How to Read Windows Update Logs in Windows 10


Starting with Windows 10 build 9926, Windows Update logs are no longer saved to "%windir%\Windowsupdate.log".

Windows Update client now uses Event Tracing for Windows (ETW) to generate diagnostic logs saved as .etl files in the "%windir%\Logs\WindowsUpdate" folder. This method improves performance and reduces disk space usage. However, the logs are not immediately readable as written.

Reference:

This tutorial will show you how to read the Windows Update logs for your Windows 10 PC.


 CONTENTS:

  • Option One: To read Windows Update logs using PowerShell
  • Option Two: To read Windows Update event logs in Event Viewer





OPTION ONE

To read Windows Update logs using PowerShell



You must be signed in as an administrator to be able to do this option.

For more usage details on the Get-WindowsUpdateLog command, see: Get-WindowsUpdateLog | Microsoft Docs


1. Open an elevated PowerShell.

2. Enter Get-WindowsUpdateLog into the elevated PowerShell, and press Enter.

When finished running, this will create a WindowsUpdate.log file on your desktop. It will take a moment to finish.

Read Windows Update Logs in Windows 10-get-windowsupdatelog.jpg

3. When finished, open the WindowsUpdate.log file on your desktop to read your Windows Update logs. (see screenshot below)

The WindowsUpdate.log file is only a static log file and will not update unless you repeat this option again.






OPTION TWO

To read Windows Update event logs in Event Viewer


1. Open the Win+X Quick Link menu, and click/tap on Event Viewer.

2. In the left pane of Event Viewer, navigate to the location below, and open the Operational log. (see screenshot below)

Applications and Service Logs\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdateClient

3. You can now select event logs in the middle pane of Event Viewer to see their details. (see screenshot below)

Read Windows Update Logs in Windows 10-windowsupdate_event_viewer_logs.png


That's it,
Shawn