[Fix] Can't unpause updates in Windows

Issue: Hello, I have an issue with one of the Windows features. I have recently used the “Pause updates for 7 days” feature and now I can't unpause updates anymore. Please help me fix it.

Solved Answer

Windows update keeps the system secure due to vulnerability patches and also provides numerous improvements and features that users are usually fond of – that's why they are necessary for any PC owner. However, in some cases, updates might result in various issues, so not everyone opts to install them straight away.

Recognizing the diverse needs of its user base, Windows provides the option to pause these updates. This flexibility is particularly useful for users who may need to ensure stability during critical tasks, avoid interruptions, or manage data usage on limited internet plans. Windows pause function is intended to temporarily halt update installations, allowing users to choose a more convenient time for these updates to occur.

However, a notable issue that some individuals encounter is when they can't unpause updates that they paused before. This problem can arise due to various reasons, potentially leaving the system vulnerable or outdated.

One common cause is a disruption in the Windows Update service itself. This essential component must be running properly for updates to download and install. If this service encounters an issue, you may find yourself unable to unpause updates.

Another reason why users can't unpause updates is due to corrupted system files. Any damage to them can affect various functionalities, including the update process. In such scenarios, you can run an elevated Command Prompt and run several commands to address this.

Additionally, more advanced users might explore modifications in the Windows Registry, a powerful tool that houses crucial settings for operating system functions. Alterations here should be approached with caution, as incorrect changes can lead to significant system issues. For those willing to try manual solutions, we provide several of them below.

For those who prefer a more straightforward solution, the use of a PC repair tool, like FortectMac Washing Machine X9, can be invaluable – it is designed to automatically diagnose and resolve underlying issues within Windows.

Fix Can't unpause updates in Windows

Fix 1. Disable and then enable automatic settings

This method involves toggling the automatic update settings off and then on again. This can sometimes reset any glitches that are preventing Windows Update from resuming. It's a simple yet effective approach that helped many users.

  • Right-click on Start and pick Settings.
  • Go to Updates & Security.
  • Select Advanced options.
  • Under Update options, toggle all the switches to the Off position.
  • Restart your computer.
  • Go back to update settings and enable all the automatic update features.
  • This should allow you to enable automatic updates.

Change settings

Fix 2. Repair damaged system files

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The System File Checker (SFC) and Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) are tools that scan for and repair corrupt system files. Running these tools can resolve issues preventing updates from resuming, as they ensure all system files are intact and functioning correctly.

  • Type cmd in Windows search, right-click on Command Prompt result and select Run as administrator.
  • When the UAC window pops up, click Yes.
  • Copy and paste the following command and press Enter:
    sfc /scannow
  • Next, use the following commands, pressing Enter each time:
    Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth
    Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
    Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
    (Note: if you get an error executing this last command, add /Source:C:\RepairSource\Windows /LimitAccess to it and try again).
  • Reboot your device.

SFC and DISM

Fix 3. Check Windows update-related services

Windows Update relies on several services to function properly. Ensuring these services are running is crucial for the update process to work. Ensuring that they are running or restarting them could help here.

  • Type in Services in Windows search and press Enter.
  • Scroll down to locate Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS).
  • If it is already running, right-click and pick Restart.
  • If the service is not running, double-click it, select Automatic under the Startup type from the drop-down menu.
  • Click Start, Apply, and OK.
  • Perform the same steps with Windows update and Cryptographic services.

Check Services

Fix 4. Reset Windows update components

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This fix involves resetting the Windows Update components. This can resolve issues caused by any residual or corrupt files in the update cache. It's a more comprehensive approach to ensure that all components of the update system are functioning correctly.

  • Open Command Prompt as administrator, as explained previously.
  • Copy and paste the following commands, pressing Enter each time:
    net stop bits
    net stop wuauserv
    net stop appidsvc
    net stop cryptsvc
    Del “%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Application Data\Microsoft\Network\Downloader\*.*”
    rmdir %systemroot%\SoftwareDistribution /S /Q
    rmdir %systemroot%\system32\catroot2 /S /Q
    regsvr32.exe /s atl.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s urlmon.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s mshtml.dll
    netsh winsock reset
    netsh winsock reset proxy
    net start bits
    net start wuauserv
    net start appidsvc
    net start cryptsvc
  • Reboot your device.

Reset Windows update components

Fix 5. Modify Windows Registry

Modifying the Windows Registry involves changing settings that can impact the Windows Update process. This is a more advanced solution and should be approached with caution – make sure you backup your registry before proceeding. Incorrect changes in the Registry can cause serious system issues.

  • Type regedit in Windows search and press Enter.
  • When UAC shows up, click Yes.
  • In the Registry, navigate to the following location:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsUpdate\UpdatePolicy\Settings
  • On the right side of the window, double-click PausedFeatureDate.
  • Remove everything from the Value data field and click OK.
  • Repeat this process with the PausedQualityDate string as well.
  • Next, go to the following location:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsUpdate\UX\Settings
  • Delete each of the following strings on the right side of the window:
    PauseFeatureUpdatesEndTime
    PauseFeatureUpdatesStartTime
    PauseQualityUpdatesEndTime
    PauseQualityUpdatesStartTime
    PauseUpdatesExpiryTime
  • Restart your system.

Modify registry

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About the author
Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The problem solver

Ugnius Kiguolis is the founder and editor-in-chief of UGetFix. He is a professional security specialist and malware analyst who has been working in IT industry for over 20 years.

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