[Solved] Windows Update Error 80072F8F. Easily!

If you receive the Windows Update error 80072F8F while checking for updates, don’t worry. Many Windows users have reported this error. They have fixed the problem with one of the method below. You can also try these methods and see if you find a solution.

Try these methods

Method 1: Sync with an internet time server
Method 2: Run Windows Update troubleshooter
Method 3: Reset Windows Update components
Method 4: Install trusted certificate authority

Method 1: Update the internet time settings

The Windows Update error 80072F8F usually occurs when your computer’s date and time are not set correctly. You need to sync your computer’s date and time with an internet time server. To do that, follow the steps below:

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

2) Type “timedate.cpl” into the Run box and then click on the OK button.

3) Go to the Internet Time tab, and then click on the Change settings button.

4) Make sure the checkbox Synchronize with an internet time server is checked. Click on the Update now button, and then click OK to save the changes.

After you follow the above steps, check for Windows Update again and check to see if the error 80072F8F is solved.

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

Method 2: Run Windows Update troubleshooter

To fix the Windows Update error 80072F8F, you can try to run Windows built-in troubleshooter.

If your computer is running Windows 7, you can follow these steps:

1) Click the Start menu, type “troubleshoot“, and then select Troubleshooting from the search results.

2) Click Fix problems with Windows Update.

4) Click Next. Then Windows will start troubleshooting any issues related with Windows Update. Just wait for the process to be complete.

If your computer is running Windows 10, follow these steps:

1) Click the Start menu, type “troubleshoot settings“, and then select Troubleshoot settings from the search results.

2) Click on Additional troubleshooters.

3) Select Windows Update and then click on the Run the troubleshooter button. Then Windows will start detect Windows Update problems. Just wait for the process to be complete.

If required, follow the on-screen instructions of the troubleshooter to fix any errors and problems.

If Method 2 doesn’t work for you, try Method 3.

Method 3: Reset Windows Update components

To fix the Windows Update error 80072F8F, you can try to reset Windows Update components. Then you need to rename the SoftwareDistribution folder and the catroot2 folder, which store files and signatures related with Windows Update.

Here’s how to rename these two folders.

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 “cmd” into the Run box and press Shift+Ctrl+Enter to open Command Prompt as Administrator.

3) At the Command Prompt, type the following commands to stop the services accessing the SoftwareDistribution folder and the catroot2 folder (you can just copy and paste the commands). Make sure you press Enter after each command.

net stop bits
net stop wuauserv
net stop cryptsvc

4) Go to the folder location and rename the folders:

4a) Open File Explorer, and then go to C:\Windows and locate the SoftwareDistribution folder. Rename the folder to “SoftwareDistribution.old“.

4b) Go to C:\Windows\System32 and locate the catroot2 folder. Rename the folder to “catroot2.old“.

Tip: If you can’t rename the catroot2 folder via File Explorer, you can do it using commands: type the following command at the Administrator Command Prompt and press Enter.

ren C:\Windows\System32\catroot2 catroot2.old

5) At the Command Prompt, copy and paste the following commands to restart the services which were stopped in Step 3). Make sure you press Enter after each command.

net start bits
net sart wuauserv
net start cryptsvc

6) Exit the Command Prompt.

7) Restart your computer for the changes to take effect.

Method 4: Install trusted certificate authority

If the SSL certificate being used to connect to the Microsoft site is not trusted, the Windows Update error 80072F8F can occur. Usually, it’s due to missing the trusted authority certificate for GTE CyberTrust Global Root. To fix the error, you can install this certificate authority into the trusted authorities.

Firstly, export the certificate from another computer.

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

2) Type “inetcpl.cpl” into the Run box and then click on the OK button.

3) Go to the Content tab and click on the Certificates button.

4) Go to the Trusted Root Certification Authorities tab, select GTE CyberTrust Global Root and then click on the Export button.

5) Click Next -> Next.

6) Give the certificate a name, such as “GTE”.

7) Follow the on-screen instructions to export the certificate to the computer.

When you’re done with the export, copy the certificate to the computer with the Windows Update error 80072F8F.

Secondly, import the certificate to the computer with the Windows Update error 80072F8F.

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

2) Type “inetcpl.cpl” into the Run box and then click on the OK button.

3) Go to the Content tab and click on the Certificates button.

4) Go to the Trusted Root Certification Authorities tab and then click on the Import button.

5) Click Next, then browse to the location where you saved the certificate.

6) Select the certificate and follow the on-screen instructions to import the certificate.

Note: If you get a pop up box asking if you want to import the cert into the Trusted Root Authority, click Yes.

Hopefully you find this article helpful. If you have any questions, feel free to drop a comment below. I’ll get back to you ASAP.

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