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!