[Full Guide] Fixing Windows Update Cannot Check for Updates

[Full Guide] Fixing Windows Update Cannot Check for Updates

/ Andrew Holdeman

If you’re facing the error “Windows Update Cannot Currently Check For Updates Because the Service is Not Running,” don’t worry, as there are several ways to resolve this issue. In this article, you’ll find multiple solutions to fix this error, from disabling your antivirus program to repairing the Windows update database. Following the steps outlined in this guide, you can rerun your Windows update quickly. Whether using a Windows 7, 8, or 10 operating system, you’ll find the information you need to resolve the issue and keep your system up-to-date.

Most Common Causes of “Windows Update Cannot Currently Check for Updates Because The Service Is Not Running” Error

checking for available windows update
  • Corrupted Windows Update components: The files and services related to Windows Update can become corrupted over time, leading to the error. Various reasons, such as system crashes, malware infections, or hardware issues, can cause this.
  • Antivirus interference: Anti-virus programs can interfere with Windows Update, causing it to stop working or give an error message. Some anti-virus programs can block the Windows Update service or files, while others can cause conflicts with Windows Update components.
  • Issues with the Windows Update database: The database that stores information about Windows Updates can become damaged or corrupt, leading to the error. Power outages, system crashes, or malware infections can cause this. To resolve this issue, it may be necessary to repair the Windows Update database or to recreate it if it has been damaged beyond repair.

Solutions to Fix Windows Update Cannot Check for Updates Error Manually

To complete this task, you need to complete 3 Phases:

A. Stop Windows Update Service

1. Hold down the Windows and R keys simultaneously to open the Run command window.

2. On the type box provided, type “services.msc” >> hit OK.

run services msc command

3. Use the Services control panel to locate the Windows Update service. Right-click on it and select “Stop.”

stop print spooler service

4. Stay on the Services window, then proceed to B.

B. Delete or Rename the Windows Temporary Update Folder

1. On “My Computer” go to the “C:Windows” folder.

2. Remove (or change the name of, for example, “SoftwareDistributionOLD”) the “SoftwareDistribution” folder.

delete softwaredistribution folder

C. Start Windows Update Service

  1. Visit the Windows services and initiate the Windows Update service.
  2. Attempt to update Windows again.

Run Windows Update Troubleshooter in Control Panel

Microsoft includes a built-in “Fix problem with Windows Update” troubleshooter for resolving Windows Update issues. To utilize the troubleshooter, do the following:

1. Click the Start button, search for “troubleshoot” and select “Troubleshooting”.

2. Choose “Fix problems with Windows Update”.

fix problems with windows update

3. Click “Next”. The troubleshooter will automatically detect any problems with the Windows Update service.

4. After troubleshooting, rerun the Windows Update to check if it has been resolved.

Register the Window Update Service

If the .dll files involved in the Windows Update are not registered correctly, you may encounter update problems. To resolve this, follow these steps to re-register the Windows Update service:

Stop the Windows Update service:

1. Hold Windows + R keys to open the Run box.

2. Type “services.msc” and press OK.

3. Right-click on Windows Update and select “Stop”.

stop windows update service

Re-register the Windows Update service:

5. Click the Start button, search for “cmd”, right-click on “cmd” and select “Run as administrator”.

run CMD as administrator

6. Just choose “Yes” when prompted by the User Account Control.

7. Type the following commands, pressing Enter after each:

regsvr32 wuapi.dll

regsvr32 wuaueng.dll

regsvr32 wups.dll

regsvr32 wups2.dll

regsvr32 wuwebv.dll

regsvr32 wucltux.dll

  1. Click OK when prompted.

To restart the Windows Update service on your PC continue with the following steps:

  1. Press your keyboard’s Windows and R buttons to open the Run box.
  2. Type “services.msc” and click OK.
  3. Right-click on Windows Update and select “Start”.
start the windows update service

Restart your computer and rerun the Windows Update to see if the issue has been resolved.

Remove Windows Update History + Restart Windows Update Service

To solve the problem caused by corrupted Windows Update history files, removing the Windows Update history is recommended. This involves stopping the Windows Update service, deleting the files in the Windows Software Distribution folder, and then restarting the Windows Update service. To accomplish this, follow these steps:

  1. Press and hold Windows and R keys to open the Run dialog box.
  2. Type “services.msc” and press OK.
  3. Stop the service by right-clicking on the Windows Update service.
  4. Open Windows Explorer (Windows key + E)
  5. Navigate to the Windows Software Distribution folder by copying and pasting “C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution” into the address bar.
  6. Delete all the files in the folder by selecting them, right-clicking and selecting “Delete”.
  7. Confirm the deletion by clicking “Yes”.
  8. Repeat step 1 to reopen the dialog box.
  9. Type “services.msc” and press OK.
  10. To Start, right-click on the Windows Update service and select “Start”.
  11. Restart your computer and check if Windows Update is now functioning properly.

Temporarily Disable Antivirus and Firewall Protection

It is possible that your anti-virus software, such as Windows Security Essentials, may interfere with the Windows update process. To resolve this, temporarily disable the real-time protection features of your antivirus program and then try checking for updates. Once the process is complete, it is important to re-enable your antivirus protection.

Reset Windows Update Repository

As a final solution to the issue of “Windows update cannot currently check for updates,” you can try resetting the Windows update repository.

  1. With admin access, start by opening the Command Prompt.

In the Command Line window, input the following commands, pressing Enter after each:


Copy code

net stop bits

net stop wuauserv

  1. Next, use Windows Explorer to navigate to the %WINDIR% folder.
  2. Rename the SoftwareDistribution folder to SoftwareDistribution.old.
  3. Return to the Command Prompt window and enter the following commands:


Copy code

net start bits

net start wuauserv

  1. Restart your PC and try rerunning Windows Update to see if the issue has been resolved.

Install the KB3102810 Standalone Update

  1. Obtain and install the KB3102810 security update. Upon completion of installation, restart your computer and verify for available updates. (Note: This applies to Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1.)
  2. Restart your computer.
  3. Disable the Windows Update service. (Refer to the steps outlined in Solution 1, Step 1)
  4. Eliminate the Software Distribution folder. (Refer to the steps outlined in Solution 1, Step 2)
  5. Restart your computer and allow it to run for about an hour to search for updates.

Update the Intel Rapid Storage Technology Driver

Acquire the most recent Intel Rapid Storage Technology Driver (Intel RST) version.

The latest RST driver can be obtained from the computer manufacturer’s website or the Intel Rapid Storage Technology (Intel RST) Download Center.

Pause Windows Update Service

  1. Access Administrative Tools/Services, and pause the Windows Update service.
  2. Navigate to the c:/Windows/SoftwareDistribution folder and remove all its contents, including files and subdirectories.
  3. Return to the Services and restart the Windows Update service, which will regenerate the deleted folders.
  4. Initiate a manual update, and everything should function as expected.

Get Your Windows Updates Running Again With Our Guide

In conclusion, it is essential to understand the solutions for the error ‘Windows Update Cannot Currently Check For Updates Because the Service is not Running’ as it can be frustrating when the system fails to update itself. It’s recommended to try various methods before determining the root cause of the issue. In this article, several solutions have been discussed; hopefully, one can help resolve the error and get the Windows update process back on track. Remember to always back up important data before making any changes to the system, and if the issue persists, seek the assistance of a professional.

Andrew Holdeman
Meet the author

Andrew has extensive experience with a wide range of writing platforms and automation systems. He has spent over 6 years creating content and troubleshooting for various companies. He also enjoys spending time with his family and his fiancé, while staying active and healthy.