How to Fix Windows Update Service Not Running error

Windows Update service error message ‘Windows update cannot currently check for updates because the service is not running. You may need to restart your computer’ probably happens because SoftwareDistribution folder (Windows temporary update folder) is corrupted when Windows check for updates. This makes you unable to install new updates for your system, and you should fix it.

Method 1: Start Windows Update troubleshooter on your computer

This is Windows 10’s built-in troubleshooter to help you troubleshoot Windows Update errors. If your computer is running Windows 8 or 7, you have to download the troubleshooter from Microsoft.

To do this in Windows 10:

  1. Press Windows key on your keyboard to bring up the Start menu, type ‘troubleshoot’ then choose Troubleshoot from the results;

  1. Choose ‘Windows Update’ then select ‘Run the troubleshooter’;

  1. Wait for the process to detect and fix problems. Check if the errors are fixed or not.

To do this in Windows 8 or 7:

  1. Go to Microsoft website and download the troubleshooter;
  2. Run the downloaded file;
  3. Choose ‘Windows Update’, then select Next button;

  1. Wait for the process to complete, then run the Windows Update Service again to check if the problems are fixed or not.

Method 2: Fix Windows Update service not running error manually

The idea of this method is to stop, delete SoftwareDistribution folder then start Windows Update Service again:

  1. Bring the Run box by press the ‘Window + R’ shortcut on your keyboard;
  2. Type in ‘services.msc’ then press Enter key to open the Services window;

  1. Double-click or right-click on it then select Properties;

  1. On General tab of Properties window, set ‘Startup type’ option to Disable, choose Stop button;
  2. Select Apply button then click OK to exit.

  1. Open File Explorer and go to C:\Windows (C is drive’s name where Windows installed) then delete SoftwareDistribution folder;

  1. Go back to step 3 but choose ‘Start’ instead of Properties, then try to update Window again.

Method 3: Install the KB3102810 Standalone Update

  1. Download the KB3102810 security update then install it (Applied to Windows 7 SP1 & Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1);
  2. Restart your PC after installation;
  3. Refer to method 2 to stop Windows Update service then delete the SoftwareDistribution folder;
  4. Restart your PC and check for updates. This process could take an hour to find updates.

Hope this post could help you solve the Windows Update service not running error.

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Tag: windows update service not running, windows update cannot currently check for updates because the service is not running, windows 7 update service not running.