Many people report that they receive the “we couldn't connect to the update service” error message when they try performing Windows update. Besides, they say that Windows Defender and Microsoft Store has also been influenced. Now, read this post from MiniTool to get methods to get rid of the issue.

We Couldn’t Connect to the Update Service

Sometimes, when you perform a Windows update, you may receive the following error message - “We couldn’t connect to the update service. We’ll try again later, or you can check now. If it still doesn’t work, make sure you’re connected to the Internet.”

we couldn't connect to the update service

Also, you may find that you can’t update Windows Defender and Microsoft Store is not working. The “we couldn't connect to the update service Windows 10” error can be caused by several reasons.

1. Corrupted system files.

2. The third-party application.

3. The Windows update service is stuck or not running.

In the next part, I will introduce some useful and feasible methods to fix we couldn't connect to the update service Windows 10.

Solutions to Fix the “We Couldn’t Connect to the Update Service” Issue

Before trying the following solutions, you should verify your Internet connection, then restart your PC and router. Besides, you should check if your computer has enough space and you should make sure that there is at least 10 GB of free space left. This post - 6 Helpful Ways to Fix Not Enough Space for Windows 10 Update maybe is what you need.

After doing these things, if the “Windows 10 we couldn't connect to the update service” still appears, you can navigate to the next solutions.

Solution 1: Restart the Windows Update Service

The first solution is to restart your Windows Update Service and see if that fixes the “we couldn't connect to the update service” problem. The steps are as follows:

Step 1: Press the Windows and R keys at the same time to open the Run dialogue box. Type services.msc and click OK to open the Services application.

Step 2: From the list of applications, right-click Windows Update to select Restart.

right-click Windows Update

Then update your Windows again and check to see if the “Windows 10 can't connect to update service” has gone. If not, try the next solution.

Solution 2: Run Windows Update Troubleshoot

You can also use the Windows Update Troubleshooter since it can help you to find out the cause of the “Windows update couldn't connect to the update service” issue and fix it. You can refer to the guide below.

Step 1: Press the Windows key and key together to open the Settings application.

Step 2: Then go to the Troubleshoot tab and choose Windows Update.

choose Windows Update

Step 3: Click Run the troubleshooter to continue. Then the Windows Update Troubleshooter will start detecting problems. Then, you just need to click Apply this fix.

Then Windows Update Troubleshooter will continue detecting and fixing the problem. When the whole process is finished, you are required to reboot your computer to take effect and run Windows update to see whether the “Windows update says service not running” issue is solved.

Solution 3: Change DNS Servers

If running Windows Update Troubleshooter is not working, you should consider changing the DNS servers of your PC to fix the “we couldn't connect to the update service Windows 10” issue. Follow the steps below:

Step 1: Open Control Panel by pressing the Windows + R keys, typing control panel, and pressing Enter.

Step 2: Click Network and Sharing Center and click Change adapter settings.

click Network and Sharing Center

Step 3: Right-click your network connection icon and select Properties.

Step 4: Choose Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and click Properties.

Step 5: Click the General tab and click Obtain DNS server address automatically if it is not selected, then click OK. If it is already selected, then you can click Use the following DNS server address, input 8.8.8.8 in Preferred DNS server and 8.8.4.4 in Alternate DNS server, and click OK.

After that, launch Windows Update and then scan for updates to see if the “we couldn't connect to the update service” issue has gone.

Solution 4: Delete SoftwareDistribution Folder

In this section, we walk through the fourth method – delete the SoftwareDistribution folder to fix the “Windows 10 we couldn't connect to the update service” issue. To do that, you can follow the steps.

Step 1: Type Command Prompt in the Search menu. Then right-click it to choose Run as administrator:

Step 2: Run the following commands one by one and press Enter:

net stop wuauserv

net stop cryptSvc

net stop bits

net stop msiserver

Step 3: Now go to the C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution folder and delete all the files & folders inside by pressing the Ctrl+A keys to select all and then right-clicking to choose Delete.

After emptying this folder, you can either restart your computer or type the following command one by one in Command Prompt and press Enter to restart Windows Update related services:

net start wuauserv

net start cryptSvc

net start bits

net start msiserver

Tip: To learn more information about SoftwareDistribution Folder, read this post - How to Rename or Delete Software Distribution Folder on Windows.

Now, run Windows Update again and check to see if you still meet the “Windows update says service not running” issue. If the error still exists, try the next fix – repair corrupted system files.

Solution 5: Repair Corrupted System Files

Windows system files corruption can cause the “we couldn't connect to the update service” issue. In such an event, you can use two command-line utilities – SFC (System File Checker) and DISM(Deployment Image Servicing and Management) to fix your Windows system files.

Here is how to use SFC to fix corrupt system files:

Step 1: Input Command Prompt in the search bar and click Run as administrator from the context menu.

Step 2: Type the following command and press Enter.

sfc /scannow

type sfc /scannow

After the verification is 100% completed, you can check the scan results to see if there are some errors found. Then here is how to use DISM to fix the corrupted system files, read this post - Repair Windows 10 Image with DISM and Other Useful Tips for DISM.

Solution 6: Disable Third-Party Antivirus Software

If Windows update couldn't connect to the update service, the culprit might be third-party antivirus software. So if you have installed one on your computer, it is recommended to disable it to fix the error.

However, if this way doesn’t work, then you can try to uninstall your third-party antivirus completely and then update your operating system. This post - Multiple Ways to Disable Avast for PC and Mac Temporarily/Completely may be the one you need.

You don’t need to worry about your computer’s safe because there is a strong built-in antivirus on Windows 10 – Windows Defender protecting your PC. If you have uninstalled the third-party anti-virus software, you still can’t connect to the update service, then you need to try the last solution.

Solution7: Install the Windows Updates Manually

The last solution for you is installing the Windows Updates manually. Here is how to do that:

Step 1: Open the Settings application again and go to the Update & Security section. Then click View update history.

click View update history

Step 2: Copy the recent KB number of the Windows Update package.

Step 3: Go to the Microsoft Update Catalog website. Paste the KB number of the Windows Update package in the Search box and press Enter.

Step 4: Click the Download button and a popup window will appear. In the popup window, click the .msu file link to download it.

When the file has finished downloading, double-click the .msu file and Windows will install the new update. Now, the “we couldn't connect to the update service Windows 10” issue should be fixed.

If you want to fix the “we couldn't connect to the update service” error on Windows 10, this post is what you need.Click to Tweet

Top Recommendation: Back up Your Windows System

After fixing the “we couldn't connect to the update service” error, what should you do? It is recommended to create a system image. Speak of creating a system image, it is highly recommended to use MiniTool ShadowMaker – a piece of professional and powerful backup and restore software.

You can use MiniTool ShadowMaker to back up files and folders, disks and partitions, and also the operating system. And in addition to restoring the system backup to the original device, you can also do the universal restore when restoring to a different computer with dissimilar hardware.

What’s more, you can use it to sync files and folders to other locations and use the Disk Clone feature to create a bootable external hard drive. And you can use it for free within 30 days. Now, click the following button to download MiniTool ShadowMaker Trial.

Free Download

Here is how to create a system image with MiniTool ShadowMaker.

Step 1: Launch MiniTool ShadowMakeer. Click Keep Trial, and click Connect in This Computer to enter its main interface.

click Connect in This Computer

Step 2: Then, go to the Backup page. MiniTool ShadowMaker chooses the system as the backup source by default.

Step 3: Click the Destination module to choose the backup destination. Here are four available paths including AdministratorLibrariesComputer, and the Shared.

choose the backup destination

Tip: It is recommended to choose the external hard drive as the backup source.

Step 4: After selecting the backup source and destination, you can perform the backup task immediately. Or click the Back up Later button to delay the task.

perform the backup task immediately

When the backup process is finished, the system image is successfully created.

I make a backup of my system successfully with MiniTool ShadowMaker. Thanks a lot!Click to Tweet

Bottom Line

In short, if you are facing the “we couldn't connect to the update service” issue and have no idea of how to fix it, then you can find the workable solutions in this post. Besides, to safeguard your system, you had better back up your system regularly.

If you have any better advice to fix the error or have any confusion about the methods, leave a comment below or send an email to [email protected].

We Couldn’t Connect to the Update Service FAQ

What do I do if my computer is stuck updating?
  1. Make sure the updates are stuck.
  2. Turn it off and on again.
  3. Check the Windows Update utility.
  4. Perform Windows update troubleshooter.
  5. Launch Windows in Safe Mode.
  6. Perform a System Restore.
  7. Delete the Windows Update file cache.
  8. Perform a virus scan.

To learn more detailed information, this post - How to Fix the “Windows Updates Stuck at 100” Issue on Windows 10 is what you need.

How do I fix Windows Update corruption?
If you want to fix Windows update corruption, this post - Top 5 Ways to Potential Windows Update Database Error Detected can help you get rid of the issue.
What services does Windows Update depend on?
Windows Update depends on several services that also must be running on your PC. They are Cryptographic Services, Automatic Updates, and Event Log. You can check for these other services by clicking Start and typing SERVICES.
What are the different types of Windows updates?
  1. Cumulative updates.
  2. Security-only updates.
  3. Monthly rollup updates.
  4. Preview quality updates.
  5. Twice-yearly feature updates.
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