Many Windows users are having an issue with their Windows Update. If they check for updates on their Windows system, they get an error that says “Windows Update cannot currently check for updates, because the service is not running“. And they can’t install updates for their system.
This is an annoying issue. And trying to fix it is just as annoying, because you’ll spend a lot of time reading suggestions on the Internet, and most won’t work.
But don’t worry. The following are some methods that have helped many Windows users fix their error.
Method 1: Run Windows Update troubleshooter
Windows has a built-in troubleshooter that can check and fix issues with Windows Update. You should run it when an error occurs on your Windows Update. To do so:
- Click the Start button in the lower left corner of your screen, type “troubleshoot” and click Troubleshooting in the result.
- Click Fix problems with Windows Update.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the troubleshooting process.
- Run your Windows Update again and see if your error is fixed.
Method 2] Restart the Windows update service
1] Press Win + R to open the Run window. Type the command services.msc and press Enter to open the Service Manager.
2] In the list, which is arranged in alphabetical order, locate the Windows update service. Right-click on it and then click on Restart.
- Reboot the system and check if it helps.
Method 3] Manually Start the service
- Press Win + R to open the Run window. Type the command services.msc and press Enter to open the Service Manager window.
- Locate the Windows update service, right-click on it and select Properties.
- Change the Startup type to manual and click on Start.
- Click on Apply and then OK. Make sure that the Service status says “Running.”
Now, without restarting the system, try running the Windows update. Since the service is running, we shouldn’t get the error. Once the system has updated, the issue might get resolved for future as well (since Microsoft keeps pushing fixes through Windows updates).
Method 5: Clear the Software Distribution folder
The SoftwareDistribution folder stores temporary files for Windows Update. You may get the error due to corruption issues with these files. To see if these files are the cause, you should remove all the content of this folder.
- Press the Windows logo key and R on your keyboard to invoke the Run box.
- Type “services.msc” and click OK to open the Services snap-in.
- Click Windows Update and then click Stop (the service).
- Open File Explorer (press the Windows logo key and E on your keyboard at the same time), then go to C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution and delete all the files and folders there.
- Restore the Services snap-in. Then click Windows Update and click Start (the service).
- Restart your computer. Then run Windows Update see if this helps you get rid of the Windows Update service not running error.
Method 6. Restore invalid/missing registry keys from a working system.
1. Open Registry Editor: To do that:
- Simultaneously press “Windows” + “R” keys to open the RUN window.
- In “RUN” window “Open” box, type: regedit
- Press Enter
2. At the left pane, press the “+” sign and navigate to this subfolder:
3. Right-click on BITS subfolder and select Export.
4. Give a name for the exported file (e.g. ‘BITS‘) and save it to the desktop.
5. Then navigate to this subfolder:
6. Right-click on wuauserv subfolder and select Export.
7. Give a name for the exported file (e.g. ‘wuauserv‘) and save it to the desktop.
8. Close registry
9. Copy the exported registry files to a USB flash drive.
On the computer that Windows Update service or BITS Service is missing (not listed).
1. Plug the USB flash drive with the exported reg files to an empty USB port.
2. Double click at the exported BITS registry file (e.g. “BITS.reg) and allow to add its information to registry. *
3. Double click at the exported wuauserv registry file (e.g.”wuauserv‘.reg “) and allow to add its information to registry. *
* Note: If you have problems during import, then start Windows in Safe Mode and then import the key(s).
4. Restart the computer.
5. Check if Windows Update is working.
Method 7 – Upgrade your drivers
The error may be occurring due to the use of an incorrect or outdated device driver. To fix this error, simply check for the latest device driver and install them on your device.