Understanding and Disabling USOclient.exe in Windows 10

It is likely you are reading this post because you have noticed a brief pop-up during your Windows 10 startup. The way this USOclient.exe pop-up appears at startup may even have you wondering if your computer has a malware infection. To quickly allay your fears, the reason for this pop-up is because the executable is called by the task scheduler. It is not in any way a malware.

Having this pop-up come on for very few seconds is normal, but there could be cases when it comes on and does not go away. This is usually attributed to a Windows Update bug.

In this article the focus is on explaining what the USOclient is and also how to disable it if that becomes necessary.

The acronym stands for “Update Session Orchestrator.” It is a component of Windows Update. Its main purpose is to check for updates automatically. If you ever heard of the Windows Update Agent, this is a replacement for it in Windows 10. Just like the feature it replaced, it has the main duty of running tasks to install, scan or resume Windows updates.

While the USOclient is a very legitimate Windows process, malware can also have the effect of creating quick pop-ups. Even though no malware has been known to show up as the USOClient, it is necessary to check if the pop-up was really caused by the USOclient.

To ascertain that the pop-up is caused by the USOClient, first open your task manager. You can do this by the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Shift + Esc or by right-clicking on an empty part of the taskbar and selecting the task manager option.

windows10-usoclient-taskmanager

In the task manager locate “usoclient.exe” by scrolling through the Processes list. Once located, right-click on it and select the “Open File Location” option.

windows10-usoclient-taskmanager-uso

If the location revealed is “C:\Windows\System32\,” you are safe, but if the location is in any other part of the computer, there is a high chance that you are facing a malware situation. You will need to employ a powerful scanner.

The question you may want to ask is if it is safe to delete this program. I would advise against this. Deleting it may cause erratic computer behavior. However, an alternative is to disable the service.

To disable the service, on your Run Window type gpedit.msc and hit Enter.

windows10-usoclient-gpedit

Once the Local Group Policy Editor opens, navigate in the left panel to the location “Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Windows Update.”

windows10-usoclient-editor

In the right pane double-click on and enable the “No auto restart with logged on users for scheduled automatic updates installations” setting.

There should be no cause for alarm when you see the USOClient.exe pop-up unless it stays there and interferes with your login. With issues of pop-ups on Windows 10 such as this, it is handy to know how you can fix it to not let it interfere with your work.

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