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Solved: Windows Update Service Not Running

Windows Update is a Microsoft service for the Windows family of operating systems that automates downloading and installing Windows updates over the internet. The service will check for updates for Windows as well as other critical updates such as antivirus products.

Many users have reported problems with this service. When Windows Update runs, users are receiving an error message that says, "Windows Update cannot currently check for updates because the service is not running."  Since it is not running properly, users are unable to check for updates and install the required updates.

Windows Update Service Not Running

If the Windows update service is not running properly this can present major problems because it can expose your laptop or computer to potentially harmful viruses or prevent your operating system from functioning optimally. Thankfully, you should be able to find a simple solution to fix the problem. Just follow the steps below to find the right solution if you find your Windows Update stuck.

How to Fix Windows Update Service Not Running

Follow the steps below for each solution in order until you find the solution that works for your device.

  1. Run Windows Update Troubleshooter
  2. Check for malware
  3. Check associated services
  4. Restart Windows Update
  5. Clear Windows SoftwareDistribution Folder
  6. Upgrade device drivers

Method 1 - Run Update Troubleshooter

Windows has a built-in troubleshooter that can run a diagnostic and help you fix issues with service. This should be your first option if you encounter issues including problems with Windows 10 update. If you choose this option, just follow the steps below to attempt the solution.

  1. Type troubleshoot in the Windows Search bar and click on the Troubleshooting option.
  2. Press Fix problems with Windows Update and then Next.
  3. Restart your computer and run the service again to see if the problem has been fixed.

Method 2 - Check for malware

It is possible that you are running into problems due to malicious software on your device. If that is the case, then the solution is to run a scan on your device to detect malware and delete it.

Microsoft offers a Malicious Software Removal Tool that you can download and run on your own device. Once you have downloaded and run the tool on your computer, try to run the program again and see if the problem is fixed.

Malicious Software Removal Tool

Method 3 - Check associated services

The problem might be due to the fact that associated services are not running. You will need to restart those services to fix the problem by following the steps below.

  1. Type Windows Update in the search bar then choose Change Settings.
  2. Under Important updates, click on Never check for updates.
  3. Go to settings window again and select Install updates automatically and click OK.

Following this procedure should allow you to restart the program and correct the error. We note that the procedure for solving the Windows Update problem may vary slightly from above for different versions of Windows.

Method 5 - Clear Windows SoftwareDistribution Folder

The Software Distribution folder stores temporary files that can potentially prevent the service from running properly if those files are corrupted. You can delete the corrupted files to correct this problem.

  1. Enter Windows logo key and R on your keyboard to run the command box.
  2. Enter services.msc and click OK.
  3. Right-click on Windows Update and select Stop.
  4. Open Windows Explorer and navigate to C: Windows folder.
  5. Find and delete the Software Distribution folder.
  6. Return to Control Panel, right-click on Windows Update service and enter Start.
  7. Restart your computer.

SoftwareDistribution folder

Method 6 - Upgrade your drivers

The error may be occurring due to the use of an incorrect or outdated device driver. To fix this error, simply check for the latest device driver and install them on your device.

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