Solution to ‘Windows Update cannot currently check for updates, because the service is not running. You may need to restart your computer’. Dec 2017

I have seen many people experiencing the problem of Windows Update cannot currently check for updates, because the service is not running. You may need to restart your computer’.

Today, 11th Dec 2017, I have had exactly the same problem with going in to Windows Update on Win 7 PC’s and getting this same scenario when I try to update windows.  I go in to Control Panel and Windows Update.  There is a red X in the box and when I click ‘Check for Updates’ I get the message

 ‘Windows Update cannot currently check for updates, because the service is not running. You may need to restart your computer’.

I restarted the PC and still had the same the same problem and I also checked the Update Service was running and it was.

I have One laptop and 4 PC’s at home all running Win 7 so I tried the same procedure of updating and all but one had the same issue as above.  I contacted a few friends whom I know have PC’s running Win 7 and when I asked them to try updating Windows they had the same problem I had.  The settings in Windows Update varied from ‘Download updates but let me choose when to install them’ ,  ‘Install updates automatically ( recommended)’, ‘Never check for updates ( not recommended)’ .  Ironically, the only PC I found I could check for updates was the one set to ‘Never check for updates ( not recommended)’. So we changed the settings on all the PC’s to ‘Never check for updates ( not recommended)’ and then rebooted & then tried to check for updates and we could in all instances.  We then changed the settings back to our preference of either ‘Install updates automatically ( recommended)’ or ‘Download updates but let me choose when to install them’ and all is well again. So, it looks as though there has been a common problem with a previous Windows 7 Update that caused this update problem recently.  

Can anyone from Microsoft please look in to this as there may be many people thinking their PC's are being updated and they aren't!

Since posting this a year ago it's obvious from the responses that the above fix doesn't work for everyone but it's certainly worth giving the above solution a shot as it's so simple, if it doesn't then follow one of the other solutions mentioned further on in the discussion.  Once you have the updates working again the problem does not reoccur so obviously Microsoft fixed the problem in a subsequent update. I also notice that one year on and some people are still only just discovering Windows has not been updating all this time, so guess it pays to check updates are being installed occasionally!

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Don't worry.  You and your friends aren't the only ones having this problem.  I am having it too and from what I can find out lots of people are.
My laptop will not install the following:  KB272653, 2852386, 2919469, 2966583, 2970228, 3006137, 3068708, and 3080149.  They all give me a fail to install with error 800700490!  Have not been able to find out what this error is or what causes it, all of Microsoft support references tell me unable to locate check spelling and try again..  Really frustrating there seems to be no know fix for this problem  the error code seems to not exist!

Its a simple fix,1st make sure .NET is enabled in Win components,double chk by opening run,or

cmd,type: services.msc  in msc,scroll to Microsoft framework,v2.0 only runs in Man start,

v4.0 runs in Auto start,if ok exit msc.Also,Win update has a install/fix,its:

windowsupdateagent-7.6-x86    Also,thier is: microsoftFixit.wu.MATSKB  Also,download & run

malicious software removal tool,

its also known as 890830  After all the above & SP1 is installed,Win update will run.....

dandm2015. I tried to use your suggestion on changing to never update but update settings will not let me change any settings other than remove the ticks (check) from check boxes. I am confident I have administrator rights but not sure how to check. This problem will have to be separate download fix if update service inoperative.
Andrew E, I followed your instructions reference ".Net services" and set them as suggested but no success. When clicking start service they both started and stopped almost immediately.  Ran Malicious software removal tool and no change. You suggested "Win update has a install/fix,its:

windowsupdateagent-7.6-x86    Also, there is: microsoftFixit.wu.MATSKB " but no explanation where or how to access these files.

I will keep watching and trying but any other suggestions really appreciated.

Thank you.

Hi Silver Rob

You can access the windowsupdateagent-7.6-x86 here  . I believe the equivalent fix-it file microsoftFixit.wu.MATSKB for Win 7 is actually WindowsUpdateDiagnostic.diagcab and is available here:

Hi again Silver Rob

Do you mean that in the 'Windows Update/Change Settings' you are not given options in the dropdown box under 'Important Updates'. What happens when you click the arrow on the dropdown box?

Hi again Silver Rob

Been looking through various solutions to the greying out of Windows update settings and I came across this solution from one of the community members on this link: 

Like the member says, be very careful with editing the Registry, only do this if you feel comfortable about it.

Hi dandm2015, thanks for quick response. will update you as soon as I have followed your links and suggestions.

Regards Rob.

Hi dandm2015, I have downloaded update agent and troubleshooter to no avail. Troubleshooter showed "Problem installing recent updates not fixed". I went to Registry to try greyed out keys fix and chickened out of changing. This was because the only two keys were "Default" which did not have value set and the "AU" option. This had value "REG_DWORD 0x00000002(2). The NoUpdate value did not exist.

Tried to check update history to possibly see any recent updates that were installed but history page is completely blank.

I know this is windows 7 and MS are soon to withdraw support but surely someone at MS must be working on fix that we can download and install other than by updating. I did think of trying restore point but not sure what date I should try plus the update will only try to install again and I am back to square one.

Regards Rob

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Last updated November 30, 2020 Views 359,850 Applies to: