How to Fix Windows 7 Updates Not Downloading

Windows 7 Updates Not Downloading
Written by Kelly Houstan

While it has been more than five years since mainstream support for Windows 7 ended, a lot of computers still run the beloved Windows 7 OS. However, with Windows 7 nearing its end, new operating system updates are really rare and arrive only when on a blue moon. These updates, mostly seamless, can many times be quite a headache to download and install. Windows update service has also been designed to quietly work in the background. Just download new updates whenever available, install some. And then save others for when a computer restart is performed as well. Although, users across Windows 7,8, and 10 have reported a number of issues whenever trying to update their OS. Just read this article to know all about How to Fix Windows 7 Updates Not Downloading. Let’s start!

The most common problem faced is Windows Update gets stuck at 0% whenever downloading the fresh updates as well as at the ‘searching/checking for updates’ phase. Users can also solve these issues regarding Windows 7 updates via implementing one of the below solutions.

How to Fix Windows 7 Updates Not Downloading

Relying on the root of the issue, a variety of solutions actually seem to resolve the problem for users. The most common as well as the easiest solution is just to run the built-in Windows Update troubleshooter. That is followed by restarting the Windows Update Service as well. You guys can also disable your antivirus program temporarily as well as perform a clean boot and then just try to download the update. Also, updating Windows 7 needs Internet Explorer 11 and the latest version of the .NET framework installed on your PC. So, first, just check if you have these programs and, if not, download and install them in order to solve the ‘updates not downloading’ issue. Ultimately and unluckily, if nothing works, you guys can always manually download and install the new Windows 7 updates.

Restart Windows Update Service

All software update-related activities such as downloading and installing are controlled via the Windows Update service. That continually runs in the background. A corrupt Windows Update service can also lead to updates being stuck at 0% download. Just reset the problematic use and then try downloading the new updates. Whenever the Windows Update troubleshooter performs the same action, then doing it manually can also help in resolving the issue.

  • Tap on Windows key + R on your keyboard to launch the Run command box, then type services.msc, and tap on OK to open the Services application.
  • Now in the list of local services, just locate Windows Update.
  • Choose the Windows Update service and then tap on Restart present on the left (above the service description) or right-click on the service and choose Restart from the ensuing context menu.

Try to update after a clean boot

Apart from inherent problems along with the Windows Update service. It is also really possible that one of the many third-party applications you guys have installed on your computer might be interfering along with the update process. If this is indeed the case, you can also try to install the update after performing a clean boot in that only the essential services, as well as drivers, are loaded.

  • You have to open the system configuration tool via typing MSConfig in the Run command box as well as a search bar and then click on enter.
  • Just hop over to the Services tab of the MSConfig window and then tick the box next to Hide all Microsoft Services.
  • Then, click on the Disable All button in order to disable all the remaining third-party services.

Windows 7 Updates Not Downloading

  • Now switch to the Startup tab and again tap on Disable All.
  • Tap on Apply, followed via OK. Now, restart your computer and then try to download the new update.

If you guys were successful in installing the update, open the system configuration tool again, and turn on all the services back on. Just like that, enable all the startup services and then restart your PC in order to boot back normally.

Run the Windows Update Troubleshooter | Windows 7 Updates Not Downloading

Well, before moving to the advanced and more cumbersome methods. Then you guys should try running the Windows update troubleshooter in order to resolve any issues that you might be facing along with the updating process. The troubleshooter is also available on all versions of Windows (7,8 and 10) as well. The troubleshooter actually does a number of things automatically. Such as restarting the Windows update service, renaming the SoftwareDistribution folder in order to clear the download cache, etc.

  • Tap on the Start button or press the Windows key on your keyboard and then search for Troubleshoot. Tap on Troubleshooting in order to launch the program. You guys can also open the same from the Control Panel.
  • Now under System and Security, then tap on Fix problems with Windows Update.
  • Tap on Advanced in the following window.
  • Choose Apply repairs automatically and now finally click on Next in order to start troubleshooting.

The Windows Update troubleshooter may actually be absent on some computers. They can also download the troubleshooter program from here: Windows Update Troubleshooter. When you download, then open the Downloads folder, double-tap on the WindowsUpdate.diagcab file to run it. And now just follow the on-screen instructions in order to complete the troubleshooting process.

Check if you have Internet Explorer 11 and .NET 4.7 (Prerequisites for updating Windows 7)

As earlier, in order to update Windows7, your PC needs to have Internet Explorer 11 and the latest .NET framework. Many times, you guys might be successful in performing an update without even these programs, however, that’s not always the case.

Whenever downloaded, locate the downloaded file and follow the on-screen instructions to install it. Also, just make sure you have constant internet access whenever installing the .NET framework.

  • Now, it is time to enable or check the integrity of the newly installed .NET 4.7 framework.
  • Now just type Control or Control Panel in the Run command box as well as Windows search bar and click on enter to open the Control Panel.
  • Tap on Programs and Features from the list of All Control Panel Items as well. You guys can adjust the size of the icons to small or big via clicking on the View via option in order to make looking for an item easier.
  • Then in the following window, click on the Turn Windows feature on or off (present on the left.)

Windows 7 Updates Not Downloading

  • Now locate the .NET 4.7 entry and check if the feature is enabled. If it isn’t, tap on the checkbox next to it to enable it. Tap on OK in order to save the changes and then exit.


Although, if .NET 4.7 was already enabled, we would have to repair/fix it and the process to do this is really simple. First, turn off the .NET framework via unticking the box next to it and then perform a computer restart in order to fix the tool.

Next, you guys will also need to have Internet Explorer 11 to be able to install any new Windows 7 updates that Microsoft releases.

  • Just visit Internet Explorer in your preferred web browser and download the appropriate version of the application (either 32 or 64 bit) relying on the Windows 7 OS installed on your computer.
  • Then open the downloaded .exe file (if you accidentally closed the downloads bar when the file was still being downloaded. Now tap Ctrl + J or check your Downloads folder) and follow the on-screen instructions/prompts in order to install the application.

Disable Windows Firewall | Windows 7 Updates Not Downloading

Sometimes, the Windows Firewall itself avoids the new update files from being downloaded. And many users also have indeed reported solving the issue via temporarily disabling the Windows Firewall.

  • Just open the control panel and tap on Windows Defender Firewall.
  • Now in the following window, choose to Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off from the left pane.
  • At last, click on the radio buttons next to Turn off Windows Defender Firewall (not recommended) that is under both Private and also Public Network Settings. Tap on OK in order to save and exit.

Also, turn off any third-party antivirus/firewall program you guys might have running, and then try to download the updates.

Download and install new updates manually 

Finally, if none of the above solutions did the trick for you guys, then it is time to take matters into your hands and install the new OS updates manually. The Windows Update service might also be failing to download the latest updates if it needs to be updated.

  • Based on your system architecture, just download the 32-bit or 64-bit version of the servicing stack via visiting any of the following links:

Download Update for Windows 7 for x64-based Systems (KB3020369)

  • Now, open Control Panel (Type control in Run command box and click on OK) and then tap on System and Security.
  • Tap on Windows Update followed through Change Settings.
  • Then expand the Important Updates drop-down menu and choose ‘Never Check For Updates (Not Recommended)’.
  • Tap on the OK button to save the changes as well as perform a computer restart.
  • When your computer boots back up, head over to the Downloads folder and then double-click on the KB3020369 file you downloaded in the first step. Just follow all the on-screen instructions in order to install the servicing stack.
  • Now, it is time to install the July 2016 update for Windows 7 as well. Again. It is based on your system architecture, download the appropriate file, and now install it.

Download Update for Windows 7 for x64-based Systems (KB3172605)

  • Then after your computer restarts as part of the installation process, go to Windows Update in the Control Panel and then change the settings back to ‘Install updates automatically (recommended)’.

Modify Security Permissions of the SoftwareDistribution Folder | Windows 7 Updates Not Downloading

You guys also won’t download the Windows 7 updates if the Windows Update service fails as well. In order to write the information from the .log file at C:\WINDOWS\WindowsUpdate.log to the SoftwareDistribution folder as well. This failure to report data can also be rectified via allowing Full Control of the SoftwareDistribution folder to the user as well.

  • You have to Open Windows File Explorer (or My PC in older versions of Windows) via double-clicking on its shortcut on the desktop. As well as using the hotkey combination Windows key + E.
  • Now navigate to the following address C:\Windows and then locate the SoftwareDistribution folder.
  • Now right-click on the SoftwareDistribution folder and choose Properties from the ensuing context menu or choose the folder and click Alt + Enter.
  • Then switch to the Security tab of the SoftwareDistribution Properties window and tap on the Advanced button.

Windows 7 Updates Not Downloading

  • Just switch to the Owner tab and tap on Change next to the Owner.
  • Then Enter your username in the textbox under ‘Enter the object name to select or tap on the Advanced option and then choose your username.
  • Now tap on Check Names (your username will be verified in a couple of seconds, and you guys will be prompted in order to enter the password if you have one set), and now on OK.
  • When again, right-tap on the SoftwareDistribution folder and choose Properties.

Tap on Edit… that is under the Security tab.

  • First, select the user name or user group via clicking on it and then check the box for Full Control under the Allow column.


Well, That is all from my side. If you want to know more about this article or have any queries. Then feel free to ask me anything in the comments section below.

Have a Good Day!

Also See: How to Fix Your Windows License Will Expire Soon Error

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Kelly Houstan

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