13 December 2017

"Windows Update cannot currently check for updates"

There is a known issue with Windows Update for some users (see Computer World, ZDNet, Microsoft Answers), I got stuck with the message below. The issue occurs because the update repository appears to have expired on 03/12/2017 and Microsoft didn’t renew it. I don’t see this issue resolving itself though and just rebooting it doesn’t work. There is also a FixIt from Microsoft, however this doesn’t resolve the issue either.

To fix this:
  1. Start - Run - services.msc
  2. Stop the services ‘Background Intelligent Transfer Service’ and ‘Windows Update’
  3. Go to C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution, and delete everything in the folder (but not the folder itself)
  4. Restart the PC
  5. Check for updates again – it may take 30-60 mins to scan and rebuild the repository
  6. Your updates will now be valid from 01/12/2017 to 01/07/2025 - this can be found in the file C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\AuthCabs\authcab.cab\authorization.xml

New dates, which is probably enough seeing that patches end for 7 in April 2020.


If you can get past this, but it sits saying "Checking for updates" for a long time, then try this KB update.