Windows Update Service Could Not Be Stopped - How to Fix?

Jerry updated on Apr 11, 2024 | Home >Computer Instruction

Windows OS automatically updates the OS with Windows Update services. Sometimes, these automatic updates causes may make the system erroneous. To avoid it, you try to stop the updates, only to encounter the "Windows update service could not be stopped" error.  EaseUS will get into the details and help you fix the error. Let's begin!

What Causes Windows Update Service Can't Be Stopped

Windows Update Services automatically installs the updates on your PC. But, the process is not always feasible and results in errors. Even with the "net stop wuauserv" command, the Updates services are still running. Here are some common reasons for the issue.

  • Missing administrator privileges: If you are not running the command prompt with administrator privileges. 
  • Issues with the computer: The whole update issue could be a problem on your computer.

How to Fix the Can't Stop Windows Update Service Error

The following part will provide potential methods to fix the"Windows Update service could not be stopped" problem. 

Way 1. Reboot your PC

Reboot your PC. This will restart the OS services and update the pending updates. If you have pending updates, you cannot stop the Update components. 

Way 2. Stop Windows Update Service Process

If the OS won't let you stop the Windows Update service, you can use CMD to stop the services. The Windows Update Service, also known as WUAUSERV is recognized by a PID. You can use the PID to stop the service and fix the "Windows update service could not be stopped" issue.

Step 1. Open Task Manager on your PC. Press the Start button and search for it.

Step 2. Expand the Task Manager, and navigate to the Services tab using More Details.

Step 3. Find the WUAUSERV service and note the PID number.

find the WUAUSERV service

Step 4. Open the command prompt with administrative privileges and enter the below command.

  • taskkill /f /pid PID

enter the below command

Note: Replace PID with the PID number you noted by the task manager.

After executing, if the command prompt shows that the process with PID is terminated successfully, you have stopped the Windows update services on your PC.

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Way 3. Clear Update Folder

The Windows Update folder consists of all the files related to the updates. Be it resetting the Update components or fixing the automatic updates, you can delete these folder contents to stop the Windows update service. Steps to clean the contents of the Update Folder.

Step 1. Launch the command prompt with admin privileges.

Step 2. Type the two commands and press Enter after each entry.

  • net stop wuauserv 
  • net stop bits

Step 3. Open File Explorer on this PC, and navigate to the location below.

  • C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution

Step 4. Open the folder SoftwareDistribution and select all the files in it. Use Ctrl + A to choose, and delete all the content using the context menu.

delete files in SoftwareDistribution folder

Step 5. If you want to start the update services again, type net start wuauserv and net start bits and execute them.

Once you finish the steps, the Windows Update services will be stopped successfully.

Way 4. Check Service Dependencies

If you are still finding it difficult to stop the Windows update services, it could be due to service dependencies. Some services have dependencies, meaning you cannot stop a service, as the other service running concurrently is dependent on the Update service. So, you have to find the dependent services and stop them.

Step 1. Press Windows + R and enter services.msc.

Step 2. Find the Windows Update wuauserv service, and right-click on it.

find the Windows Service Properties

Step 3. Under Properties, click on dependencies.

Step 4. Check under The following system components depend on this service tab, to find the dependant services.

find the dependencies and stop them

Step 5. Now, stop the dependent services first and try stopping the Windows update services.

Way 5. Perform Repair Installation

To perform a repair installation, you will have to create a bootable Windows 10 media using a USB or CD. This way, you will not lose any personal files and will have the latest version of Windows. Learn how to create a Windows 10 live USB and perform a repair installation.

Part 1. Create Bootable Windows 10 Media

Step 1. Download the Windows Media Creation Tool from Microsoft. Now, accept the terms and conditions and get the software on your PC.

Step 2. From the Windows 10 setup screen, select Create installation media (USB flash drive, DVD, or ISO file) for another PC and click Next.

select Create installation media

Step 3. Choose the language, Edition, and Architecture if you want to customize, or just select Use the recommended options for this PC.

Step 4. Now, you need to choose the type of Media. Go with the USB flash drive, and click Next. Make sure you have 8GB of free space on the USB.

select USB flash drive

Step 5. You can see all the storage devices connected to the computer in the next select, select the USB or CD/DVD, and click Next.

select the USB

Step 6. The Media Creation Tool will download all the necessary files for a repair installation. Wait till the process is done.

Once you have your recovery drive with installation files, follow the steps below to boot the computer with the recovery drive and solve the Windows Update service could not be stopped error.

Part 2. Perform the Repair Installation

Step 1. Insert the recovery drive you have created to boot the computer. The initial screen may be different based on the OS you have installed.

Step 2. Choose the language, time, currency, and input method, and click Next.

Step 3. Select the Repair your computer option to invoke WinRE.

Step 4. In the Troubleshoot section, select Reset this PC.

select Reset this PC

Step 5. Choose Keep my files, and wait until the reset process begins.

select Keep my files

Step 6. As soon as the Reset this PC process loads, the system prompts you to enter the password for your account.

Step 7. Click the Reset if you are sure that you want to install the new updates with the USB flash drive.

click Reset

After the process is complete, you will have access to the latest version of your PC.

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Pro Tip: How to Protect Your Windows in an Easy Way🔥

Windows Update problems can erase your entire data sometimes. Even with the best preventive methods and fixes, your data is under threat. So, to keep your data safe, you need to back it up and recover it in emergencies. EaseUS Todo Backup Free is a reliable and efficient backup software that allows you to create copies of your files.

You can back up files, folders, hard drives, or the entire PC. The seamless recovery only takes a click to get all the files back on your PC. As the best file sync software for Windows, it also lets you sync files between computers and hard drives.

The software offers the cloud backup to store a copy of your data at all times. You can schedule backups and use password-protect features to add more protection. Get your hands on the free version and backup important data on your PC.

Step 1. Launch EaseUS Todo Backup on your computer, and click Create Backup on the home screen and then hit the big question mark to select backup contents.

backup outlook mail step1

Step 2. To back up your Windows operating system, click "OS" to begin the backup task.

backup outlook mail step2

Step 3. Your Windows operating system information and all system related files and partitions will be automatically selected so you don't need to do any manual selection at this step. Next, you'll need to choose a location to save the system image backup by clicking the illustrated area.

system backup

Step 4. The backup location can be another local drive on your computer, an external hard drive, network, cloud or NAS. Generally, we recommend you use an external physical drive or cloud to preserve the system backup files. 

backup outlook mail step4

Step 5. Customiztion settings like enabling an automatic backup schedule in daily, weekly, monthly, or upon an event, and making a differential and incremental backup are available in the Options button if you're interested. Click "Backup Now", and the Windows system backup process will begin. The completed backup task will display on the left side in a card style.

backup outlook mail step 5

To Wrap Things Up

Automatic updates install all the updates without the user's authorization, resulting in errors. If you tried to stop the update services and were stuck on Windows update service could not be stopped error, find out what you can do to fix it. If you want to protect your data from such emergencies, use EaseUS Todo Backup to make a backup of all your data and recover it whenever you need.

FAQs on Windows Update Service Cannot Be Stopped

Here are some frequently asked questions about Windows Update Services cannot be stopped error. 

1. How do I force the Windows Update service to stop?

In the Run dialog box, type services.msc and press Enter. Under the Services tab, find the Windows Update service and force it to stop.

2. How do I permanently stop the Windows 10 update service?

Open the task manager and navigate to the Services section. Check for the Windows update service, right-click on it, and select Stop to disable the services permanently.

3. How to stop the Windows update service using cmd?

Find the PID of the Windows Update Service, and open the command prompt with administrator privileges. Enter the command "taskkill /f /pid ****" and replace the **** with PID to terminate the service.

4. Why is Windows Update always stuck?

The Windows Update is stuck because the OS ran into some issues. A frozen blue screen appears and takes forever to update.

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Updated by Jerry

"I hope my articles can help solve your technical problems. If you are interested in other articles, you can check the articles at the bottom of this page, and you can also check my Facebook to get additional help."

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