FIX: We couldn’t connect to the update service on Windows 10

Andrew Wafer
by Andrew Wafer
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  • Microsoft has optimized the way through which Windows 10 updates are delivered, offering plenty of methods for users to choose from.
  • Unfortunately, issues with your Internet connectivity or your software can lead to errors when trying to connect to the Windows update services. If that happens to you, simply follow the steps written in the guide below.
  • This issue is just one of many that we've covered in our dedicated guide for troubleshooting Windows Update errors, so make sure you keep it at hand in case they ever appear again.
  • For more great articles on how to fix common Windows 10 problems, visit our Fix page.
can't connect to windows update service

As we all know, Microsoft is releasing Windows 10 patches from time to time for fixing bugs and for adding new stability improvements, security add-ons, and features or dedicated capabilities.

In most situations, the updates are running in the background and are applied automatically.

Anyway, in rare situations, a certain update might get stuck or blocked by the Windows system and that’s when you will most likely receive the following error message:

We couldn’t connect to the update service. We’ll try again later, or you can check now. If it still doesn’t work, make sure you’re connected to the Internet’.

This error prompt is displayed when the update cannot be completed – it can be an internet connection error, a corrupted system file, a limited disk space or a similar malfunction.

But, the most important thing is to address the issues so that you can resume the implied update – for doing so you can use the troubleshooting steps from below.

How can I fix the Windows update service connectivity error?

  1. Verify your internet connection
  2. Make sure you have enough disk space
  3. Run the Windows Update Troubleshooter
  4. Run a system scan
  5. Check the disk for corrupted sectors
  6. Temporarily disable the antivirus protection
  7. Install the update manually

1. Verify your internet connection

First of all, verify your internet connection as everything should run properly. If you’re using a WiFi connection maybe it will be better to reset your router first.

If your internet connection doesn’t work properly, fix it quickly with the help of this amazing guide.

Also, restart your Windows 10 device and while doing so disconnect any recently connected peripherals.

Finally, repeat the update process – the update should be displayed under Windows Updates:

  1. Press the Win+I keyboard hotkeys and click on Update and security
  2. From the left panel of the main window click on Windows Updates and verify if there is any update available for your system
  3. Complete the flashing process by following on-screen prompts.

Having trouble updating your Windows? Check out this guide that will help you solve them in no time.

Your Wi-Fi connection drops randomly? Don’t let that ruin your day and fix it quickly with this guide.

2. Make sure you have enough disk space

Sometimes, if the free-space that’s left on your hard drive is limited, the update cannot be applied so you can receive the ‘We couldn’t connect to the update service. We’ll try again later, or you can check now’ error message.

So, make sure that there is at least 10 GB of free space left and then try to reapply the update operation – as already described above.

For more information on how to free up space on your disk, check out the guides below:

Want to know how to easily free up disk space on your Windows PC? Here are the best methods to do it.

3. Run the Windows Update Troubleshooter

For problems related with Windows updates Microsoft is providing its own troubleshooter. This software can be downloaded from here. So, get this file and run it on your computer.

A scan will be initiated which will look for system error that might interfere with the update operation. The same troubleshooter will then try to automatically fix everything.

In the end, restart your Windows 10 computer and reinitiate the update process as already explained.

If the Troubleshooter stops before completing the process, fix it with the help of this complete guide.

4. Run a system scan

  1. Right-click on the Windows Start icon.
  2. From the list that will be displayed click on the Command Prompt (Admin) entry.
  3. In this way an elevated command prompt window will be opened.
  4. There type sfc /scannow and then press Enter.sfc scannow
  5. The scan will start – the process will take a while depending on how many files are stored on your device.
  6. If there are issues, the troubleshooter will try to automatically fix all the problems.
  7. Restart your computer in the end and then retry the update operation.

Along with the Windows Update Troubleshooter, you should also run another scan, which is more general. With this scan you can manage to fix corrupted system files and other essential errors and malfunctions which might block the Windows 10 update.

If you’re having trouble accessing Command Prompt as an admin, then you better take a closer look at this guide.

scannow command has stopped before the process finished? Don’t worry, we’ve got an easy fix for you.

5. Check the disk for corrupted sectors

  1. On your computer open an elevated command prompt – as already detailed during the previous section of this tutorial.
  2. In this cmd window type chkdsk c: /r and press Enter.
  3. Wait while this process is running and in the end restart your computer.
  4. In the end, retry the Windows 10 update operation as everything should run without problems now.

When was the last time you initiated a defragment operation for your C drive? Or when was the last time you checked for errors within your hard drive?

Well, if you are currently experiencing the We couldn’t connect to the update service. We’ll try again later, or you can check now’ update error a good idea will be to verify the integrity of your hard drive.

chkdsk is giving you headaches? Check out this quick guide to fix any issues with it.

6. Disable antivirus protection

If you are using third-party security solutions, you should try to temporarily disable the antivirus protection. The Windows update might be blocked by the antivirus or antimalware software.

You want to check if your firewall is blocking some features? Follow the simple steps from this guide to find out.

So, disable these programs and then retry the update process. Don’t forget to re-enable your security programs in the end for being able to secure your files and the actual Windows system.

If you’re not satisfied with your current antivirus solutions, check out the list below with the best antivirus tools that you can use right now. Install the one that best suits your needs.

Looking to change your antivirus with a better one? Here’s a list with our top picks.

7. Install the update manually

If the Windows update is still blocked or if the flashing process cannot be properly completed you should try to install it in a manual manner.

First, find out the update version number (press Win+I, select Update & Security, go to Windows Update and click on Advanced Settings and pick Update History) and then access the Microsoft official webpage.

Find your particular Windows 10 update, download it on your computer and install it by following on-screen prompts.

Thus, those are the troubleshooting solutions that should be applied if you cannot apply a certain Windows 10 update or when you receive the ‘We couldn’t connect to the update service. We’ll try again later, or you can check now.

FAQ: Learn more about the Windows 10 update process

  • What are the most common ways of getting Windows 10 updates?

You can get Windows 10 updates via the Windows Update menu, through the Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), or via the Windows Update Catalog. For more information on the update process, check out this comprehensive guide.

  • Where can I get updates when the Windows Update service is broken?

When this happens, your only choice is to access the Microsoft Update Catalog website and download it from there. You can install it like any other executable application.

  • How do I allocate disk space for my Windows 10 updates?

Windows 10 automatically reserves a certain amount of disk space for future updates, and this is known as Reserved Storage. You could also opt to buy a much bigger HDD for extra storage.

If you know another workaround that might fix this issue, don’t hesitate and share it with us and with our readers – you can do that easily, by using the comments field from down below.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2019 and has been since revamped and updated in April 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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