Fix: ‘Potential Windows Update Database Error Detected’

By: Marian Cularea
5 minute read

When trying to repair your Windows 8 or Windows 10 update feature you might get the error message “potential Windows update database error detected”. This can be fixed by applying the steps posted below for the “potential Windows update database error detected” issue and get back to your normal usage of Windows 8 or Windows 10.

The “potential Windows update database error detected” issue will most likely occur when your operating system cannot access the “C:/Windows” folder. This is due to some bad registries inside the Windows 8 or Windows 10 system but if you follow the instructions below in the correct order you will be able to fix this in just ten minutes of your time.

Tutorial for fixing Potential Windows Update Database Error Detected in Windows 8, Windows 10

There are many problems that can occur with Windows updates, and in this article we’re going to address the following issues:

  • Repair Windows update database corruption failed – According to users, sometimes issues with Windows Update database can occur. However, many users reported that the database repair process failed on their PC.
  • Windows Update database error 0x800f081f – This problem sometimes comes with an error code. Many users reported 0x800f081f code along with this error message.
  • Windows Update database error registration is missing or corrupt – This is a variation of this problem, but you should be able to fix it by using one of our solutions.
  • Windows Update database error update service not running – Many users reported this problem as well. According to them, it seems that update service isn’t running on their PC at all.
  • Windows Update database error code 80072ee2 – This error message sometimes comes with an error code, and many users reported error code 80072ee2 on their PC.
  • Windows Update database was stuck – Sometimes issues with Windows Update can occur, and several users reported that their database was stuck.

Solution 1 – Run the Troubleshooter

  1. Move the mouse pointer to the upper right side of the screen.
  2. After the Charms bar opens up you will need to left click or tap on the Search feature.
  3. In the search box type Control Panel. Click or tap on the Control Panel icon.
  4. Left click or tap on the Troubleshooting feature.
    Repair Windows update database corruption failed
  5. Left click or tap on the View All button situated on the left side of the screen.
    Windows Update database error 0x800f081f
  6. You will have a list of options now and you will need to left click or tap on the Windows updates.
    Windows Update database error registration is missing or corrupt
  7. Left click or tap on the Next button you have in the lower side of that window.
    Windows Update database error update service not running
  8. Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the Windows updates troubleshooter.
  9. Reboot the Windows 8 or Windows 10 device after the troubleshooting process finishes.
  10. Try again and see if you still have the same error message.

Solution 2 – Refresh your PC

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Left click or tap on the General option.
  3. Move in the listed window to the Refresh your PC without affecting your files feature.
  4. Left click or tap on the Get Started button in that Windows 8 or Windows 10 feature.
  5. From here you will need to follow the instructions you have on the screen and wait for this process to finish.
    Note: It will take up to thirty minutes.
  6. After this process is finished reboot your Windows 10 or Windows 8 device.
  7. Check again if you still have the “potential Windows update database error detected” error message.

Solution 3 – Perform an SFC scan

If you’re getting Potential Windows Update Database Error Detected message, you might be able to fix it by performing an SFC scan. By performing this scan you’ll fix file corruption that might be causing this error. To perform an SFC scan, do the following:

  1. Press Windows Key + X to open Win + X menu. Now select Command Prompt (Admin) from the list. If Command Prompt isn’t available, you can use PowerShell (Admin) instead.
    Windows Update database error code 80072ee2
  2. When Command Prompt starts, enter sfc /scannow and press Enter to run it. SFC scan will now start and try to repair your PC. Keep in mind that this process can take about 15 minutes, so don’t interrupt it.
    Windows Update database was stuck

After the SFC scan is finished, check if the problem still appears. If you’re still having this problem, you might want to try using DISM scan instead. To do that, open Command Prompt as administrator and run DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth command.
Repair Windows update database corruption failed
Keep in mind that DISM scan can take 20 minutes or more, so try not to interrupt it. After the scan is complete, check if the issue still appears. If you were unable to run SFC scan before, try running it after DISM scan and check if the problem is resolved.


Solution 4 – Restart Windows update service and rename the affected files

Sometimes you can fix Potential Windows Update Database Error Detected message simply by disabling Windows Update service and renaming the affected directories. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Open Command Prompt as administrator. For more information on how to do that, check the previous solution.
  2. When Command Prompt opens, enter the following commands:
    • Net stop wuauserv
    • Net stop cryptSvc
    • Net stop bits
    • Net stop msiserver
    • Ren C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.old
    • Ren C:\Windows\System32\catroot2 Catroot2.old
    • Net start wuauserv
    • Net start cryptSvc
    • Net start bits
    • Net start msiserver

After running these commands, restart your PC. Once your PC restarts, try to install Windows updates again.


Solution 5 – Perform a Clean boot

Sometimes Potential Windows Update Database Error Detected message can appear due to third-party applications. Applications can interfere with Windows and cause this message to appear. To find the problematic applications, you need to perform a Clean boot by doing the following:

  1. Press Windows Key + R and enter msconfig. Press Enter or click OK.
    Windows Update database error 0x800f081f
  2. Go to Services tab and check Hide all Microsoft services. Click on Disable all button.
    Windows Update database error registration is missing or corrupt
  3. Now navigate to Startup tab and click on Open Task Manager.
    Windows Update database error update service not running
  4. List of startup applications will now appear. Right click the first application on the list and select Disable. Repeat this step for all applications on the list.
    Windows Update database error code 80072ee2
  5. Now go back to System Configuration window and click on Apply and OK to save changes. If you’re asked to restart your PC, choose the Restart now option.
    Windows Update database was stuck

After your PC restarts, check if the issue still appears. If not, one of the disabled applications or services was causing the issue.

To fix the cause of the problem, you need to enable disabled apps and services one by one until you find the one that is causing this issue. Keep in mind that you need to restart your PC after enabling set of applications or services.

After you find the problematic application you can uninstall it, update it or keep it disabled.


That is it, five methods on how you can fix your “potential Windows update database error detected” error message in Windows 8 or Windows 10. You can write us below if these tutorials worked for you or if you need further assistance with this issue.


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2014 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.


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