Fix: Windows Update Error “We Couldn’t Connect to the Update Service”

Error code “We Couldn’t Connect to the Update Service”  is related to either your internet connection or the windows update services. This error is being reported almost since the release of windows in 2015. Even Windows 8 users got this error message. Most of the people got this message when downloading the update version “1903“.

Windows Error

The most reoccurring reason that people listed is that the update got interrupted. If this is the case, you can always press the “Retry” button and see if this works. At one time Microsoft Announced that its servers suffered a major outage that affected the user’s ability to download updates. That is when this error came into being.

Even thou that issue is now fixed, it still does not mean that we are free of this error. We can see that to this date after 7 years, people are still getting this error on their PCs.

Check your Internet

Even though the error suggests the user to check their internet connection in the error message. Most people reported that their internet connection was working fine on the browser or any other application that used the internet.y

But we can still check the internet connection to be sure that this is not the problem. It will be truly painful if we found out later this was the culprit all along. You can restart your router to restart your internet. Another thing you can do is you can contact your ISP.

Your Internet Service Provider can help you in this case by telling you whether your connection is undergoing maintenance or if it is running completely fine. 

Use Mobile Data

Another method you can use if you are not sure if your connection is the problem, is that you can use your Mobile Data. Internet and Mobile Data are essentially the same thing, they work together to get you internet access anywhere in your country. 

Simply turn on your Mobile Data, connect your PC to it, and then try to update windows again. This is going to give you a different IP Address which can sometimes result in windows being updated.

Change your DNS Settings

Domain Name System settings can be changed in windows which can help us to download our updates. Also as Microsoft addressed that the outage was because of DNS, our recommendation would be to change the DNS settings to a relevant one. 

As this error occurs mostly because of internet issues, changing the DNS setting to Google’s DNS will help us get rid of this error. This is going to ensure that all devices connected to the router will route their traffic through your chosen DNS and not the ISPs. 

People have repeatedly addressed that changing this setting helped them a lot in this situation.

  1. Right-click on the start button and click on settings 
    Open Settings
  2. Then click on Network and Internet
    Open Network Settings
  3. From here go to Change Adapter Options
    Change your Adapter Settings
  4. Right-click on the Ethernet Adapter and click on Properties
    Go to Ethernet Properties
  5. Click on Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP /IPv4) and go to Properties

    Go to properties
  6. From here Click on Use the Following DNS Server Settings and then use the following DNS settings and click on OK
  7. Now open CMD and run it as Administrator 
    Open CMD
  8. Type ipconfig /flushdns and click on Enter

    Run Ip config

    Now you can retry the Windows Update. If not you can move on to the next step

Run the Windows Update Troubleshooter

Windows Update troubleshooter can help us a lot in this situation. Most of the time this step can help us with most of the windows problems. Running the windows troubleshooter can help by activating internet services or updating services that might be disabled.

People have reported that using the troubleshooter has helped them in most situations.

  1. Right-Click on the start button and click on settings 

    Open settings
  2. Go to Update & Security 
    Click on Update and Security
  3. From here, go to Troubleshooter and click on Additional Troubleshooters
    Open the Troubleshooter
  4. Now you can find the Windows Updates troubleshooter and click on run the troubleshooter
    Troubleshoot Windows Update

Now, Windows is going to help us in finding the problem in the Windows Update Services. If there is one it is going to fix it for you and then you Update your machine.

Reset Windows Update Components

Resetting the Windows Update services has also helped a lot of people out in this situation. Resetting all the services involving Windows Update can be a viable option if nothing else is working out for you. 

You can follow these steps to reset the Windows Update Services

  1. Run CMD as administrator
    Run CMD
  2. After opening the Command Prompt enter the following commands 
    net stop wuauserv
    net stop cryptSvc
    net stop bits
    net stop msiserver

    These commands are going to turn Windows Services off. 

  3. Once all the commands are turned off. You can enter these commands to rename SoftwareDistribution and Cartoon2 folders:
    ren C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.old 
    ren C:\Windows\System32\catroot2 Catroot2.old
  4. From here, you can re-enter the following commands to restart the services that we stopped before
    net stop wuauserv 
    net stop cryptSvc 
    net stop bits 
    net stop msiserver

Once these are restarted, now you can attempt to reinstall the windows update

Check Files in Services. msc

MSC files are control files that are associated with the Microsoft Management Console on Windows machines to run administrative tasks. These are also called protected files. You don’t have access to most of these files because if these are messed with this can cause the PC to malfunction.

These files also have the Windows Update files that are related to the windows update hence the name. We can check on these files using services. msc.

  1. Go to Start and type services. msc and open it
    Search for Services.msc
  2. Scroll down and find the Windows Update service then double click on it
    Open windows update service
  3. From here, change the startup type from manual to automatic and restart the service
    Restart the service

Now retry downloading the Update 

Check your System for Malware

Windows updates can sometimes be interrupted by Malware that may or may not be on your PC. These are known to impact Windows Update and prevent your PC from functioning properly. You can either use the windows defender or a Third Party Software.

There are a lot of Anti-Virus softwares that work wonders for people. Here are some of our best picks of Anti-Virus software for windows 10. 

Make Sure you have Enough Space

Different Windows update requires a different amount of space on your PC. People have reported that after doing most of the fixes, they never make sure that they have enough space. Windows updates always download where your Windows is installed.

This drive is usually your C drive. If it contains important files or games that you cannot delete you can always use the disk clean up feature.

  1. Type Disk Clean up in the Search Bar and Select (C:) Drive
    Select C Drive
  2. Now Check all the boxes and then click on OK
    Clean your Disk

This is not going to free up a lot of space, but it’s enough to get the job done. You can now retry downloading the update on your PC.

Install Windows Update through Windows Update Assistant

Windows Update Assistant is an update management tool that is designed to help users keep their PC up to date. This is basically the Windows Update section in settings but in a different certified application. This was basically designed for people who had issues with their downloads.

This helped a lot of people out in different ways. People whose windows were not able to detect the new windows were also helped with this software.

  1. Download Windows Update Assistant by clicking here (Click on Update Now)
    Download Software
  2. Once the software is downloaded, click on Update now
    Update Windows

    Note: Minimize all of your applications before doing this for efficient download.

  3. Then click on the Next Button
    Click on Next
  4. Now the update is going to be installed. Now make sure you have enough space and then click on next
    Clear Space

    This is now going to install the latest updates on your PC. 

Contact Customer Support 

If none of these steps work for you, customer support can always help you out. Most of the errors or problems related to windows can be fixed by using their customer support feature. You can click here and contact them to tell them what problem you’re facing.


Hamza Mohammad Anwar

Hamza Mohammad Anwar is an intermediate JavaScript web developer with a focus on developing high-performance applications using MERN technologies. His skill set includes expertise in ReactJS, MongoDB, Express NodeJS, and other related technologies. Hamza is also a Google IT Certified professional, which highlights his competence in IT support. As an avid problem-solver, he recreates errors on his computer to troubleshoot and find solutions to various technical issues.