Quick Fix: Windows 7 Stuck At Checking for Updates

A typical update issue is Windows 7 Update getting stuck on “Checking for Updates,” which is occasionally followed by error 0x80070057. The problem commonly arises during a Windows Update.

windows 7 stuck at checking for updates

Users of Windows 7 who are experiencing this problem are unable to get updates. Windows Update will either not start or will become stuck at some point during the download. Because of this issue, Windows Update may be delayed for many hours.

There are several factors that might contribute to this. It might be because you are not permitted to download Windows Update, or it could be due to incorrectly setting up Windows Update settings. Administrative rights issues or an illness might potentially be the cause.

Reasons for Windows 7 stuck at checking for updates

The cause of this vexing difficulty is quite amusing! Microsoft has really published a couple of upgrades for the Windows Update client software. These updates bring the client program’s version up to date and improve its functioning.

It appears that Microsoft has changed the way the Windows Update client downloads and installs updates from Microsoft servers, and only the newly updated client can download updates from the servers, which is why older versions of the Windows Update client are unable to download updates from Microsoft servers.

If the latest updates that upgrade the Windows Update client version are not installed on a Windows 7 PC, the Windows Update application pauses at the “Checking for updates” screen and never downloads updates from Microsoft servers.

Also, certain upgrades require SHA-2 (Secure Hash Algorithm-2) code signing or signatures compatibility for greater encryption in Windows 7, which we must manually add by installing the appropriate updates in Windows 7.

Solution For Windows 7 Update Stuck on ‘Checking For Update’ Option

Disable The Antivirus

One of the more mysterious reasons for a Windows update not installing is because a virus or spyware is obstructing it: harmful software like these are frequently squashed by Windows security upgrades, which is why they try to prevent the newest patches from being loaded on your PC.

Try performing a comprehensive virus scan with any protection software you have installed (you do have some, right?). If you suspect that your antivirus software has been hacked, you can use on-demand scanners such as this one from Microsoft or this one from Dr. Web.

Start Windows in Safe Mode

Safe Mode is similar to a restart with extras in that just the most basic programs and code required by Windows are loaded into memory, reducing the possibility of a rogue, damaged file interfering with the update. Hold down the Shift key and select Power and Restart from the Windows sign-in screen in Windows 10.

On the following page, select Troubleshoot, Advanced Options, Startup Settings, and Restart, and the Safe Mode option should appear: proceed through the update procedure again if possible. A brief web search will yield Safe Mode instructions for previous versions of Windows.

Relaunch The Windows Update Service

If you’re installing Windows 7 from scratch, you’ll discover that Windows Update takes an inordinate amount of time to scan for updates. This can also happen if you haven’t checked for updates in a while, even though your Windows 7 system was installed a long time ago.

This happens even if you install Windows 7 from a CD or USB device that has Service Pack 1, which you should. SP1 is included in Microsoft’s official Windows 7 installation media files.

Microsoft has recently issued formal advice on how to resolve this issue. According to Microsoft, this issue arises because Windows Upgrade itself requires an update, creating a bit of a catch-22 situation. If you install the most recent Windows Update updates, the operation should go more smoothly.

  • To begin, launch Windows Update. Navigate to the Control Panel > System and Security > Windows Update tab. In the sidebar, click the “Change Settings” link. In the selection box, select “Never Check For Updates (Not Recommended)” and then click “OK.”
  • After changing this setting, restart your computer.

After restarting the computer, you must manually download and install two Windows 7 updates. You must first determine whether you are running a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows and then download the necessary updates for your computer.

Download the following updates for Windows 7 64-bit editions:

  • KB3020369, April 2015 Windows 7 servicing stack update (64-bit version)
  • July 2016 update rollup for Windows 7 SP1 (KB3172605) (64-bit version)

Download the following updates for Windows 7 32-bit editions:

  • KB3020369, April 2015 Windows 7 servicing stack update (32-bit version)
  • July 2016 update rollup for Windows 7 SP1 (KB3172605) (32-bit version)

To begin, double-click the “KB3020369” update to install it.

After the first update has been completed, double-click the “KB3172605” update to install it. As part of the installation procedure, you will be prompted to restart your computer. Microsoft recommends waiting ten to twelve minutes after it resumes to enable the procedure to complete.

When you’re finished (remember to wait for ten to twelve minutes after resuming), return to the Windows Update window by going to Control Panel > System and Security > Windows Update. Set it back to Automatic by clicking “Change Settings” (or choose your desired setting).

To have Windows check for and install updates, click “Check for Updates.” According to Microsoft, this should have resolved your issues, and Windows Update should now function regularly and without excessive delays.

Use The Troubleshooter For Update

Windows has a built-in troubleshooter that may be able to assist in the resolution of a stalled update. It’s the simplest approach to attempt, so try it first. The troubleshooter does three things:

  • It terminates Windows Update Services.
  • It renames the C:WindowsSoftwareDistribution folder to C:WindowsSoftwareDistribution.old, thereby deleting the Windows Update download cache so that the process may begin again.
  • The Windows Update Services are restarted.

Windows 7, 8, and 10 support this troubleshooter. It is located at the same location on all contemporary versions of Windows.

  • To start the troubleshooting, press Start, search for “troubleshooting,” and then choose the option that appears.
  • In the list of troubleshooters in the Control Panel, in the “System and Security” section, click “Fix difficulties with Windows Update.
  • Click “Advanced” on the Windows Update troubleshooting window.
  • Make sure the “Apply repairs automatically” check box is enabled in the advanced options, then select “Run as administrator” and Next. Giving the program administrator capabilities allows it to erase files from the download cache.

The troubleshooter goes through its procedure and then informs you if it was able to detect and resolve the problem. The troubleshooter can usually effectively remove a stalled update from the queue.

Try running Windows Update once again. Even though the troubleshooter indicates it couldn’t find the issue, it’s likely that the steps of starting and stopping the service, as well as deleting the cache, were sufficient.

Try Windows Update Cache Fix

If you’re still having problems after running the troubleshooter (or if you prefer to do things yourself), repeating the same steps manually may assist where the troubleshooter did not. We’ll also add the extra step of booting into Safe Mode first, simply to ensure that Windows can truly let go of that cache of Windows Update downloads.

Begin by booting Windows into Safe Mode. Restart your computer and hit the “F8” key as it boots to reach the boot options menu, where you’ll see a “Safe Mode” option.

Hold down the Shift key when clicking the “Restart” option in Windows 8 and 10 and travel to Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Windows Startup Settings > Restart > Safe Mode.

It’s a little more difficult than it used to be on the latest versions of Windows, but it’s still rather simple. Of course, you could also make the effort to add Safe Mode to the Windows boot option to make things easier in the future.

When you’ve booted into Safe Mode, the next step is to stop the Windows Update service, and the easiest way to do that is with the Command Prompt.

To launch the Command Prompt in Windows 7, open the Start menu, search for “Command Prompt”, and launch the Command Prompt shortcut. You’ll also find it under Start > All Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt.

In Windows 8 or 10, you can right-click the Start menu (or press Windows+X), choose “Command Prompt (Admin)” and then click Yes to allow it to run with administrative privileges.

At the Command Prompt, type the following command and then hit Enter to stop the Windows Update service. Go ahead and leave the Command Prompt window open.

net stop wuauserv

Then, launch File Explorer and browse to C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution. Delete every file in the folder. Don’t be concerned. There’s nothing important here. The next time you run Windows Update, it will regenerate what it needs.

You will now restart the Windows Update service. Return to the Command Prompt window and enter the following:

net start wuauserv

After the service has been restarted, you may exit Command Prompt and restart Windows in regular mode. Give Windows Update another go and see if your issue has been resolved.

Installing Windows Updates

  • Press the Windows key once and then select Control Panel.
  • Select Small Icons from the Categories drop-down menu.
  • Choose Windows Update.
  • Change Settings should be selected.
  • Select Never (recommended) and check for updates from the drop-down list under Important Updates.
  • Restart your computer by clicking OK.

Go here to download and install KB3020369. Don’t be concerned if you already have this update on your machine. You will not be able to install it again if you have previously done so. Download and execute the KB3020369 for your Windows version from a location where you can find it.

The installer will determine whether or not you already have the update installed. Restart your computer after it is installed or indicates you already have it.

Now go to this link and download the KB3172605. Repeat the previous steps for KB3172605 as well. Restart your computer after it has been installed.

  • Press the Windows key once and then select Control Panel.
  • Select Small Icons from the Categories drop-down menu.
  • Choose Windows Update.
  • Click the Check for Updates button.

Now you must wait for the system to check for, download, and install any updates.

Update status stuck of windows- settings

Update Components Should Be Reset

This technique involves manually restarting the BITS, Cryptographic, MSI Installer, and Windows Update Services, as well as renaming the SoftwareDistribution and Catroot2 directories, which will undoubtedly resolve the issue.

Hold down the Windows key and press the X key (release Windows Key). Select Command Prompt (Admin). Type in these commands one by one and press Enter:-

net stop wuauserv
net stop cryptSvc
net stop bits
net stop msiserver
ren C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.old
ren C:\Windows\System32\catroot2 Catroot2.old
net start wuauserv
net start cryptSvc
net start bits

Close the Command Prompt when you are done.

Changing DNS Server Configuration

Changing the DNS server settings resolves the Windows Update issue as well. The procedure for updating the DNS server settings is outlined below.

PRO TIP: If the problem is with your machine or laptop/notebook, use Restore Repair to check the repositories and repair corrupt and missing data. This works in most circumstances if the problem is caused by system corruption.

  • Hold down the Windows key and hit R, then type ncpa.cpl and press Enter.
  • Right-click the connection to which you wish to make changes and choose Properties.
  • If it isn’t already chosen, click the Networking tab.
  • Choose between Internet Protocol Versions 4 (TCP/IPv4) and 6 (TCP/IPv6).
  • Select Properties.
  • Select the Advanced option.
  • Go to the DNS tab.
  • In the section DNS server address, in the order of usage, choose the DNS entry. Make a note of them somewhere for future reference.
  • Select Delete to remove the previous DNS entry, then click the Add button.
  • If you chose IPv4 in step 5, enter or
  • Enter 2001:4860:4860:8844 or 2001:4860:4860:8844. If you choose IPv6 in step 5, click Add and then Ok.

Check for Windows updates to determine whether the problem has been resolved. If your problem persists or has been resolved, but you wish to revert to the previous DNS settings, just repeat the preceding steps and input the old DNS values on steps 11/12.

Installation Wizard for Windows Updates

The methods suggested here often involve manually obtaining and installing updates. That can be tedious and difficult, especially if you are not a tech-aware individual.

This option is for individuals who do not wish to manually install updates. You may use the update wizard to automatically download and install the necessary updates. All you have to do is download and execute the wizard. When you’re finished, your changes will no longer be stuck.

Note:-Please keep in mind that this wizard will only work if you have Windows 7 SP1 installed. It will not function with SP2 or anything else.

Note:-Please keep in mind that after you download the wizard, it may be quarantined by your antivirus, particularly if you have Norton Antivirus installed on your PC.

If you can’t find the downloaded file, search in your antivirus’s quarantined area. An easy method is to just turn off your antivirus software before downloading the files. Simply right-click your antivirus icon in the icon tray (bottom right) and select deactivate.

  • Unplug your PC from the internet (before you do, make sure to download the two files in Steps 2 and 3). If you don’t know how then follow these instructions.
  • Hold down the Windows key and press R. Type ncpa.cpl into the address bar and hit Enter. Locate and right-click your internet connection. Disable should be selected.
  • If you have a 64-bit machine, go here.
  • If you have a 32-bit computer, go here. If you’re not sure whether you want a 32-bit or 64-bit system, perform the following.
  • Regardless, click Download.
  • Extract the downloaded file by right-clicking it. To extract the files, you will need Winzip or Winrar.
  • Choose a place for these files to be extracted.
  • Depending on your system type, run the bat or wizard 32.bat file.

Windows Catalogue

You must use Internet Explorer for this approach to function. If you use a browser other than Internet Explorer, this solution will not work. You will use Internet Explorer to choose and download the two updates required to resolve the issue.

  • Press the Windows key once and then select Control Panel.
  • Select Small Icons from the Categories drop-down menu.
  • Choose Windows Update.
  • Change Settings should be selected.
  • Select Never (recommended) and check for updates from the drop-down list under Important Updates.
  • Restart your computer by clicking OK.

Now, open Internet Explorer (click Start, then Internet Explorer), and paste this link into the address bar:catalogue (located on the top mid). If Internet Explorer is not your usual browser, do not just click and open the link; this will not work. In Internet Explorer, copy and paste the URL.

  • Enter KB3020369 into the Windows Catalogue search window and hit Enter.
  • Make sure you choose the right bit format (32 or 64) for your Windows by clicking the Add button in front of The X64 package is for 64-bit Windows, whereas the x86 version is for 32-bit Windows.
  • You should notice that the item has been added to your cart.
  • Now, in the Windows Catalogue search field, type KB3172605 and hit Enter.
  • Step 2 should be repeated for the KB3172605 as well. You should now have two items in your cart.
  • Click the View Basket button.
  • Click the Download button.
  • Click Desktop (or any other location where you wish the files to be downloaded), then click Ok.

When the download is complete, navigate to the Desktop (or wherever you saved the files) and double-click the KB3020369 installer. The installer will check to see whether you have previously installed KB3020369. Restart the system once it’s finished. This is required in order for the update to take effect.

Now, navigate to the Desktop (or wherever you saved the files) and double-click the KB3172605 installer. When the installation is done, restart your computer.

  • Once the computer has been rebooted, perform the following steps.
  • Press the Windows key once and then select Control Panel.
  • Select Small Icons from the Categories drop-down menu.
  • Choose Windows Update.
  • Click the Check for Updates button.

Wait for the updates to complete. This should take care of the issue.

Reminder: When you’re through with the updates, you may return to the previous settings in Control Panel. You may also preserve the settings if you don’t want the system to look for updates automatically.

If you select “Never check for updates (not advised),” don’t forget to manually check for updates. You should check for updates at least once a month, preferably after the second Tuesday of each month, because Microsoft usually releases updates on that day.

Install the Microsoft Official Patch

There are official Microsoft fixes available for previous versions of Windows that address the update issue. You must install them yourself. When you do, the problem should be resolved.

Step 1 for Windows 7: First, download and install Service Pack 1 for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. The initial update improves the dependability of your computer. The second is for high-end virtualization.

You may verify this by right-clicking “machine” in the Windows search box and selecting properties. SP1 is installed if it is mentioned under the Windows edition.

Step 2: Click on this link to get the package. Get the file here. Run the file when it has finished downloading.

Step 3: Restart your computer.