FIX: Windows Update service missing (not listed) in services.

On some Windows 8, 7 or Vista computers the Windows Update service may be missing from services (services.msc) due to a virus attack. When this happens the following error appears on your screen when you try to check for updates : “Windows update cannot currently check for updates, because the service is not running. You may need to restart your computer’

This tutorial contains detailed instructions on how to restore Windows Update service in it’s original state.

How to solve the Windows Update service missing problem.

In order to fix the Windows Update Service missing problem, first make sure that your computer is clean from viruses or other malicious programs. If you don’t know how to do that, then follow the steps in this guide: How To Scan Your Computer for Viruses & Other Malicious Programs


Method 1. Reset Windows Update Components.

1. According your Windows Version: Click the link below and download and save the Windows Update Reset tool to your computer:

2. Run the Windows Update Reset (Troubleshooter) tool and follow the instructions on your screen.




Method 2: Use Microsoft FixIt 50202 to repair Windows Update service.

1. Download & save MicrosoftFixit50202 tool on your computer.

2. Run the MicrosoftFixit50202 tool.

3. Accept the license agreement and then press Next.


4. Follow the instructions on screen.



Method 3. Restore invalid/missing registry keys from a working system.

For this method you need one working Windows 7 or Vista computer.

On the working computer:

1.  Open Registry Editor: To do that:

  • Simultaneously press “Windows” + “R” keys to open the RUN window.
  • In “RUN” window “Open” box,  type: regedit
  • Press Enter

2. At the left pane, press the “+” sign and navigate to this subfolder:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\BITS

3. Right-click on BITS subfolder and select Export.


4. Give a name for the exported file (e.g. ‘BITS‘) and save it to the desktop.

5. Then navigate to this subfolder:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\wuauserv

6. Right-click on wuauserv subfolder and select Export.


7. Give a name for the exported file (e.g. ‘wuauserv‘) and save it to the desktop.

8. Close registry editor

9. Copy the exported registry files to a USB flash drive.


On the computer that Windows Update is missing (not listed).

1. Plug the USB flash drive with the exported reg files to an empty USB port.

2. Double click at the exported BITS registry file (e.g. “BITS.reg) and allow to add its information to registry.



3. Double click at the exported wuauserv registry file (e.g.”wuauserv‘.reg “) and allow to add its information to registry.

4. Restart the computer.

5. Check if Windows Update is working.


That’s all folks! Did it work for you?

Please leave a comment in the comment section below or even better: like and share this blog post in the social networks to help spread the word about this solution.

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  1. Leo
    Jun 01, 2016 @ 22:03:56

    Thanks – that fixed my problems!


  2. alexIT
    Sep 11, 2016 @ 03:07:28

    Thank you so much!!! You are very helpful in solving my problem !!!!


  3. sunil
    Oct 17, 2016 @ 14:21:32

    From 3rd method, i tried to import BITS from working machine.. I am getting error pop up as Cannot Import c:users\sunil\appdata\roaminf\skyoe\my skype recieved files\BITS.reg: Not all data was successfully written to the registry. Some Keys are open by the system or other processes.
    Please make me get rid of these.. Its pinching me from few days for updates…


    • lakonst2012
      Oct 17, 2016 @ 15:18:41

      sunil: Probably you have doing something wrong. Skype has to do nothing with the BITS service.
      1. In the machine with the problem: delete the BITS key for HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\wuauserv
      2. From the working machine: export the BITS key as mentioned on the article and then
      3. import the bits.reg key again at the machine with the problem.
      4. Restart.


  4. Bhavesh
    Dec 24, 2016 @ 21:28:23

    I am getting error pop up as Cannot Import c:users\omsainath\Desktop\BITS.reg: Not all data was successfully written to the registry. Some Keys are open by the system or other processes.


    • Lakonst2013
      Dec 28, 2016 @ 11:17:16

      Bhavesh: Try to import the .reg file in Windows Safe Mode and Reboot.


  5. swaraj
    Dec 28, 2016 @ 11:20:10

    i have same problem as sunil
    above comment mentioned
    but not understood ur solution
    please live solution


    • Lakonst2013
      Dec 29, 2016 @ 11:01:20

      swaraj: Boot Windows in safe mode (on the computer with the Windows Update Missing problem) and then import the exported .reg file from the working machine.


  6. Luuk
    Apr 24, 2017 @ 03:15:35

    I have the same problem with Bhavesh
    Mine won’t work even I’m in safe mode
    I tried all methods but none of them fix it.
    Is there another?


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