How to Fix Windows Update Service Not Running? 10 Simple Solutions

Windows Update is an important service that is responsible for keeping Windows versions and other Microsoft products up-to-date. But unfortunately, many users have reported getting an error that says, “Windows Update cannot currently check for updates because the service is not running “.

This error unable Windows users to install any updates on their system. That’s annoying!

However, the Windows update service not running isn’t that big of an issue. Sometimes incorrectly configured or conflicted settings can cause the Windows Update issues that you can easily fix with some basic knowledge.

Below we have disclosed the simple 10 solutions that can easily fix the “Windows update service not running” error. So, let’s get started.

10 Solutions to Fix Windows Update Service Is Not Running

You don’t have to try all the solutions to fix the Windows Update service not running problem. After understanding the root cause of the problem, you can use one or two solutions to fix the error.

Solution 1. Use Windows Update Troubleshooter

Windows has a built-in troubleshooter to fix all the issues, including Windows Update. Using troubleshooter, you can automatically diagnose and resolve Windows Update issues this way:

Step 1. Press Windows and I keys to open the Settings.

Windows Update Troubleshooter

Step 2. Go to Update & Security > Troubleshoot on the sidebar.

Step 3. Choose the Additional troubleshooters option.

system security

Step 4. Select Windows Update > Run the troubleshooter. Now, wait for the troubleshooter to scan your system and suggest solutions.

Solution 2. Restart Your Computer

Restarting the computer is the best and easy solution to fix random service-related errors. This will flush the system memory and resolve all the temporary issues faster.

After restarting the PC, you can run Windows Update manually as follows — Go to Settings > Update & Security > Check for updates.

Solution 3. Restart Windows Update Associated Services

There is a chance that your Windows Update related services are disabled, leading to Windows Update not running on your computer. So, you can restart those services and see if this fixes the error. Here is how you can do it:

Step 1. Press Windows and R keys to open the Run dialogue box.

Step 2. Enter “service.msc” and hit OK to open the Service snap-in.


Step 3. Now, double-click on the Background Intelligent Transfer Service.

Windows update

Step 4. Select the startup type to Automatic. After that, click on the Start button and then click on the OK button to close the screen.

startup type

Step 5. Next, double-click on the Cryptographic Services.

Step 6. Repeat step 4 and double-click on the Windows Update.

Step 7. Once again, repeat step 4 and close the Service snap-in. Finally, restart your computer and check if the problem is fixed.

Solution 4. Run Malicious Scan

The Windows Update not running can be caused because of interference from malicious programs. Thus, we highly recommend you run a malware scan on your computer to find the malicious activities causing Windows Update issues.

You can use the built-in Windows antivirus system to scan your device. But for better and faster results, it would be nicer to get third-party antivirus software like Norton, Avast or McAfee. These tools will automatically scan your system and weed out all malicious content.

Once you have cleaned your PC, you can check if the Windows Updates are working for you now. 

Solution 5. Clear the SoftwareDistribution Folder

The SoftwareDistribution folder is the place where temporary Windows Update files are stored. If any of these files get corrupted, you can face the problem of the Windows Update service not running on your computer. So, to fix the problem, you should remove all content from this folder as follows:

SoftwareDistribution Folder

Step 1. Open the Run command box and type “service.msc”. And hit the Enter.

Step 2. Click on the Windows Update and then click on Stop.

Step 3. Press the Windows and E keys to open File Explorer. Then, go to C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution and delete all the files and folders there.

Step 4. Restore the Services snap-in and simultaneously click on the Windows Update and Start.

Step 5. Restart your computer and run the Windows Update to see if the error is fixed.  

Solution 6. Update Device Drivers

The Windows Update service not running error can occur due to wrong or outdated device drivers. You should check all your device drivers and update all outdated ones to confirm this.

Manually, updating drivers is a long and boring process. Thus, you can use Driver Easy to automatically recognize your system and install accurate drivers. With this tool, you don’t need to know what your computer system is and which drivers are compatible with your computer.

All you have to follow these quick steps to download and install the right system drivers:

Step 1. Foremost, download and install Driver Easy on your computer.

Step 2. Launch Driver Easy and click on the Scan Now button. The software will automatically scan your system and detect outdated drivers.

Step 3. Simply click on the Update button to download and install the correct driver. You can click on the Update All button to automatically update all missing or outdated drivers on your PC.

update device driver

Step 4. Restart your computer to check if the problem is resolved or not.

Solution 7. Delete Temporary System Files

It is found that removing files from previous system updates can also fix the Windows Update issues. That’s because previous and new update files might conflict with one another. It is easy to delete temporary files; just go to:

Step 1. Select Settings > System > Storage on the sidebar.

Step 2 . Choose the Temporary files option.

Step 3. Check the box next to Windows Update Cleanup.

delete temporary files

Step 4. Select Remove files, and your work is done.

Solution 8. Run SFC Scan and DISM Tool

If the Windows Update service is not running due to file corruption or other stability-related issues, you can fix them using the System File Checker (SFC) and Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) tools.

Here’s how you can run an SFC scan:

Step 1. Open the enhanced Windows PowerShell console.

Step 2. Type this command and hit the Enter:

Windows PowerShell console

sfc /scannow

How to run DISM scan:

Step 1. Open the elevated Windows PowerShell console.

Step 2. Enter the following command:


DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth

Step 3. If the DISM detects any issues, you can run the following two commands:

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

Solution 9. Use the Windows Update Assistant

If the Windows Update is still not running for you, use the Windows Update Assistant to force install the latest Windows updates.

Windows Update Assistant

After downloading the applet to your PC, just run it and select Update Now.

Solution 10. Roll Back to the Older Windows Version

Sometimes your system updates can cause Windows Update to not run. That might be because your machine is too old for the new updates or certain applications don’t support the updates.

In that case, you can easily roll back to the older version and check whether the Update problem has been fixed or not. To do so:

Step 1. Go to the Start menu and type recovery in the search field.

Step 2. Choose Recovery options (System Settings).

Step 3. Under the Recovery tab, select Go back to Windows [X]. Here X is the previous version of Windows.

Step 4. Choose a reason for going back, and click on the Next button.

Step 5. Click on the Go back to Windows [X] and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process.

Parting Remarks

Windows Update not running can take your PC behind and restrict you from using the latest system updates. Thus, you should take Windows update problems seriously and quickly fix them.

For your convenience, we have already shared the top 10 solutions to fix the Windows Update service not running for you. These solutions will definitely fix the problem, but if not, you can comment below so we can together find a way to solve it.

Meanwhile, don’t forget to check other posts on this website.

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