Windows Update Not Working, Stuck at Checking for updates [Solved]

Sophie Luo, in Technical Tips Tags: Windows Updates

If you’re stuck on or frozen at the Checking for updates message when you try to upgrade your Windows 7 to, say, Windows 10, don’t worry, we are here to help. Many Windows 7 users are able to solve it with one of the following solutions. 

You may not have to try them all; just work your way down until you find the one that works for you. 

1. Update Drivers
2. Update Patches
3. Change DNS server settings

Method 1: Update Drivers

One of the first things you should so is to verify that all your devices have the right drivers, and update those that don’t. Windows Update could stay at halt when you miss certain critical device drivers, say, network card driver. 

If you’re not comfortable playing around with drivers manually, you can do it automatically with Driver Easy

Driver Easy will automatically recognize your system and find the correct drivers for it. You don’t need to know exactly what system your computer is running, you don’t need to risk downloading and installing the wrong driver, and you don’t need to worry about making a mistake when installing. 

You can update your drivers automatically with either the FREE or the Pro version of Driver Easy. But with the Pro version it takes just 2 clicks (and you get full support and a 30-day money back guarantee): 

1) Download and install Driver Easy. 

2) Run Driver Easy and click the Scan Now button. Driver Easy will then scan your computer and detect any problem drivers. 

3) Click the Update button next to any flagged device to automatically download and install the correct version of its driver (you can do this with the FREE version).

Or click Update All to automatically download and install the correct version of all the drivers that are missing or out of date on your system (this requires the Pro version – you’ll be prompted to upgrade when you click Update All). 

Method 2: Update Patches 

If you miss some Microsoft patches in your PC, Windows Update won’t work properly as it should. To fix it, you can download the patches and install them. Here is how: 

1) On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key and click Control Panel

2) View by Large icons and click Windows Update

3) Click Change settings. 

4) Under Important updates section, select Never check for updates (recommended). Then click OK to save and continue.

5) Restart your computer. 

6) Go to the Microsoft support website, and download the following updates:  

KB3102810
KB3083710
KB3020369
KB3050265
KB3172605

Choose accordingly the version you need, 64-bit or 32-bit. Place them on your PC desktop.



7) Reboot your computer again. 

8) On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key and R at the same time. Type services.msc and press Enter.  

9) Right-click Windows Update and click Stop

10) Go to C:\Windows, right-click SoftwareDistribution and click Delete

11) Go to your PC desktop, and double-click the KB 3102810, KB3083710, KB3020369, KB3050265, KB3172605 setup files to install. 

12) Reboot your computer. 

13) Follow the path: Start button > Control Panel > Windows Update (View by Large icons).



14) Click Check for updates

15) Wait for while for Windows to search for the updates for you. You can also turn on the Windows Update service that we turned off if you like. 

Method 3: Change the DNS server settings

Windows Update not working issue can also be caused by faulty DNS server settings. To fix it, you can modify the settings: 

1) On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key and click Control Panel

2) View by Large icons and click Windows Update

3) Click Change adapter settings.  

4) Right-click the connection for which you want to configure Google Public DNS and click Properties

5) Select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) or Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6) and then click Properties.

6) Click the Advanced  button. 

7) Go to DNS tab. If you can see any DNS server IP addresses listed, write them down for future reference. Then Remove them from this window. 



8) Click the Add… button, then type the following IP addresses of the Google DNS servers: 

  • For IPv4: 8.8.8.8 and/or 8.8.4.4.
  • For IPv6: 2001:4860:4860::8888 and/or 2001:4860:4860::8844

Click Add

9) Click OK to save the change. 

10) Now check your Windows Update again, see if the problem is solved. 

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  • Abhishek Nath

    You are awesome dude…..Windows Update now works after performing the mentioned steps

  • Mr G

    Brilliant, absolutely brilliant. I hadnt had any updates since Sept 2016, and was getting incredibly frustrated and last night I found this site, so decided to give it a go. Followed Option 1 and around half hour later my windows is now updating, found 3 critical updates which I deemed necessary and another 79 security updates. Thank you.

  • Tomm Wells

    Hello! And Thank You!
    Your easy to follow Option 1 worked the first time for me and I was able to download updates within a few minutes after the reboot! I hadn’t had any updates since December 19, 2016 and after getting hung up waiting for updates to come up with some, I started looking for others with the same problem and luckily found you soon afterwards. Again, a big thank you!

  • BayAreaBill

    I checked extensively online to solve this problem, and it really infuriates me that Microsoft has known about it since 2011 and has not posted an online executable patch that bypasses Windows Update to solve it!!!

    I followed this article’s instructions carefully and recovered Windows 7 Update on my 6-year old Windows 7 laptop with one problem. All of the KBxxxxxx update files listed in this guide were modified in about 2015 and no longer are compatible with Windows 7 so I could not install them!!! My guess is that this was done to force Windows 7 users to convert to Windows 10! Still, the remaining instructions, especially deleting the c:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution folder, did the trick.

    BTW, this problem appeared on our two Windows 7 computers after we refused to allow Microsoft to install Windows 10 on our computers in 2016. Despite our refusal, Microsoft acted against our specific instructions and covertly tried to install Windows 10 on both computers at different dates. Both installations failed, and after those failures, Windows 7 automatic and manual updates no longer have functioned — until now.

  • Andrea

    Thank you so much for posting this! I haven’t had an update on my Windows 7 since September of 2016 and couldn’t figure out what the heck was going on! I tried Microsoft’s website and they were no help at all. I did both option 1 and option 2 as listed, and ta da! I now have 24 updates that I can finally download! Thank you so much for posting this!!!!! If only Microsoft was as helpful as you!!!!

  • sykospain

    Fantastic solution to a worrying problem, especially with the current ransomeware scares. Actually KB3172605 couldn’t be installed on my Win 7 desktop ‘cos it said it wasn’t for my machine. But the fix worked. Brilliant ! Thanks again

  • obz

    Genius! 164 updates later I am well pleased! I never comment on sites BUT credit where it’s due… great advice!

  • SK

    Thank you so much. Option 1 did the job. The guide was so easy to follow with clear instructions and appropriate screenshots, thanks.

  • Akshat Sahil

    O’ My God! It worked. I tried Option 1, installed the last 2 update packages as others were already there. I had to say You are simply incredibly amazingly awesome. Thank you 🙂

  • campino

    Thx a lot! Step one worked.

  • Alan UK

    You are a genius, thank you, option 1 worked like a charm after months of getting nowhere!

  • Carrie

    This is awesome. Thank you so much.
    Option 1.

    • Ray

      And another overjoyed frustrated windoze user .
      After several days, many searches on the web I at last found your solution.
      Like everyone after the ransom-ware attack needed to update as windoze had stopped auto updating since last year.
      I assume to force peeps to update to 10!
      And option 1 worked like a dream ,thank you so much
      Ray

  • TR

    This site is INCREDIBLE! Option one worked quite well; update re-obtained and loaded through May 2017. You are a GENIUS! So why cannot MS Support do the same as you? Is it the obvious issue of:”if MS fixes everyone’s existing computer they will not buy a new one from us and upgrade to Windows 10″? How about MS pay you folks a consultation fee? They obviously need the help with their own systems!

    Your site is now a major bookmark for me.

  • Moe

    Thanks for very precise and correct information. Used option 1 on a Sony Vaio laptop which was not updated for more than 2 years. Check updates and downloading were not progressing.

    Every thing worked. Thanks again

    Moe

  • Mahmoud Sabri

    Actually its the 1st time to get in here and I was actually directed here via a google search result.
    I’m posting this comment just to thank you SO MUCH, as I was struggling for more than 2 weeks with the mentioned error, but the DNS solution got the job done.
    Many thanks again and I hope if there was another more expressive way to thank you.

  • Roger

    I only had to download and install four of the five updates in option 1 and I was immediatly back in business after nearly a year with no updates.
    Now have 25 installed, thanks so much for the advice.

  • Chris

    My last updates were in December 2016. Tried a number of solutions nothing worked. Came to this site today. Tried Option 1. I only needed KB3050265, KB3172605. I had the others.

    Took a couple of computer Restarts, changing settings and then about 30 minutes for my system to check and find the updates.

    The instructions are written so simply and clearly with screenshots to help us clarify that we are following the step correctly.

    Thank you.

    I have bookmarked your site. Next time I have to deal with the Windows Updates stalled at “Checking for updates”……., I’ll know where to go.
    Thank You!!!!!

  • Tam Kirby

    I had tried a few other fixes and none worked. This one is so easy to do and fixed my problem straight away. Thank you. Receiving updates as normal mow 🙂

  • Guido

    Thank you a lot, from Italy!
    Step 1 worked flawlessly, I’m able to update Windows 7 again!

  • stefanr

    Thanks a lot, option 1 worked fine.

  • Robert

    I have tried many fixes from many sites and they never seem to sort out the problem. Well this fix actually works and the instructions were easy to follow. Thankfully I can now download the security patch needed to stop the weakness in Microsoft’s operating systems!

    It’s a big thank you from me

  • Elaine

    Thank you option 1 worked well. My Windows 7 computer did not have updates since 7/2016. the process you described found 34 updates that needed to be installed. Thanks

  • Elaine

    Thank you. I too have an older Windows 7 computer that had not gotten updates since 7/2016. Followed the instructions the first four updates I already had but the last one not. After I loaded that one and changed the settings back and ran upates. There were 34 updates that needed to be loaded. Thank you. I too found nothing else that worked so well.

  • Bart

    Option one worked for me thanks for your help.

  • Steve

    Option one worked for me thanks for your help.

  • Gary N

    Clear, concise directions and best of all, IT WORKED!!!thanks so much for sharing this fix!!

  • Tony

    I re-installed Windows 7 a few months ago and it has never been able to update since then. I have tried a few “fixes” to no avail. Your Option 1 seems to have done the trick. I’m currently working through the backlog of updates. My wife’s computer has also stopped downloading updates for no apparent reason. It just hangs on the “Checking for updates” screen. I’ll be repeating your fix on hers as well. Thank you for your clear and easy to follow instructions.

  • Monica

    I guess patoence paid off. It took about 10 to 15 minutes, but it brought up about 100 updates! Thank you for these clear instructions! After I finish this laptop, I also have a new desktop bought in November with the same problem.

  • Mr Popov

    It works. Option 1. As mentioned give it 30 minutes or so to find the updates.

  • Crispin

    Magic. Thank you

  • Rajat Garg

    thanks a lot it really worked

  • Alexandria

    I am so thankful for you! I could not understand what was going on with my computer every time I tried to install something! Then I noticed I was missing drivers, and windows would never update, month’s of frustration! Then, after hours of searching, I came upon your page and now all of my problems are gone! Option 1 worked flawlessly and now I have 192 updates! Your instructions were so clear and easy to follow, esp for someone like me who doesn’t do a whole lot computer wise, but is great at following directions! haha. Anyway, you are amazing. Thank you!

  • Dmitri

    Thank you very much, it worked well with Windows 7 problem. The same problem plaques my computer with Windows 8.1 – do you know solution for this one, please. Thank you very much.

    • Sophie Luo

      Hi.

      You can also try the procedures on Windows 8.1 to see if they help.

      But instead of the updates mentioned on the post, you need to download the following updates:

      KB3172614 and KB3214628

      They are not hard to find.

      Hope this help.

      • Dmitri

        It worked with Windows 8.1! I don’t have words to thank you enough!

      • gm

        KB3172614 x64 would not install on my Win 8.1 x64 laptop. Sadly, my Windows Update continues to be stuck on “Checking for updates” for > 20 mins. Any other recommended KB updates to fix this hanging problem? (The above Win 7 fix worked wonderfully on my parent’s Win 7; we just need a fix for Win 8.1.) Any Win 8.1 help would be greatly appreciated

      • gm

        KB3172614 x64 would not install. Is there another patch option for KB3172614?

  • jacqlittle

    Only KB3020369 and KB3172605 updates are needed, others are irrelevant…

  • My

    I don’t know how to thank you enough!
    I realized I haven’t been getting any updates for about 5 months now, did some Google search, and finally came across this wonderful posting that saved my computer and my life! Option 1 worked like magic for me, and it only took a few minutes to search for updates.

    Thank you a million times!!

  • Peter Wilkinson

    Thank God it’s worked. The laptops at our company suddenly stopped updating last year. Tried lots of different websites with no luck.
    Success on first attempt with option 1. Only KB3102810 was relevant to our laptops.
    Successfully downloaded and installed 20 important updates.
    Brilliant. Many thanks

  • Joyce E M

    OMG, I have been working on upgrading a 2009 DELL laptop from Vista to Windows 7 Home (I had a dvd/cd) and could not for the life of me get updates to work. I also had a copy of Service pack 1 that worked. After that, and waiting for hours, nothing was happening as others have stated here on getting updates. These instructions were so easy and now it’s all working out fine. I am on 86 of 202 updates that finally downloaded and now are installing. Thank you so much for this site. I don’t remember how I found it, but so glad I did. Thanks a million!!!! All other sites did not work for me, and I got lost on what to download or when and how to install them.

  • Koschibaer

    Wow, option 1 worked after I looked around for a fix to this update issue for quite some time. So glad I found this site. Thank you so much. Instructions were super easy to follow, thank you! Wondering why Microsoft does not come up with advice like that. Awesome job Driver Easy.

  • Steve

    I am wondering why this happens. Also, option 2 worked for me. Why does adding the addressed worK? Thanks for your help

  • Jay

    thank you!!!!! Option 1 worked perfectly. Couldn’t install updates since 2015. Had 58 updates. 3 of the 5 updates where already on my computer so just installed the other 2. As one person stated previously, it took about 30 minutes to search for updates so don’t panic if it doesn’t start downloading right away.

  • Geillico

    OMG After 7 months this worked!!!! Awesome Awesome Awesome!First option!

  • Kevin L.

    Question;
    The Software Distribution folder I deleted with all my past history of updates; Now that I have Update running again, can I restore that older folder from the recycle bin to my computer again, or will that just foul it up again? I notice I have a new one now with only the new updates I am now getting.

    • Sophie Luo

      Hi, Kevin.

      Thanks for the question.

      It is up to you whether to restore the file or not.

      Files required for installing Windows Updates will be automatically downloaded again. So this folder will be re-created.

      The Distribution folder contains your update history files, and you will lose the data once you delete them. This will result in a longer detection time.

      If there is anything more that we can do to help, please feel free to ask.

  • Kevin L.

    THANK YOU! FINALLY someone who could guide us through the steps to repair Windows Update! Option #1 worked for me. Only the last two Microsoft Updates listed were not on my computer. But once they were and I followed your steps, I now have hundreds of Updates coming in, mostly for “Office”, many of which I do not need, but the really important ones for protection are now showing up. I still don’t know why my computer stopped automatically downloading them about 10 months ago, and nothing on Windows sites explained how to deal with this issue!! Again, Thanks!

  • Jithesh R Nair

    Thanks a lot. I was trying on various options to resolve my Windows update issues for sometime now. Option 1 really worked. Thanks

  • Carolyn

    I tried option 1, said updates did not apply to my computer. Tried restart, as per Geir did, same problem. Tried Option 2, wouldn’t even connect first try, now just hangs there still. Any other suggestions? Re the updates, I only found one option to download. Any more suggestions please?

    • Carolyn

      Sorry, I finally found the x64 updates, and though painful, I think I have gotten back on track! Seem to have downloaded all the windows updates I wanted, and want to say a big thank you for putting this fix up. well done!

  • Elyse

    I’ve only had my computer since November and I’ve never run updates because it hasn’t worked. Thanks to this page (finally!), I was able to run Windows Update and it found 134 updates. Thank you!

  • Sheila Hughes

    Woohoo after months of not being able to update my windows 7, I followed your fix #1 & ive now got update working!!! Over 150 updates to install ? Doing them in batches of 25 at a time and restarting windows after each set, going to take a while but least my windows update is working again, many thanks ?

  • dj shail

    Thanks a lot! Tried many ‘fixes’ nothing worked.
    Option 1 worked for me.

  • J Young

    Thank you for the very clear instructions. I used Option 1 to fix the problem. Only the last 2 downloads KB ending 265 and 605 needed to be installed and the problem cleared. At the end it took 30 minutes for step 15 to check for updates and it looked as though the looping problem was still there, but finally the updates were found. We had moved house and internet provider and only realised 6 months later that we weren’t getting the usual updates. Thank you very much.

  • Amy

    Thank you, option one cured my headache, one of the best posts!

  • Ernie

    Finally a fix for this problem that worked. I haven’t been able to update my Win 7 for several months and tried several other “fixes” but this is the finally the one that worked, option 1. Thank you.

  • Gaetan Girard

    I tried help from other sites without success.

    Your process worked nicely.

    Thank you

    • Gaetan Girard

      I used option 1

  • Felonious D

    Option One worked great. Thanks a lot.

  • Jim Conklin

    I went through your process as written and it worked perfectly. My computer, in the last day has begun downloading updates in huge numbers. Thank You

  • Bryon

    Thank you for putting this together. I attempted both options but was not successful. I received the following windows update error code: 8024402F

    I noticed that when I attempted to install the following files from my desktop, a message appeared stating they were already installed: KB3102810, KB3083710, and KB3020369. The remain two downloaded and installed when I double clicked on them.

    YOu help is greatly appreciated.

  • Tom V

    Thank you…one of the best ‘how to’ guides I’ve seen in a while

  • Tom V

    Great KBA how-to – you deserve a medal for this!!

  • james cianci

    This is the only solution (option #1, update patches) that finally worked for me. Great step-by-step directions and screen shots.

  • Beni

    Thank you. It works for me.

  • Carlos Maduro

    I tried your option one: update patches
    the installation of patch KB3172605 returned that this patch did not apply to my windows 7.

    I restarted and tried windows update but it still hangs.

    Then I tried changing the DNS values stopped windows update and tried again and it did not work either.

    Any ideas that could help me solving this problem?

    Thanks a lot.

    Carlos

    • Sophie Luo

      Hi, please make sure that you have downloaded the correct patch for your OS: Windows 7 SP1, 64-bit, 32-bit, you are required to choose accordingly.

      If you have chosen the correct patch and the error message still appear, would you please show me the full message when patch KB3172605 says it does not apply? I will be able to better assist you with more information.

      Thanks in advance for your reply.

      • Geir

        I got the same error (KB3172605 does not apply to my windows 7), but after a restart I could install it. Everything works now, thanks alot for this well explained fix!

  • Jim

    After trying several suggestions, this actually worked!!! Thanks!!!

  • Brian J. Z.

    Step One worked! Been working on this issue now for several hours, tried several official Microsoft suggestions to no avail.. After carefully following the directions in Step 1, Windows Update now works!

    Thank you Driver Easy!

  • kip

    Thank you. Done what it says.