issue (search for updates takes ages and one core is at 100% usage) on one of my Win7 laptops for quite some time. Yesterday I had a bit of free time and found this ressource. Tried tip #1 and it worked! Took about 5mins after reboot until it found the new updates…thanks a lot!

    BTW: the link to the MS update rollup which should be downloaded forwards to the newer version which can be found at


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