My Windows 8.1 laptop has not been updated for a long time. I am trying to run Windows Update > Check for updates but it keeps showing the Checking for updates... progress bar forever (more than 3 hours):

Checking for updates...

I tried all two approaches described in the YouTube video entitled "How To Fix Windows Stuck On Checking For Updates FIX 2017!" but none works. Namely:

  1. Stop 2 services and delete all contents of the SoftwareDistribution folder.
  2. Downloading from Microsoft and running the Windows Update Troubleshooter.

I also disabled the firewall, as suggested here:


But none worked for me. Is there any other trick that I can use to revive* my laptop's Windows 8.1 update?

*I'm saying revive because it used to work perfectly. I don't know when it stopped.


@magicandre1981's 1st tip in his answer did the trick:

Windows Update works!

(the reason it says "Never" for "Updates were installed" is because during all my attempts to revive update, I have reset and clear the entire SoftwareDistribution folder)


Stop the Windows Update Service (via services.msc or in a cmd.exe which is started as admin via net stop wuauserv - this improves speed of installing the MSU update which you have to download), download and install this update by double click on the MSU:

Installing and searching for updates is slow and high CPU usage occurs in Windows 8.1

Do a reboot and check again for new updates. Now Windows Update should work and show new updates in a few minutes. If not, stop Windows Update again and try the March 2016 Windows Update Client.

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  • OMG You are an angel. Your 1st tip did the trick. Thank you so much! – Jay Souper Mar 18 '17 at 19:12
  • I was sure hoping this would work, but running either of the indicated downloads behaves a lot like Windows Update itself, in that it puts up a window saying "Searching for updates on this computer" and then sits there forever with the scrolling progress bar. And not even the Cancel button works. – vanmelle Apr 12 '19 at 0:36
  • @vanmelle as I said, before clicking on the MSU , stop the WU service otherwise you get the hang. – magicandre1981 Apr 12 '19 at 13:29
  • Oh, I made sure to stop the service. It didn't help. I eventually succeeded with the help in this other post – vanmelle Apr 15 '19 at 6:49

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