Windows Update Never Stops Checking for Updates

Have you ever gone to apply the latest Windows updates to your computer and the Windows Update never stops checking for updates? The little bar just keeps going and going but nothing ever happens? Just google “windows update stuck” or “windows update hangs” and you’ll find PLENTY of reasons why this might be happening and how to potentially fix it. Some of the blog posts and articles are well written and very detailed but some of them are pages long. I’m not going to go into the 100 different ways to troubleshoot this issue but instead I’m going to offer a simple, quick and painless solution to an all too common of a problem. Let me preface this by stating that the steps below will NOT fix everyone’s problems with this particular issue but it did it for me and I was surprised that it did.

When checking for Windows updates hang and never finishes do the following.
wu1

Open Control Panel

Select Notification Area Icons

Check the box for Always show icons and notifications on the taskbar and select OK
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Close the stuck Windows Update check

Open Control Panel and select Windows Update then click on Check for Updates

This worked for me! Don’t ask me why, it just did. Also, this wasn’t a one-trick tip, this has worked several time for me on different computers / servers. Sometimes I think the Microsoft engineers are just having some fun with us! If this little tip worked for you, let us know!

One more note…. If the windows update service is actually working but is taking up too much CPU and/or memory, please see our article Windows Update Service  Utilizing High CPU Memory.

Thank you and good luck.

George Almeida

Welcome to my little corner of the blogosphere. I'm an Information Technology manager for a Fortune 500 company. I specialize in Windows operating systems, applications, servers, storage, networks and also have a technical background on the IBM iSeries platform. My only purpose for this blog is the hope that it helps someone, someday, somewhere. Any meager proceeds derived from our sponsors will be donated to charity.

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43 Comments on "Windows Update Never Stops Checking for Updates"

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Jimmy Lufré
Guest

This worked for me! Thanks a lot! I hadn’t even opened Windows Update again before a notification bubble popped up saying I have new updates available.

Ashley Sue Bullers
Guest

No such luck for me. I was hoping to avoid dealing with Microsoft support for hours, but after days of scouring the internet… it appears I will be doing just that. I thank you for sharing your method, though, and hope it continues to work for many other suffering Windows users!

Daniel Creager
Guest

Wow, this actually worked! After hours into tonight of scouring the internet (It’s currently 2:28 AM) I found this, and now I feel great! (And very, very sleepy.)

Ross B.
Guest

Greg, add me to the list of people you helped with this great tip! Thank you so very much!

Roshani
Guest

The only solution that could get this working! Thankyou so much george! Updates installed!

Mike Vinson
Guest

Okay, George add me to the list of people you saved. 2 hours wasted trying other suggestions from returned Google links and no joy.

Mike Moore
Guest

I already had it checked,but I unchecked it and checked it and it worked. Windows is ridiculous. Thanks for posting this tip.

James H
Guest
What the What?? Helping a friend today figure out the root problem with his pc. Kept suggesting a Linux variant that would at least get him going, but couldn’t talk him into it. Reloaded Windows 7 which I knew was going to take forever as Windows does, and ran into this issue. First time I’d had the problem, other than the regular “try again” that often happens with updates. Ran across this tip in a google search and lo and behold it worked. Scrolled down, and realized “Hey…I work with this guy!!!” Good looking out George.. Thanks.. as usual, the… Read more »
Randy
Guest

Sweet! Worked for me. Thanks

Ernie B
Guest

Add me to the list of “worked for me”. After many hours of research, found your post which solved my problem in minutes.

Ankush
Guest

Oh My Gosh!! This worked ive tried all the fixes, searched google for hours and the solution to my problem is so simple :p

Carl M.
Guest

Wow! That’s crazy. I tried everything I could find on the interweb. This trick started the updates immediately! Thank you

Nur
Guest

My windows update still hang on “Checking for Updates’ 🙁
No update symbol on my All Area Notification. Heeelllpppppp….

Alexia Emerson
Guest

Thanks! I’m not sure if it’s what made windows update work after a new install of 7 on a new build. I give you the credit anyway!
228 updates to go.

Harsan
Guest

My God, after so much hours and days… and… just one “check the box”. You’re the Greatest 😉

Thanks a lot!

Anna
Guest

I had spent at least four hours trying every solution to no avail–even after restoring the system to factory defaults. I applied your fix and it was done. Thanks so much!

Stephanie
Guest

Hi i have received error code 0x8024402C 🙁 pls help

Glenn
Guest

How do I get around the stuck update page? I force turn off the computer, then restart, but it just comes back to the update page.

So I can’t get to the control panel.

Sergei
Guest

It worked for me too! Unbelievable! We need to send this link to Microsoft to make them ashamed. Thank you very much!

Gus
Guest

Hello,

on my Vista Ultimate 32bit control panel there NOT Notification Area Icons.

Please amend the above solution.

Thanks in advance.

Vishal More
Guest

Hello,

This is Vishal. We are facing a big issue currently on Windows server 2012, the Windows update is taking long to visit more than 36 hours. We have done all troubleshooting steps like below, but still no fix.

– Ran windows update troubleshooter.
– Ran sfc /scannow
– rename catroot2 and Softwaredistribution folder.
– reset windows update components.

Daniel
Guest

Amazing, I have same exact issue on Server 2012, 4 fresh installs of VM’s, pulling my hair out.
The last one worked until I install roles and features before installing exchange 2010 SP3.
I have tried all the things you did and a bunch more, on 4 different fresh VM’s.