The Windows Update function serves as the backbone for maintaining the health, security, and efficacy of a Windows operating system. At its core, it is designed to automatically deliver updates to users, ensuring they benefit from the latest patches, enhancements, and even completely new features. Nonetheless, similar to any system, it is not impervious to glitches.

Windows Update relies on multiple interconnected services to function correctly. When one service falters, it can halt the entire update process. Understanding the importance of these services and how they intertwine can empower users to tackle common issues and ensure a streamlined updating experience.

Importance of Windows Update

Windows Update is more than just dropping new features into your system. It’s a vital component in ensuring your operating system remains secure, bug-free, and efficient. Regular updates patch vulnerabilities, enhance performance and sometimes introduce shiny new features to improve user experience. Ever heard the saying, “Prevention is better than cure”? That’s what these updates are all about!

Why Windows Update services might stop

One primary reason is service disruption; the interconnected nature means that if one component fails, it can have a domino effect on the others. For instance, if the Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) faces a glitch, it can prevent the main Windows Update Service from accessing the necessary update files.

Corrupted update files serve as another potential roadblock. If an update file doesn’t download correctly or faces an interruption, it may not get processed, leading the service to stall.

External factors, such as server outages on Microsoft’s end, can also play a role. Sometimes, the issue isn’t with the user’s system but with the source of the updates.

Lastly, conflicts with third-party software or malware can interfere with the update services. Overzealous security software might misidentify an update component as suspicious, blocking its operation, while malware might actively seek to halt updates to exploit system vulnerabilities.

Steps to Restart Windows Update Related Services

The continuity of Windows Update services is crucial for maintaining an updated and secure system. However, there may be times when these services need a manual restart. By following these detailed steps, users can ensure they effectively restart the necessary components to get Windows Update back on track.

Using Windows Services Manager:

  1. Access the Run dialog: Press the Windows + R keys simultaneously. This brings up the Run box.
  1. Open Services Manager: Type “services.msc” in the box and hit the ‘Enter’ key.
  1. Locate the Services: Scroll down the list to find the “Windows Update” service. Similarly, look for the Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) and the Cryptographic services.
  1. Restart the Services: For each of these services, right-click on the name, and from the dropdown menu, select ‘Restart’. 

If the ‘Restart’ option is grayed out, choose ‘Start’.

Via Command Prompt:

  1. Open Command Prompt with Admin Rights: Search for “cmd” in the Windows search bar, right-click on ‘Command Prompt’, and choose ‘Run as administrator’.
  1. Stop the Services: Type the following commands, pressing ‘Enter’ after each:
    net stop wuauserv
    net stop bits
    net stop cryptsvc
  2. Restart the Services: After successfully stopping them, restart these services using:
    net start wuauserv
    net start bits
    net start cryptsvc

By following these steps, users can take a proactive approach to potential hiccups within their Windows Update services, ensuring their system remains up-to-date and secure.


Windows Update services play a vital role in keeping your system updated and secure. Understanding how to troubleshoot and restart these services is a valuable skill in ensuring smooth computer operations. So, the next time your updates are giving you the cold shoulder, you’ll know exactly what to do!