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Windows Update cannot check for updates (Windows 10)

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Bug fix: Windows Update cannot check for updates because the service is not running.
Stop the Windows Update service.
Clear the Windows Update history files.
We start the Windows Update service.

Trying to solve a problem with the AutoCAD 2018 program I have been forced to update Windows 7 with the latest security patches. The surprise is that when I go to the Windows Update tool, when I click on the "Check for Updates" button I get the following error: "Windows Update cannot search for updates because the service is not running. You may have to restart your computer » .

image

Obviously, my first step was to restart the computer to see if the problem was solved, but no, the problem was still present . Below I detail the steps to solve this small problem quickly.

Bug fix: Windows Update cannot check for updates because the service is not running.

I will organize the process in three ordered steps to make it easier to follow this little tutorial and the novice users do not get lost along the way.

Stop the Windows Update service.

First of all we have to check the Windows Update service and stop it temporarily. For this we need to run the Windows service manager , which we can do in two ways:

  • Using the Windows + R key combination and typing services.msc .
  • From the start button, we write services where it says «Search programs and files» and press Entrar (Enter or Enter) .

With the service manager open, we look for the service whose name is "Windows Update" , which is usually towards the end of the list. Double click on it and change the type of start to "Manual" (by default it should appear selected "Automatic, delayed start") .

image

Then click on the "Stop" button and stop the service .

Clear the Windows Update history files.

When we are faced with these types of errors, we have to clear the update history of Windows Update . To carry out this step, we have to go to the drive where Windows is installed (we will use C:\ as an example) and then we will go to the folder C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution .

image

We delete all the files and folders that we find inside this folder.

We start the Windows Update service.

As we did in the first step, we open the service manager and start the Windows Update service by pressing the «Start» button.

image

Now we can go to the Windows Update program and look for updates. As we have cleared all the update cache, it will take a while to detect the pending updates (it took about 20 min on my computer, so be patient) .

Following these three steps, a solution to the Windows Update error cannot find updates. If your case is in which Windows is looking for updates indefinitely, then you have to read this tutorial .


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Windows error: Windows Update service is not running
Confirmed solution: Reset update service and restart
Microsoft solution
Manually check whether the update service is running

Windows error: Windows Update service is not running

If you want to install updates, you will often see these error messages, especially in Windows 7:

  • Windows Update cannot currently check for updates because the service is not running.

The error also occurs if you have played back a system backup. A restart usually does not help. The associated update service itself is Started or Automatic . Resetting the update service helps here.

Confirmed solution: Reset update service and restart

The following method resets the Windows update service:

  1. Opens the start menu and types in cmd .
  2. Right-click on the cmd.exe entry or command prompt and select Run as administrator .
  3. Enter the following commands one after the other and confirm each with the Enter key:
    • net stop wuauserv
    • rd /s /q %windir%\SoftwareDistribution
    • net start wuauserv
  4. Restarts Windows and checks for updates again.

Windows should now be able to search for and install the updates again. For the sake of form, there are other solutions that do not work as reliably as the ones already mentioned.

Microsoft solution

Microsoft offers the following "Microsoft easy fix" program (formerly "Microsoft Fix it"):

Follow the instructions of the program

Follow the instructions of the program.

Then start the file WindowsUpdateDiagnostic.diagcab and follow the instructions of the wizard. This will repair the Windows Update function .

Manually check whether the update service is running

You can see for yourself whether the update service is running in Windows:

  1. Press the key combination Windows + R to open the Run dialog.
  2. Type in services.msc and confirm with Enter.
  3. Looks for Windows Update in the list .

    Checks whether the update service has started

    Checks whether the update service has started.

  4. Started should appear in the Status column .
  5. Otherwise double click on the entry.
  6. In the new window, select the entry Automatic (Delayed Start) next to Start type .
  7. Confirms with OK and restarts Windows.

If the service was already started, deactivate it next to Start type in the drop-down menu and restart Windows. Then you activate it again and restart Windows.


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