Fix: Couldn’t connect to the update service on Windows 10/11

by Andrew Wafer
Andrew Wafer
Andrew Wafer
Andrew is not just trying to bring you closer to Windows, but he's truly interested in this platform. He just happens to be passionate about sharing that knowledge... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • Microsoft has tweaked the way Windows 10 updates are delivered, offering a variety of methods for users to choose from.
  • Unfortunately, many users receive the error message We couldn't connect to the update service when they try to connect to Windows Update Services.
  • If this is the case for you, check your Internet connection and make sure you have enough disk space.
  • Installing updates manually can also be very helpful.
Couldn't connect to the update service

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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.

Why does Couldn’t connect to the update service wsus error appear?

This issue appears if the required services aren’t running, and we wrote in-depth on what to do if Windows Update Services are not running.

If Windows Update is not working, the services are the most likely cause, but your Internet connection could be the problem as well, so make sure that your connection is stable and working properly.

It’s important to fix this issue as soon as possible or else you might encounter Your device is missing important security and quality fixes message which means that your system is vulnerable and out of date.

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How can I fix the Windows update service connectivity error?

1. Verify your Internet connection

First, verify your Internet connection as everything should run properly. If you’re using a Wi-Fi connection maybe it will be better to reset your router first.

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 Windows key + I, 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.

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.

3. Run the Windows Update Troubleshooter

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This tool is the default troubleshooter on Windows 10. You have the ability to open it from the search bar by just writing troubleshoot in the search area.

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.

4. Run a system scan

sfc scannow
  1. Press the Windows key, and type cmd.
  2. Right-click on Command Prompt, and select Run as Administrator.
  3. In the Command Prompt, type sfc/scannow and press Enter.
  4. The scan will start – the process will take a while depending on how many files are stored on your device.
  5. If there are issues, the troubleshooter will try to automatically fix all the problems.
  6. Restart your PC, 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 service.

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

5. Check the disk for corrupted sectors

  1. Press the Windows key, and type cmd.
  2. Right-click on Command Prompt, and select Run as Administrator.
  3. In the Command Prompt, type chkdsk c: /r and press Enter.
  4. Wait while this process is running, and restart your PC.
  5. 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.

6. Disable the 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 software.

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.

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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.

  1. Find out the update version number by pressing the Windows key+I.
  2. Select Update & Security
  3. Go to Windows Update, and click on Advanced Settings
  4. Select Update History.
  5. Then access the Microsoft official webpage to find the latest updates.

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 error message.

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.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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