Full Fix: Windows Update Service not running

by Milan Stanojevic
Milan Stanojevic
Milan Stanojevic
Windows & Software Expert
Milan has been enthusiastic about PCs ever since his childhood days, and this led him to take interest in all PC-related technologies. Before joining WindowsReport, he worked as... read more
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Most Windows updates address security issues. These are the worst possible problems as they may be exploited by malware or hackers.

However, updates may address other bugs and issues in Windows 10. Even though they are not responsible for security vulnerabilities, they might impact the stability of your operating system.

There are times when you might encounter an error while checking for updates, such as Windows update cannot currently check for updates because the service is not running.

Even if you restart your computer and try again, you will face the same error and Windows Update won’t work. If this is the case, keep on reading this guide in order to find out what’s the right solution to your problem.

What to do if Windows cannot check for updates because the service is not running?

  1. Run Windows update troubleshooter
  2. Reset Windows update settings
  3. Update RST driver
  4. Clear your Windows update history and restart the Windows update service
  5. Restart the Windows update service
  6. Reset Windows update repository
  7. Use system restore point
  8. Temporarily disable anti-virus and firewall protection

1. Run the Windows update troubleshooter

Windows has a built-in troubleshooter that can help you check and fix issues with Windows Update. It is always a good method to consider whenever you encounter any problem running Windows Update.

In order to do this:

  1. Type troubleshoot in Windows Search bar and click on Troubleshooting
  2. Click Fix problems with Windows Update and then Next
  3. Restart your computer and again try to install the updates

You can also run the Update troubleshooter from the Settings page.

windows update cannot currently check for updates because updates on this computer are controlled by

2. Turn off Windows Update

Turning Windows Update off and then on through Control Panel has fixed this error for many users because it resets any inconsistent settings of Windows Update. To do that on older Windows versions:

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

The steps to follow may be a bit different on newer Windows 10 versions. Irrespective of the steps to follow, you need to turn off Windows Update, restart your computer and then turn the service back on.

For more information on how to block updates on the latest Windows 10 versions, use these guides:

3. Update RST driver

This error could appear as a result of your RST (Intel Rapid Storage Technology) driver being outdated, corrupted, or missing.

Thus, you should update your RST driver manually by going to the official Intel website, and searching for the most recent correct driver.

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Please make sure you choose the drivers that are compatible with your version of Windows.

If you need to update your drivers automatically without harming your system, in very simple steps, the one-stop for this job is DriverFix.

4. Clear your Windows update history

The Software Distribution folder stores temporary files for Windows Update.

You may get the error due to corruption issues with these files. A good solution is to remove the content of this folder. In order to do this, please follow the steps described below:

  1. Press Windows + R keys in order to open Run command box
  2. Type services.msc and click OK
  3. Right-click on Windows Update and then click Stop
  4. Open Windows Explorer and navigate to C:Windows folder
  5. Find and delete the Software Distribution folderWindows 10 keeps downloading the same updates
  6. Go back to the Windows Control panel, right-click on Windows Update service and select Start
  7. Restart your computer and then run Windows Update

5. Restart the Windows update service

If any of the .dll files involved with Windows Update is not correctly registered, you may also encounter this problem. So please follow the steps below to register the Windows Update service:

  1. Press the Windows + R keys to invoke the Run box
  2. Type services.msc and click OK
  3. Find and right-click on Windows Update and select Stop
  4. Click the Start button, type cmd in the search box and then right click on cmd to select Run as administrator
  5. Type the following commands and press Enter after each:
    • regsvr32 wuaueng.dll
    • regsvr32 wups2.dll
    • regsvr32 wucltux.dll
    •  regsvr32 wuwebv.dll
    •  regsvr32 wups.dll
    •  regsvr32 wuapi.dll
  1. Click OK when prompted
  2. Restart the Windows Update service on your computer
  3. Press the Windows + R keys to invoke the Run box, type services.msc and click OK
  4. Find and right-click on Windows Update and select Start
  5. Restart your computer and try to perform Windows Update

6. Reset Windows Update repository

If none of the above-described methods functioned, you may want to try a reset of the Windows Update repository. In order to do this, please follow the steps described below:

  1. Click Start and type cmd
  2. Right click CMD and choose Run As Administrator
  3. Type the following commands and press Enter after each one of them:
  • net stop bits
  • net stop wuauserv
  1. Open a Windows Explorer window and navigate to %WINDIR% (e.g., normally C:Windows)
  2. Rename SoftwareDistribution to SoftwareDistribution.old
  3. Return to the elevated Command Prompt and type these commands:
  • net start bits
  • net start wuauserv
  1. Restart your computer

7. Use a system restore point

System Restore allows you to restore the system to an earlier common state without affecting your personal files. This guide shows you how to perform a system restore.

When you finish the system restore, Windows will restart and launch Windows Update for new installation of updates.

8. Temporarily disable antivirus/firewall

Your antivirus program can sometimes stop the Windows Update service. So, temporarily disable it and then check for updates.

Whether the solution works or not, enable your computer protection as soon as possible.

Another common error is that the Modern Setup Host has stopped working; this is a mandatory Windows component that is triggered whenever you install an update or upgrade your operating system.

You could have trouble launching the latest Windows version if it’s missing, but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

All in all, we hope the solutions listed above helped you solve your problem. Also, feel free to share other methods you tried that helped you to fix this issue.

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