Fix for “Windows Update cannot currently check for updates, because the service Is not running”

Microsoft normally releases security patches for its Windows Operating System on the second Tuesday of each month (Patch Tuesday), with the exception being updates to the definitions for Windows Defender and Microsoft Security Essentials, which are released daily.  There are also times when the company will release system critical patches outside of the Patch Tuesday period.  With that said, these updates from Microsoft help keep your system secure among other things and should be downloaded and installed as often as they are released.

Now to the problem.  I have had the opportunity of having to fix several computer in the recent past (including a few minutes ago) where the Windows Update utility returns the following error:

windows update error

For those of you who may have experienced this error, you would know that even after restarting the service and the computer the error keeps popping up when you try checking for updates.  So how do you fix it?

  1. Click on Start
  2. Go to Computer or My Computer (based on the version of Windows you’re using)
  3. Go to the C drive (or whatever drive letter has the OS installation)
  4. Go to the Windows folder
  5. Go to SoftwareDistribution
  6. Go to DataStore
  7. Go to Logs
  8. Delete the edb.log file (if you’re not seeing the .log part, then delete the files that simply says edb)
  9. Restart your computer and try running the Windows Update Utility again

For the more techie among you, here’s the file path:

C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\DataStore\Logs\edb.log

The edb file keeps track of the update history and status of your computer.  If the status cannot be determined then the updates won’t run.  This often happens as a result of the file becoming corrupted.

NB: If the file does not exist (as in after you’ve deleted it), upon restarting your computer the OS will recreate it, assume that updates were never run or installed and should start working as normal again.

Please let me know if this fix worked for you in the comment section of this post.

______________

UPDATE:  If you’re having trouble deleting the files then you’ll need to ensure that the Windows Update utility has been stopped first.  Here’s what you can do:

  1. Go to Start and type services.msc
  2. Hit Enter
  3. Scroll down to find Windows Update
  4. Right mouse Click on Windows Update and choose Stop (Do not close the windows)
  5. Now go to C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\ and try deleting all files in the folder again
  6. Go back to the Services window and start Windows Update (Right mosue click on Windows Update and choose start)
  7. Restart your computer.

________________

UPDATE 12/16/2013:  If the above method did not work for you maybe this one will:

  1. Click on Start and type cmd in the area/box
  2. Right mouse click on cmd (when it shows up in the top left of the start menu) and select ‘Run as Administrator
  3. Say Yes to the User Account Control dialog (if it pops up)
  4. Type: net stop wuauserv in the now open command prompt/dos prompt
  5. Hit Enter on the keyboard
  6. Type: ren c:\windows\SoftwareDistribution softwaredistribution.old
  7. Hit Enter on the keyboard
  8. Type: net start wuauserv
  9. Hit Enter on the keyboard
  10. Type: exit
  11. Hit Enter on the keyboard
  12. Try checking for and downloading the updates again

NB:  If typing in the commands does not work, you can try copying and pasting them (it will be much faster too).

If this method works for you be sure to let me know in the comment section.

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Fix for “Windows Update cannot currently check for updates, because the service Is not running”, 6.9 out of 7 based on 27 ratings

102 Responses to Fix for “Windows Update cannot currently check for updates, because the service Is not running”

  1.  

    This didnt work for me. Ive tried everything thats been suggested to me as well; updating my drivers, a million different versions of fixit, two dozen rituals in cmd, and Ive still got nothing to show for it. Got any other idea?

    • What version of Windows are you running?

       
  2.  

    thankyou so much this just worked for me when I was about to give up! :)

  3.  

    I have also tried every suggestion on the forums available to no avail. I am operating a Dell Inspiron 545 with a 64 bit Windows 7 OS. Any other ideas? Thanks.

  4.  

    I have a problem with system update.

    my system is win 7 64 bit.

    error is this: “Windows Update cannot currently check for updates, because the service Is not running”

    I tested the above way, but again that error appeared.please help me.

    • So you deleted the file, restarted the system and when you tried running the update utility it returned the same error?
      The reason i’m asking is because I’ve gotten the method to work for both 64-bit and 32-bit Windows 7 and Vista, but I am going to look into your claim.

       
    • Take a look at this article, it’s not written by me, but the information may very well fix your problem if my method did not do the trick. Be sure to let me know if it works for you.

      http://blog.chron.com/helpline/2013/02/cant-install-windows-updates/

       
  5.  

    This worked for me on my HP slate!
    Thanks

    • Great.

       
  6.  

    I cannot delete edb.log access denied..how to remove it ?

    • Are you using an account with admin privilege? If you are then try rebooting the computer in safe mode (tap the F8 key on your keyboard just after the first image appear on your screen after pushing the power button on the CPU), once in Safe Mode navigate to the file again – you should be able to delete it now. Let me know if this works for you.
      You can also take a look at this article about Safe Mode – http://jervisdabreo.com/thetechcorner/?p=48

       
  7.  

    Update to my previous Reply. This is really FIXED! Both HP and Intel scanned my laptop and found no updates necessary. I read on some website that I should update the Intel Rapid Storage Technology!! So, I went back to Intel and searched specifically for “Intel Rapid Storage Technology” – downloaded SetupRST.exe from

    FIXED!

    • Really glad to know I was able to help. Be sure to subscribe and tell your friends about my blog. Cheers.

       
  8.  

    Spent a few hours trying to resolve this issue and updating drivers on the Intel AHCI controller did the trick! Your post pointed me in the right direction for which I’m very grateful. I really didn’t expect it work but I’m glad it did.

    • Happy to help. Please consider subscribing to the site.

       
  9.  

    I never post but, i had tried everything that every site had suggested and nothing, but this worked for me. Such a small fix to such a big problem, Thanks

    • Happy to help. There are loads of other tips on the site that you may find helpful so be sure to check it out and consider subscribing – it’s FREE. Cheers.

       
  10.  

    This did not work for me and I’ve tried this and other sites to fix this, Any suggestions?

  11.  

    Hi, I’ve also got a Dell Inspiron 1545 with 64 bit Windows 7 OS. Had to do a complete restore of the OS and now this. Tried lots of different fixes. none have worked Any other ideas? Thanks

  12.  

    i have tried all the options but none seem to work for me. i am using windows 7 proffessional.please assist me.
    also i a unable to uninstallmy avg anti virus software

    • Follow the link below for the official AVG uninstaller
      http://www.avg.com/us-en/utilities

      As to why you’re still not getting to download Windows updates – Check and ensure that you have no firewall setting that block the process especially if you have already tired the method I listed in the article.

       
  13.  

    how do i check if no firewall is blocking the process

    • What is the error code Windows updates is returning?

       
  14.  

    windows update cannot currently check for updates, because the service is not running. you many need to restart you computer.

    • Go to the Control Panel >> Windows Firewall and turn the Firewall off while allowing the Windows Updates to check for updates, if it works then the firewall was the problem (I am assuming that you do not have a third-party firewall such as Zonealarm installed on your machine). If the problem persists then follow my instructions up to step 5 and then delete everything in the folder. Restart the machine and try running the updates again.

       
    • I’ve updated the post with some additional information. Check it out.

       
  15.  

    thank you,i will check and let you know

  16.  

    please i am still not able to run windows update, i am getting fustrated please help me

  17.  

    please i have still not been able windows update running and i am getting so fustrated.
    please help me

    • Check out the following video and if even that does not work then i’m out of ideas.

       
  18.  

    THANK YOU FOR THE VIDEO. I AM USING AN INTEL ATOM ON A WINDOWS 7 32 BIT. HOW CAN I GET THE DRIVERS

  19.  

    Yess, thank you, that seems to be working now. Updates are being downloaded right now. It’s taking a long time because, I suppose, it has not been working for a long time so there is a lot to do.

    Thank you very much.

    David

    • You’re most welcome David and yes it’s going to take some time for all the missing updates to be downloaded and installed, at least the updater is working again. Cheers.

       
  20.  

    I also tried everything under the sun.. tried a CMD fix tried the deleting files fix, tried updating drivers and nothing!.. clicked on the link you posted that explained to change to never search for updates and then back again.. boom.. worked.. thank you it was doing my head in

    • I’m sorry you had not found my link sooner :) Glad to know my fix worked for you.

       
  21.  

    thank you ban rat nhieu

  22.  

    I cannot find ” windows update ” in services

    • Try the first method. What version of Windows are you using?

       
  23.  

    Windows 7 home premium . They didn’t work

    • There is a YouTube video I had linked in one of the earlier comments under this post, check it out. If even then the problem is not resolved and you have followed the instruction in my post to the letter, then I am left without any more tricks to solve your particular problem :(
      Try using Safe Mode to complete the steps and see if that works.

       
  24.  

    thanx a lot

    • You’re welcome. Have you considered subscribing to my website?

       
  25.  

    Thanks … Man.. Just Stop the service .. delete … and restart the service .. Worked.. Perfect

  26.  

    thanks a ton worked perfectly

    • Happy to help.

       
  27.  

    thanks alot sir it works for me..

  28.  

    and i also want to ask how much these updates imp for us?? will they cause any improvements? in performance graphics gaming etc

    • The updates do address performance issues from time to time, but they’re mostly about security and stability than about graphic/gaming performance.

       
  29.  

    Tried everything above including Microsoft’s Fixit. Nothing is working for me. Win7 64bit Home Premium. I am an IT professional.

  30.  

    Thanks. Your fix didn’t work for me but the fix at the blog did. You both are wonderful!

  31.  

    You da MAN! I tried for about 4 hrs to fix this and nothing worked (update RST, etc.) – then I came across your solution, I was startled to see it worked after so many futile attempts! A hearty THANKS!

    • You’re welcome. Nice to know it worked for you.

       
  32.  

    its working, Thanks buddy..!!!

    • You’re welcome

       
  33.  

    Reinstalling the AHCI driver did the trick for me.

  34.  

    Worked as a charm!!

    Kudos!

    Whenever you are in Russia, apple pie is waiting for you!;))

    • Maybe i’ll take you up on that offer someday. Cheers.

       
  35.  

    Bummer. I was excited when reading your page. But tried all suggestions, including all suggestions in your comment areas. None of it worked. I still cannot update windows.

    All I get is the dreaded error:

    “Windows update cannot currently check for updates, because the service is not running”

    One thing I found interesting is after I deleted the edb.log file and rebooted there is no longer an edb.log file. Rebooted a few times, still no file.

    Tried your Updated method and when I right clicked on windows update, the only option available was start. “Stop” was ghosted out. I went into safemode and tried this same thing, still no stop option.

    Been working on this problem for some time now. Tired every fix out there I could find. Totally stumped.

    • Are you using the computer with an administrator account?

       
      •  

        yes, using windows 7. I also found something else interesting. I so one fix recommending updating windows defender and then trying windows update. That fixed it for many. So I tried that. It searched for updates for windows defender and then gave me an error saying it could not be updated. So I went into safemode and tried to update windows defender and it did not find windows defender at all in safemode. Very interesting.

        • Defender cannot be deleted/uninstalled through the control panel so you may want to take a look at this article on Microsoft’s website on how to disable it if you think it is the root of your problem.

          http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/turn-windows-defender-on-off#turn-windows-defender-on-off=windows-7

           
          •  

            Interesting. Windows defender does not show up in program and features in safemode or in normal bootup. I cannot uninstall it. However while in normal bootup if you search for windows defender, the software is there. I am having it run a scan right now. But if I go into control panel add remove software, it’s not on the list. I did have a malware issue a few weeks ago of which I had malwarebytes successfully remove. This might be residual effect from the malware?

          •  
          •  

            Yeah, already checked that video. I can get into windows defender fine. Just can’t uninstall it. Should I just turn it off? Will that have the same effect as uninstall?

  36.  

    huh, that was interesting. I had windows defender to a full scan and about 80% way through it crashed/locked up the computer. Going to turn that bugger off!

    • LOL. That’s Microsoft for you. Once defender is sorted out you should be able to get your updates. Have a great day.

       
  37.  

    It worked for me, thanks. I’ve been trying for 2 weeks to fix the damned thing. U R awesome.

    • Thank you. :)

       
  38.  

    The hints and trick helped me quite a lot.
    And I never had to do the update.

    A million thanks!

  39.  

    really appreciate you posting this. thank you

  40.  

    Worked! I had 99 updates to install!!
    Thanks so much!

  41.  

    it works for me.

    • Great.

       
  42.  

    THANKS,

  43.  

    great

  44.  

    Trust JD, it’s work on my computer

  45.  

    Hallo,

    I’m still a XP-User and not long time for the end I have big trouble with Windows Update. It’s crazy, or …

    If I Windows Update starts the CPU has 100% Usage – only for this! I can go to drink a coffee …

    Before I started the service I got fails by download the new DataStore.edb. I mark the old folder with a appendix ‘old’.

    I think all Windows Update Services are corrupt.

    But I not install WinXP(3) new !!!

    Is a ‘small solution’ possibility?

    Thanks for an answer in advance.

  46.  

    Hello,
    I tried using your method but i coudn’t find the DataStore folder you mentioned.
    I’ve gone to OS (C:) > Windows > SoftwareDistribution but the DataStore wasn’t there.
    What should i do?
    -I’m using Windows 7 64-bit-

    • Have you tried the second method as well? If you have, it is possible that the folder is set as “Hidden” on your machine. Please let me know if you had also tried the 2nd method so I’ll be able to give you more information.

       
  47.  

    Im sorry but what second method are you referring to?.
    Anyway,I noticed that my Remote Procedure Call was turned off, i’ve turned it on but windows update service still can’t be turn on.An error window 8007277a appeared.
    I’ve also tried changing the update setting as mentioned in http://blog.chron.com/helpline/2013/02/cant-install-windows-updates/
    but it doesn’t work… Hope you can help^_^

    • Try this method. It was posted by another user who said it was able to fix the problem for him

      Click on Start
      Type cmd in the search box
      Right click on cmd in start menu and select ‘Run as Administrator
      Type net stop wuauserv
      Hit Enter
      Type: ren c:\windows\SoftwareDistribution softwaredistribution.old
      Hit Enter
      Type: net start wuauserv
      Hit Enter
      Type: exit
      Hit Enter

      Now try checking for updates again and see what happens. Please let me know if this works for you.

       
  48.  

    Okay, ive tried the method you mentioned,
    when i type ren c:\windows\SoftwareDistribution softwaredistribution.old
    it says, “A duplicate file name exists, or the file cannot be found”
    Then i typed “net start wuauserv” it says, “The Windows Update service
    could not be started. A system error has occured. System error 10106 has occured.
    The requested service provider could not be loaded or initialized”.And when i tried checking for updates the same window which said “windows update cannot currently check for updates because the service is not running” popped up.

  49.  

    Thanks , it works for me , I was really fedup of with this issue . Thanks

  50. Happy to help.

     
  51.  

    Thanks alot sir it worked for me :)

    • Happy to help.

       
  52.  

    Hi there, im running Windows 7 ulimate 32 bit

    also have installed Trend Micro Titanium Internet Security.

    i have have tried your solution stated at the top of the blog but the error continued.

    i have also tried the linked solution on http://blog.chron.com/helpline/2013/02/cant-install-windows-updates/…. but unfortunately that didnt work either.

    BUT WHEN I WAS TRYING THE LINK ABOVE .. i tried to “change settings” to “never check for updates” but when i changed it and pushed okay it didnt do anything or close the window…so i closed the window manually.
    when i reopened “change settings” it was still saying “install updates automatically” even though i had tried to change it so it seems like it didnt save when i tried to change the settings.

    i have turned off windows firewall … that didnt fix the problem

    i tried running Windows Fix it.. that didnt work either.

    i tried updating Windows Defender but that didnt seem to update either!

    i am on the verge of throwing my pc out the window if i dont find out how to fix this hehe.

    your help would be greatly appreciated

  53.  

    The updated 12/16/2013 worked for me when nothing else would. Running the update found 92 important updates and 34 optional!

    Many thanks

  54.  

    It worked for me, Great job guy!!!

  55.  

    Thank you very much for this article, I’ve downloaded 2 fixes from the Microsoft website, but they haven’t do the job. Thanks!

  56.  

    The UPDATE 12/16/2013 with command prompt worked for me. Thanks!

    • Great. Happy to help.

       
  57.  

    This fix worked for me, thanks!

  58.  

    Great stuff man!!!

    • Thanks.

       
  59.  

    THANX EVER SO MUCH. IT WORKED. I am running windows vista ultimate with windows 7 32x.
    Deleted the edb log file, restarted my computer and it worked.

  60.  

    It worked for me on ideapad z580, thanks for the info dude.

    • You’re welcome. Happy to help.

       
  61.  

    This fix worked flawlessly. Thanks fellows

    • You’re welcome

       
  62.  

    Great Job has been done by the excellent experts,it really help me in no time ,it was very easy fix for that windows updates…..
    Thank You Sooooooo Much Guy’s……

    Love YOU…..
    Zia From Charsadda-KPK

    • You’re most welcome Zia

       

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