Installing and managing updates from the command line

by Mitch Tulloch [Published on 20 May 2010 / Last Updated on 9 July 2009]

You can install and manage software updates from the command line.

If you download software updates from the Microsoft Update Catalog at, you can silently install the downloaded updates from the command line using the Windows Update Stand-alone Installer (Wusa.exe) utility. For example, if the .msu file for “Update for Windows Server 2008 (KB947562)” is named X86-all-windows6.0-kb947562-x86_6ff6b13433eba0503ffcd8e47e1daefac3dc83b4.msu, you can install the update manually using this command:

wusa X86-all-windows6.0-kb947562-x86_6ff6b13433eba0503ffcd8e47e1daefac3dc83b4.msu /quiet

You can use the Windows Management Instrumentation Command-line (WMIC) to view the installed updates on your computer. For example, to verify that the update installed in the previous section has been installed on your computer, do this:

wmic qfe list

Caption CSName Description FixComments HotFixID InstallDate InstalledBy InstalledOn Name ServicePackInEffect Status SEA-SC1 Update KB947562 S-1-5-21-940954651-3993729752-4124607334-500 01c8dc69493cee0b

If the WMIC output is difficult to read, you can use Systeminfo instead, as follows:

systeminfo | find ": KB"

[01]: KB947562

For more information on how to do all these things, see my book Windows Server 2008 Server Core Administrator's Pocket Consultant from Microsoft Press.

If you have feedback concerning this tip, please email me. And be sure to check out my website!

The Author — Mitch Tulloch

Mitch Tulloch is a widely recognized expert on Windows administration, networking, and security. He has been repeatedly awarded Most Valuable Professional (MVP) status by Microsoft for his outstanding contributions in supporting users who deploy and use Microsoft platforms, products and solutions. Mitch has published over two hundred articles on different IT websites and magazines, and he has written or contributed to almost two dozen books and is lead author for the Windows 7 Resource Kit from Microsoft Press. For more information, see .

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