Follow these 4 methods to fix the “We couldn’t install updates because there’s a problem with the date and time” error on Windows 11 Update.
If you encounter an error when you are trying to update your Windows 11 PC and get this message – “We couldn’t install updates because there’s a problem with the date and time information on your device. Make sure your date, time, and time zone settings are correct and we’ll try again later”, it could be due to several reasons including time and date settings are not configured correctly, wrong active hours, IIS or root certificates are expired, etc.
Whatever the reason might be, follow the methods in this guide to fix the said problem and install updates on your Windows 11 PC.
Check the Time, Date, and Time Zone
First, make sure you have the correct time, date, and Time Zone on your computer. Then, ensure your time is synced with the Microsoft time server. Here’s how you can do that:
Right-click the time and date on the right corner of the taskbar and select ‘Adjust date and time’ from the menu.
In the Date & time settings, ensure that the ‘Set time automatically’ option is turned ON.
After that, choose your local time zone from the ‘Time zone’ drop-down menu.
Then, scroll down to the Additional settings section and click on the ‘Sync now’ button to synchronize your time with the Windows time server.
After that, try installing the updates and see if it works now.
Set Active Hours to Automatic
Active Hours setting in Windows update settings allows you to manage when your device installs an update and reboots your PC so it doesn’t interfere with your work. Windows automatically calculates the active time based on your working hours and sets it. You need to make sure active hours is set to automatic. Here’s how you do that:
Open Window Settings by opening the Start menu and selecting ‘Settings’.
In the left side pane, select ‘Windows Update’ and click on the ‘Advanced options’ tile on the right pane.
Under Advanced options, click on the ‘Active hours’ tile to reveal the option.
Then, make sure the ‘Adjust active hours’ option is set to ‘Automatically’.
After that restart your computer and check if the Windows updates are installing again.
Run the Windows Update Troubleshooter
The simplest way to fix Windows update-related issues is by running the Windows Update troubleshooter. Window Update Troubleshooter will scan your device, identify the cause of the problems, and suggest you relevant solutions accordingly.
Open Windows settings (Win+I), go to the ‘System’ tab, and click on ‘Troubleshoot’ on the right pane.
On the next page, select the ‘Other troubleshooters’ option.
Then, click the ‘Run’ button next to the ‘Windows Update’ under the Most frequent section.
The troubleshooter will scan the system, identify the potential issues and try to fix them or it may suggest fixes that you need to implement to resolve the problem.
Once the troubleshooting is finished, try updating the Windows again and see if it works.
Manually Install the Update using Microsoft Update Catalog
If the above methods did not resolve the issue for you, you can manually download and install the troublesome updates. Microsoft has a dedicated website called Microsoft Update Catalog which contains all the Windows updates that Microsoft releases for every Windows operating system and architecture. Let us see how to manually download and install updates on Windows 11.
For this, you need to know the Knowledge Base reference (KB number) for the update(s) that is giving you the error. Each Windows update will have a specific Knowledge Base reference. You can find the KB number in the update failed error in the Windows update settings as shown below.
Now, open your browser and go to the Microsoft Update Catalog website. Once the website opens, type the KB reference number and hit ‘Search’.
From the results shown, download the update you want by clicking on the ‘Download’ button associated with it. The results will be sorted by date (last updated).
Alternatively, you can also search for ‘Windows 11’ in the search field to get the list of all the recent updates for Windows 11. You can also search for different types of updates like ‘Cumulative Update for Windows 11’, ‘Update Stack Package’, etc.
Once you click the Download button, another browser window will pop up. In that, click the provided link to download the update file.
Then, choose where you want to store the file and click ‘Save’.
The update file can be either a ‘.msu’ file or ‘.cab’ file. If the downloaded file is a ‘.msu’, you can install it directly by double-clicking on it and following the instructions on the installer.
However, if you got a ‘.cab’ (cabinet archiving file) file, they cannot be installed directly. They would have to be extracted first. To do that, double-click on the cab file to open it.
Next, select all the contents (Ctrl+A) and right-click on them. If you see a warning that says ‘Opening these files might be harmful to your computer’, click ‘OK’ to ignore it. Third-party cab files may contain malware but this is an update file from the Microsoft server, so can ignore the warning.
Then, select the ‘Extract…’ option and choose a destination for the extracted file.
Once all the files are extracted, go to the destination folder and locate the ‘Setup’ file. Then, double-click on the ‘Setup’ and follow the on-screen instructions to install the update.
Reset Windows Update Components and Policies
If none of the above methods were able to fix your problem, then it’s time to reset Windows Components and policies. Resettings Windows Update not only fixes the ‘Windows 11 couldn’t install updates because of a Date & Time’ problem but also the most common problems related to the Windows Update service.
You will need to re-register BITS files and related DLL files, flush Software Distribution and Catroot2 folders, reset all Windows update services, and more to completely reset Windows Update Agent. Let us see how to reset the Windows Update service and component to the default state. All you need to do so is enter the given commands one after the other.
First, open Command Prompt with administrative privileges. Search for ‘cmd’ or ‘Command Prompt’ in Windows search, right-click the top result and select ‘Run as administrator’. Alternatively, you can launch Windows Terminal and open the Command Prompt tab.
Stop all Windows Update, BITS, and cryptographic services
To start with, you need to stop BITS (Background Intelligent Transfer Service), Windows Update service, and Cryptographic service. Enter the following commands one by one and hit ENTER after each command to execute it.
net stop bits
net stop appidsvc
net stop wuauserv
net stop cryptsvc
Delete all the ‘qmgr*.dat’ files created by BITS
Next, delete service all files qmgr*.dat created by BITS from your device using the below commands:
Del "%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Application Data\Microsoft\Network\Downloader\*.*"
Then, type ‘Y’ and hit Enter to confirm the action.
Rename the SoftwareDistribution, Download, and catroot2 folders
After that, rename the SoftwareDistribution and catroot2 directories on the system. These folders contain already downloaded updates that might be damaged (if anything happens they can also be used as backups). When we restart the Windows update service, these folders will automatically be recreated to store files. To rename the folders, enter the below code:
Ren %Systemroot%\SoftwareDistribution\DataStore DataStore.bak
Ren %Systemroot%\SoftwareDistribution\Download Download.bak
Ren %systemroot%\system32\catroot2 catroot2.bak
Reset the BITS and Windows Update services
Next, reset the BITS and Windows Update services to their default security descriptor using the below commands:
sc.exe sdset bits D:(A;;CCLCSWRPWPDTLOCRRC;;;SY)(A;;CCDCLCSWRPWPDTLOCRSDRCWDWO;;;BA)(A;;CCLCSWLOCRRC;;;AU)(A;;CCLCSWRPWPDTLOCRRC;;;PU)
sc.exe sdset wuauserv D:(A;;CCLCSWRPWPDTLOCRRC;;;SY)(A;;CCDCLCSWRPWPDTLOCRSDRCWDWO;;;BA)(A;;CCLCSWLOCRRC;;;AU)(A;;CCLCSWRPWPDTLOCRRC;;;PU)
sc.exe sdset cryptsvc D:(A;;CCLCSWLOCRRC;;;AU)(A;;CCDCLCSWRPWPDTLOCRSDRCWDWO;;;BA)(A;;CCDCLCSWRPWPDTLCRSDRCWDWO;;;SO)(A;;CCLCSWRPWPDTLOCRRC;;;SY)S:(AU;FA;CCDCLCSWRPWPDTLOCRSDRCWDWO;;WD)
sc.exe sdset trustedinstaller D:(A;;CCLCSWLOCRRC;;;AU)(A;;CCDCLCSWRPWPDTLOCRSDRCWDWO;;;BA)(A;;CCDCLCSWRPWPDTLCRSDRCWDWO;;;SO)(A;;CCLCSWRPWPDTLOCRRC;;;SY)S:(AU;FA;CCDCLCSWRPWPDTLOCRSDRCWDWO;;WD)
After that, enter the below command to move to the System32 folder (if you aren’t there already):
cd /d %windir%\system32
Re-register the BITS and the Windows Update-related DLL files
Next, re-register all the dynamic libraries (DLLs) related to BITS and Windows Update services by entering the commands one after the other and pressing Enter. Then, click ‘OK’ on the prompt that appears after each command.
regsvr32.exe atl.dll regsvr32.exe urlmon.dll regsvr32.exe mshtml.dll regsvr32.exe shdocvw.dll regsvr32.exe browseui.dll regsvr32.exe jscript.dll regsvr32.exe vbscript.dll regsvr32.exe scrrun.dll regsvr32.exe msxml.dll regsvr32.exe msxml3.dll regsvr32.exe msxml6.dll regsvr32.exe actxprxy.dll regsvr32.exe softpub.dll regsvr32.exe wintrust.dll regsvr32.exe dssenh.dll regsvr32.exe rsaenh.dll regsvr32.exe gpkcsp.dll regsvr32.exe sccbase.dll regsvr32.exe slbcsp.dll regsvr32.exe cryptdlg.dll regsvr32.exe oleaut32.dll regsvr32.exe ole32.dll regsvr32.exe shell32.dll regsvr32.exe initpki.dll regsvr32.exe wuapi.dll regsvr32.exe wuaueng.dll regsvr32.exe wuaueng1.dll regsvr32.exe wucltui.dll regsvr32.exe wups.dll regsvr32.exe wups2.dll regsvr32.exe wuweb.dll regsvr32.exe qmgr.dll regsvr32.exe qmgrprxy.dll regsvr32.exe wucltux.dll regsvr32.exe muweb.dll regsvr32.exe wuwebv.dll regsvr32.exe wudriver.dll
After re-registering all the DLL files, reset the network configurations (Winsock) that may contain incorrect and corrupted logs:
netsh winsock reset
netsh winsock reset proxy
Restart the Previously Stopped Services
Finally, restart the BITS, Windows Update, and Cryptographic services that we stopped earlier. Enter the commands one by one and hit Enter:
net start bits
net start wuauserv
net start appidsvc
net start cryptsvc
After completing all the above steps, restart your computer. Your Windows Update should be working again.
If you have a problem running some of the above commands, you can also boot your computer to Command Prompt and try running the commands there.