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 We couldn’t connect to the update service Windows 10 error?
- Verify your internet connection
- Make sure you have enough disk space
- Run the Windows Update Troubleshooter
- Run a system scan
- Check the disk for corrupted sectors
- Temporarily disable the antivirus protection
- 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.
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: press the Win+I keyboard hotkeys and click on Update and security; then, from the left panel of the main window click on Windows Updates and verify if there is any update available for your system; finally, 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.
2. Make sure you have enough disk space
Sometime, 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:
- How to free up space using Auto Recycle Bin cleaning in Windows 10
- Here’s how to free up to 20GB space after Windows 10 update
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.
4. Run a system scan
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.
Here is what you have to do:
- Right-click on the Windows Start icon.
- From the list that will be displayed click on the Command Prompt (Admin) entry.
- In this way an elevated command prompt window will be opened.
- There type sfc /scannow and then press Enter.
- The scan will start – the process will take a while depending on how many files are stored on your device.
- If there are issues, the troubleshooter will try to automatically fix all the problems.
- Restart your computer in the end and then retry the update operation.
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
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:
- On your computer open an elevated command prompt – as already detailed during the previous section of this tutorial.
- In this cmd window type chkdsk c: /r and press Enter.
- Wait while this process is running and in the end restart your computer.
- In the end, retry the Windows 10 update operation as everything should run without problems now.
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.
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.
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.
You can also try and navigate to Microsoft Update Catalog and, considering you know what exact cumulative update is causing the error, download it from there. You can install it like any other executable application.
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.
RELATED STORIES TO CHECK OUT:
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- Fix: “Potential Windows Update Database Error Detected”
- There were some problems installing updates but we’ll try again later [FIX]
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2017 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.