[2021 Fix] Windows Update cannot currently check for updates, because the service is not running.

The Windows Update service not running issue is a common issue in Windows 10. The full error message is “Windows Update cannot currently check for updates, because the service is not running. You may need to restart your computer”. If you run into this issue, don’t worry. You can fix it easily with the methods in this post.

I’ve included three methods below to fix the problem. You can try them one by one until you find the one that works for you.

Method 1: Restart the services related with Windows Update

To fix the Windows 10 Update service not running issue, the first method you can try is restart the services related with Windows Update. The Windows Update related services are the Windows Update Service, the Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) and the Cryptographic Services. Here’s how to restart these services:

1. On your keyboard, press Win+R (the Windows logo key and the R key) at the same time to invoke the Run box.

2. Type services.msc into the box and click OK to open the Windows Services manager.

open services

3. Double-click on the Windows Update service.

windows update service

4. Ensure the ‘Startup type’ is Automatic.In the ‘Service status’ section, click the Stop button, then click the Start button to restart the service, and then click the OK button to close the dialog box. (If the Stop button is in grey, just click the Start button to start the service.)

restart windows update service

5. Double-click on the Background Intelligent Transfer Service.

6. Ensure the ‘Startup type’ is Automatic. In the ‘Service status’ section, click the Stop button, then click the Start button to restart the service, and then click the OK button to close the dialog box. (If the Stop button is in grey, just click the Start button to start the service.)

7. Double-click on the Cryptographic Services.

8. Ensure the ‘Startup type’ is Automatic. In the ‘Service status’ section, click the Stop button, then click the Start button to restart the service, and then click the OK button to close the dialog box. (If the Stop button is in grey, just click the Start button to start the service.)

9. Check to see if the Windows Update service not running issue is resolved.

If Method 1 doesn’t work for you, go to Method 2.

Method 2: Rename the SoftwareDistribution folder

The SoftwareDistribution folder stores temporary files needed to install the Windows Updates. It’s the cause of many Windows Update problems including the Windows Update service not running issues. So you can rename the SoftwareDistribution folder to troubleshoot the problem. It’s safe to rename the folder as Windows will recreate a new folder once Windows Update is applied.

You can follow the below instructions to rename the SoftwareDistribution folder.

Firstly, you need to stop the Windows Update service. To do so:

1. On your keyboard, press Win+R (the Windows logo key and the R key) at the same time to invoke the Run box.

2. Type services.msc into the box and click OK to open the Windows Services manager.

open services

3. Click Windows Update and click Stop to stop the service.

stop windows update service

Secondly, rename the SoftwareDistribution folder. To do so:

1. On your keyboard, press Win+E (the Windows logo key and the E key) at the same time to open File Explorer.

2. Go to C:\Windows.

open file explorer

3. In the Windows folder, you’ll see the SoftwareDistribution folder. You can rename the folder to something like ‘SoftwareDistribution.old’.

After renaming the service, remember to start the Windows Update service again.

4. Check if the Windows Update not running issue is resolved.

Method 1 and Method 2 should resolve the problem. But if your problem persists, you can try Method 3.

Method 3: Update the Intel Rapid Storage driver

Outdated Intel Rapid Storage drivers can prevent Windows Update working properly. To fix the problem, you can try to update the Rapid Storage driver. You may not believe that outdated drivers can be the cause of Windows Update service not running issues. But some Windows 10 users have reported that they resolved the problem by updating the Intel Rapid Storage driver. To fix the problem, you can try to update the Intel Rapid Storage driver.

You can go to Intel’s website to download the latest version of Intel Rapid Storage driver. It’s easy to download the driver from Intel. But if you have problems downloading the driver manually, you can use driver software for help. Just search for a trustworthy driver updater online. Most driver updaters allow you to update drivers automatically.

After updating the Intel Rapid Storage driver, check to see if the Windows Update service not running issue is resolved.

Hopefully the methods above help you resolve the Windows 10 Update service not running issue. If you have any questions, ideas or suggestions, feel free to leave a comment below.

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