Some Windows users have contacted us with questions after failing to update their computers to the latest Windows update. In fact, when I try to check for new updates, I get error code 8024001B with the message “There was a problem while checking for updates”. This error occurs before the scanning process is complete, so affected users can never see which updates need to be installed. In most cases, this problem occurs on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1.
We have investigated this particular issue by reviewing various user reports and testing various recovery strategies recommended by other users who have already managed to figure out and fix this problem.
If you are currently experiencing the same Windows Update error code 8024001B and any of the above scenarios seem to apply, this article will likely help you solve the problem. Below is a set of methods that other users in a similar situation have successfully bypassed the error code and installed Windows updates normally.
Open the Windows Update Center Troubleshooter
Windows includes a built-in fix that can help fix the pending update. This is the easiest way to do it. So run them first. The fix requires three actions:
- Windows Update services will be closed.
- C folder: \ Windows \ SoftwareDistribution is renamed to C: \ Windows \ SoftwareDistribution.old, which essentially clears the Windows Update Center download cache so you can start over.
- The Windows Update Center services will restart.
This fix is available in Windows 7, 8, and 10. It is in the same place in all modern versions of Windows.
- To fix it, click the Start button, search for “troubleshooting” and select the options displayed during the search.
- In the list of Control Panel fixes under System and Security, click Troubleshoot Windows Update Center.
- In the Windows Update Center Troubleshooting window, click Advanced.
- In the Advanced settings, make sure that “Apply fixes automatically” is checked, click “Run as administrator”, then click “Next”. If you give the tool administrative rights, you can ensure that the boot cache files can be deleted.
The fix goes through its process and then tells you if the problem can be identified and fixed. In most cases, troubleshooting can successfully remove the hung update from the queue. Go ahead and try running Windows Update Center again. Although the troubleshooter indicates that the problem cannot be identified, it is possible that the actions of starting and stopping the service and clearing the cache have done the trick.
Reset all EC components
Another common scenario that can cause error 8024001B is incompatibility with the Windows Update Center (WU), which effectively prevents your computer from finding and installing new updates.
We have seen this behavior with several affected users, and in the vast majority of cases they have been able to fix it by resetting all of the items and dependencies involved.
If you think this scenario might work for you, follow the guide below for a step-by-step guide to manually reset all Windows Update Center components (using the advanced CMD prompt). Here’s a quick guide on how to do it:
- Press the Windows + R keys to open the “Run” dialog box. Then type “cmd” in the text box and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open the extended command prompt. When you are prompted to enable User Account Control (UAC), click Yes to grant administrator access.
- At the Advanced CMD command line, type the following command in order and press Enter after each command to stop all major EC services:
- wuauserv net stop
- CryptSvc network shutdown
- Network stop bits.
- Network shuts down my server
- Note. After running these commands, stop all major Windows Update Center services (Windows Update Center, MSI Setup Service, Encryption Service, and BITS Service).
- After successfully stopping all of these services, run the following commands at the same CMD command prompt and press Enter after each command to rename the SoftwareDistribution and Catroot2 folders
- ren C: WindowsSoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.old
- ren C: WindowsSystem32catroot2 catroot2.old
- Note. These two folders are important because they are responsible for storing the update files used by the Windows Update Center component. Renaming them essentially forces the operating system to create new instances that replace them and bypass any type of file corruption.
- After step 3, enter the last commands in order and press Enter after each command to restart the same services you disabled earlier:
- wuauserv network startup
- Network boot encryption
- Network boot bits.
- Network Boot Knife.
- Try again to check for updates to see if you still see error code 8024001B.