Reset Windows Update to Fix Windows Update

By | February 6, 2016
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Reset Windows Update to Fix Windows Update

No doubt a lot of people have a lot of problems with Windows Update. Microsoft is aware of the problem and has issued numerous “Microsoft Fix-its” for Windows Update problems. Sadly, we have found that most of them don’t work.

Problems with Windows Update can prevent Windows 7 and 8.1 and Windows 10 from getting the latest updates – and it can also cause problems for Windows 7 and 8.1 users trying to upgrade to Windows 10. So if you’re having trouble with Windows Update on Windows 7, 8.1 or Windows 10, try resetting Windows Update.

This tip will reset your Windows Update. While this tip does not work on 100% of computers, 100% of the time, it works many times and it’s worth a try if you’re pulling your hair out trying to get Windows Update to work correctly.

The following will reset Windows Update.

You must run the following commands from a command prompt with administrator privileges. On Windows 7, type CMD in the start menu search. When CMD appears at the top of the menu, right-click it and choose “Run as administrator”. In Windows 8.1, press the Windows Key+S and type CMD in the search box – when Command prompt appears in the search results list, right-click it and choose Run as administrator”. On Windows 10, right-click on the Start button and choose Command prompt (Admin).

(Windows 7 users note:  There are serious flaws with Windows Update in Windows 7 and Microsoft’s ultimate “solution” is to reinstall Windows, so there is no guarantee this fix will work for everyone, all of the time. But it is worth a shot because there is a decent chance you can fix most Windows Update issues with the Windows Update fix that follows.)

Once you have an Admin Command Prompt open, run the following commands one by one. Press Enter after each command. Spaces count. If you type a command with the wrong spacing, it won’t work, ,so type them exactly as they are written below- and keep in mind you may need to reboot your several times before Windows Update will start working again.

net stop bits

net stop wuauserv

net stop appidsvc

net stop cryptsvc

Rename the software distribution folders backup copies by running the following two commands;

Ren %systemroot%\SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.bak

Ren %systemroot%\system32\catroot2 catroot2.bak

Now restart the services you stopped … Run the following commands, one by one. Press Enter after each command:

net start bits

net start wuauserv

net start appidsvc

net start cryptsvc

Restart your PC and try Windows Update.

We hope this fixes your Windows Update troubles.

3 thoughts on “Reset Windows Update to Fix Windows Update

  1. Nigel

    Thanks for the tip. I tried it a no go I am afraid.

    . My update was stopping at 46%.

    I followed your guide carefully, now it stops at 36%!!

    Never mind I’m sure it will work out one day

  2. jerri

    Didn’t work for me either. I’ve only succeeded in finding and installing 2 Microsoft updates since July 7, 2015. This was also true on my laptop, so I chose it to learn Windows 10 a month ago. Took a lot of effort, and I’m good with it on my occasional travel computer. I’m still not ready to commit my 7 year accumulation of desktop data and practices Windows 10. Thanks for the suggestion, worth trying anything.

    1. infoave Post author

      Windows 7 is notorious for failed updates. Microsoft has at least 3 or 4 “fix-its” for Windows Updates. However, Microsoft’s ultimate advice to Windows 7 users with Windows Updates is to re-install Windows. This is probably too drastic of a step.

      As we mention in the article this tip won’t fix all update problems. If there were one fix that worked in all cases Microsoft would have made a fix it that worked instead of many that don’t generally work.


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