WSUS – The file for this update failed to download

Edit:  I’ve posted this on youtube here 


During a recent deployment of WSUS on Windows 2012 R2, using WID database, I ran into a problem whereby after I approved updates, they would fail to download.  The WSUS console show the following error “The files for this update failed to download”


The application log showed the following Event ID 364 error


And also the following Event ID 10032 error


With such a specific error description in the Event Id 364 I thought finding a solution would be straight forward.  And indeed I quickly found this following KB article describing the issue I was experiencing

In my environment we were not using a Sonicwall firewall device, so Method 1 applied to my scenario.  Specifically, configure BITS to work in foreground mode.  The KB article details the command to run, and for my scenario (WSUS 3.0 with a Windows Internal Database that was created by a default WSUS installation) the solution described was to run the following command:

%programfiles%\Update Services\Setup\ExecuteSQL.exe -S %Computername%\MICROSOFT##SSEE -d “SUSDB” -Q “update tbConfigurationC set BitsDownloadPriorityForeground=1”

However, I did not have the ExecuteSQL.exe utility anywhere on my WSUS server.  A missing ExecuteSQL.exe utility scenario is also described on this blog, and pointed me in the right direction.


Firstly, download and install the Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Feature Pack from here.  Specifically, you want to install the Native Client & Command Line Utilities


Then open an administrative command prompt to C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\110\Tools\Binn

Run the following command

SQLCMD.exe -S \\.\pipe\Microsoft##WID\tsql\query -d “SUSDB” -Q “update tbConfigurationC set BitsDownloadPriorityForeground=1”


Once complete, restart the Windows Update service.

After that, my WSUS server was able to download updates successfully from Microsoft Update.


6 thoughts on “WSUS – The file for this update failed to download

  1. Thank you, I have been banging my head on this all morning. I use MS SQL Server 2012 not the internal database but this still solved my issue.

  2. It was a bit tricky to get the command to run because other examples I used (and I think Shane used) had quotes around the command that didn’t include the -S. Wrap quotes – make sure they’re straight double quotes and not curved double quotes – around the whole command instead of multiple quoted sections.

    Even then, though, once I got the command to run and rebooted everything, performance has not changed.

  3. I ran into the same thing but with 2012, got myself a mini VM lab going, anyway…. I did the following steps above however it didn’t work. After looking at the event log, it stated that the link wasn’t available anymore. Even manually importing them via WSUS didn’t work so what i did was manually downloaded it instead of importing. Found where the download would have gone, via the event log, renamed the file and put it on the designated drive for WSUS downloads. Then i went and re-approved the failed file in WSUS and it took. Might seem like excess work, but… hey…. it worked.

  4. i am getting below error plz help me to fix this issue
    Content file download failed.
    Reason: The server did not return the file size. The URL might point to dynamic content. The Content-Length header is not available in the server’s HTTP reply.

    Source File: /d/msdownload/update/software/secu/2016/02/
    Destination File: D:\WSUS\WsusContent\6E\

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