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How to repair Windows Update in Windows 8.1 if it does not work properly

After an improper shutdown, crash, something gone wrong with your Registry or power failure, Windows Update can fail to work properly. It may fail to check for updates or fail to install them, or sometimes, it cannot be opened at all. In this article, I will show you how to reset the state of Windows Update and its components if it stops working.

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How to reset the state of Windows Update and its components

Start by opening the command prompt as administrator. The best way to perform this on Windows 8 is the Power Users Menu: press Win+X keys on the keyboard and choose the "Command Prompt (Admin)" item.

  1. Stop the Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) and the Windows Update service. To stop these services, type the following commands in the elevated command prompt:
    net stop bits
    net stop wuauserv
  2. Delete all qmgr*.dat files from the %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Network\Downloader folder, e.g. with the following command:
    Del "%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Network\Downloader\qmgr*.dat"
  3. Now you should rename directories which are used by Windows Update as follows:
    Ren %systemroot%\SoftwareDistribution *.bak
    Ren %systemroot%\system32\catroot2 *.bak
  4. Re-register all files which are requried by BITS and Windows Update services. You need to type the following commands:
    cd /d %windir%\system32
    regsvr32.exe atl.dll
    
    regsvr32.exe urlmon.dll
    
    regsvr32.exe mshtml.dll
    
    regsvr32.exe shdocvw.dll
    
    regsvr32.exe browseui.dll
    
    regsvr32.exe jscript.dll
    
    regsvr32.exe vbscript.dll
    
    regsvr32.exe scrrun.dll
    
    regsvr32.exe msxml.dll
    
    regsvr32.exe msxml3.dll
    
    regsvr32.exe msxml6.dll
    
    regsvr32.exe actxprxy.dll
    
    regsvr32.exe softpub.dll
    
    regsvr32.exe wintrust.dll
    
    regsvr32.exe dssenh.dll
    
    regsvr32.exe rsaenh.dll
    
    regsvr32.exe gpkcsp.dll
    
    regsvr32.exe sccbase.dll
    
    regsvr32.exe slbcsp.dll
    
    regsvr32.exe cryptdlg.dll
    
    regsvr32.exe oleaut32.dll
    
    regsvr32.exe ole32.dll
    
    regsvr32.exe shell32.dll
    
    regsvr32.exe initpki.dll
    
    regsvr32.exe wuapi.dll
    
    regsvr32.exe wuaueng.dll
    
    regsvr32.exe wuaueng1.dll
    
    regsvr32.exe wucltui.dll
    
    regsvr32.exe wups.dll
    
    regsvr32.exe wups2.dll
    
    regsvr32.exe wuweb.dll
    
    regsvr32.exe qmgr.dll
    
    regsvr32.exe qmgrprxy.dll
    
    regsvr32.exe wucltux.dll
    
    regsvr32.exe muweb.dll
    
    regsvr32.exe wuwebv.dll

    Note: some commands may report errors, do not pay attention to them.

  5. Restart the Winsock service, as follows:
    netsh reset winsock
  6. Start BITS and Windows Update services:
    net start bits
    net start wuauserv
  7. Clean up the Background transfers queue:
    bitsadmin.exe /reset /allusers
  8. Reboot your PC. That's all.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

2 thoughts on “How to repair Windows Update in Windows 8.1 if it does not work properly”

  1. Hi – thanks for this post. When I try deleting the qmgr.dat files using this:
    Del “%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Network\Downloader\qmgr*.dat”
    I received the following:
    Could Not Find C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Network\Downloader\qmgr*.dat

    Any idea why this is and how it can be remediated?

    Thanks.

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