Windows Update Service Not Running: Learn How To Run Windows Services

You may end up with an unresponsive system if you fail to apply Windows Updates periodically. However, if you have chosen to run the updates automatically, it may not be even running at all. There can be multiple reasons behind this including incomplete Windows installation and corrupted files in the temporary storage folder. For some users, Windows 7, 8 and Vista versions are particularly showing this error of Windows Update service not running. In some devices, you can get this issue due to outdated drivers and malicious programs. It can also be a third-party software that has disabled the option of Windows Update on your PC. So, if you are experiencing any of these issues that are preventing updates to run on your computer, you can follow this article. It covers a few effective solutions to fix this Windows Update error on your computer.

Effective Solutions To Fix Windows Update Service Not Running

If the Windows Update service is not running, it can cause a frozen screen or outbreak of viruses in your system due to the lack of necessary updates. There are many programs that receive updates along with the Windows Update. Hence, you must ensure that your computer is receiving the updates periodically. So, if you are looking for a few troubleshooting solutions to fix this Windows Update error, check the following methods.


Fix 1: Restart Windows Update Service On Your PC

The first step is to open the Run dialog box by pressing the Windows button and R key altogether. Then, in the search box, write services.msc and press ‘OK’. In case a User Account confirmation message appears on your screen, accept it. So, the page of Windows services running on your PC is displayed after this.

You need to search for the Windows Update service and right-click on it. Then, select the option of ‘Stop’ from the drop-down menu and wait for 10-20 seconds. Select ‘Windows Update’ from the Action Center page or Taskbar. If you still see the error notification of Windows Update not running, go back to the list of services.

Locate ‘Windows Update’ and hit the ‘Start’ button after right-clicking on it. Hopefully, now your computer can receive the necessary updates from the server.

Fix 2: Run Windows’ Troubleshooting Tool

You can use the Windows built-in Troubleshooter program to fix this error. However, try to run this tool only when your Windows Update is not running in your PC. To apply this fix, hit the ‘Start’ button and open the search tab. Then, write ‘troubleshoot’ and it will display a list of search results.

Locate the option of ‘Troubleshooting’ and view the list of issues under ‘Troubleshoot computer problems’. Find ‘Fix problems with Windows Update’ under the section of ‘System and Security’.

Click on it and apply the on-screen instructions to finish the troubleshooting. Then, run Windows Update and check if the service is actively working now.

Fix 3: Set Windows Update Associated Programs Startup As Automatic

To apply this solution, open the Run box (Windows + R buttons) and write ‘services.msc’ in it. Then, click ‘OK’ and the services window will open. Search for Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) and double-click it. Otherwise, click on ‘Properties’ and view the Startup type under the ‘General’ tab.

You must choose ‘Automatic’ for the Startup type. Also, hit the ‘Start’ button under ‘Service status’ if its showing ‘Stopped.’ Then, click on ‘Apply’ and ‘OK’ buttons and go back to the Windows services page.

Locate the option of ‘Cryptographic Services’ from the list of services and double-click it. Follow the above steps in this solution and set its Startup type as ‘Automatic.’ Also, make the Service status as ‘Start’ if it was set to ‘Stop’. Otherwise, your Windows Update will keep stopping even after applying this solution. Save these changes by clicking ‘OK’.

Note: If you find the tab of ‘Start’ in gray, hit the ‘Stop’ button for a while. Then, turn it back to ‘Start’ again.

From this services list, search for Windows Update and apply the above steps. Finally, reboot your PC after closing the Services window. Hit the ‘Windows Update’ button and see if the service is stopped or running successfully.

Fix 4: Delete SoftwareDistribution Folder

If none of the above fixes works for you, you can add up this method along with fix 1. However, you will still have to follow certain steps from fix 3. It involves setting the Startup type of Windows Update as Automatic. Also, you have to rename or delete the ‘SoftwareDistribution’, a temporary storage folder for Windows Update.

Next, press the Windows logo key and E simultaneously and open the File Explorer. Then, locate the folder of ‘SoftwareDistribution’ from the C drive in your PC. Open it and erase all the files and folders in ‘SoftwareDistribution’.

In case you don’t want to remove this temporary folder, simply change its name. So, right-click on the folder and choose ‘Rename’. Then, modify the name by typing SoftwareDistributionOld or SoftwareDistribution1.

Finally, open the services window again and double-click on ‘Windows Update.’ Then, navigate to Service status and hit the ‘Start’ button if it is showing the status as ‘Stopped’. Also, follow the Note in fix 3 if you find the ‘Start’ button turning gray. So, after completing all these steps, restart your device and launch ‘Windows Update’ successfully.

Fix 5: Install Security Update KB3102810 For Windows Service Pack


This solution is not applicable to all, but only for those users who are running Windows 7, 8 or older versions. You might encounter the Windows Update service not running due to the lack of security updates. So, to fix this problem, download and install KB3102810 on your Windows, which is a Standalone update.

However, you need to stop the service of Windows Update by clicking ‘Stop’ in the Service status section. You can check the steps in fix 3 to know how to stop Windows Update and start it accordingly. Hopefully, these solutions can fix the problem of the unresponsive Windows Update service.

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