Keeping your system updated to the latest version of Windows is critical for effective functioning and enhanced security features. Also, each update brings a bunch of bug fixes that improve the system’s performance. But, what if you are unable to update Windows because the update encountered an error?

Many users have reported coming across “Error Encountered” in the Windows Update settings, thereby being unable to install the recent updates and security patches altogether.

1. Run the Windows Update Troubleshooter

Whenever you encounter an error, check if there’s a built-in troubleshooter for it. In most cases, the troubleshooter is more than capable of identifying the cause and fixing the error.

To run the Windows Update troubleshooter, right-click on the ‘Start’ icon in the Taskbar or press WINDOWS + X to launch the Quick Access menu, and select ‘Settings’ from the list of options. Alternatively, you can press WINDOWS + I to directly launch the ‘Settings’ app.

In the ‘System’ tab of Settings, select ‘Troubleshoot’ from the right.

Next, select ‘Other troubleshooters’.

You will now find a list of troubleshooters, locate the ‘Windows Update’ option and click on ‘Run’ next to it.

The troubleshooter will now run and start to diagnose the issues. If any are found, just follow the on-screen instructions to fix them. In all likelihood, it would be a pending update, and you will be asked to install it by clicking on the relevant option. After the troubleshooting is complete, restart the computer and check if the error is fixed.

2. Automate Windows Update Services with Command Prompt

Many a time, you would encounter this error when a relevant service is not running or is malfunctioning. In that case, you can execute a bunch of commands in an elevated Command Prompt to automate the services.

To automate the services with Command Prompt, right-click on the ‘Start’ icon to launch the Quick Access menu, and select ‘Windows Terminal (Admin)’ from the list of options that appear. Click ‘Yes’ on the UAC (User Account Control) prompt that appears.

In Windows Terminal, the PowerShell tab will open on launch if you haven’t changed the default profile. To open Command Prompt, click on the downward-facing arrow at the top and select ‘Command Prompt’ from the list of options. Alternatively, you can press CTRL + SHIFT + 2 to directly launch Command Prompt in another tab.

In the elevated Command Prompt, execute the following commands. Simply, paste them one at a time and press ENTER after each.

sc config wuauserv start=auto
sc config cryptSvc start=auto
sc config bits start=auto
sc config trustedinstaller start=auto

After executing the commands, close Windows Terminal, and restart the computer. Once the computer restarts, check if you are able to install Windows updates.

3. Download Secuirty Intelligence Update

This method fixed the ‘Encountered error’ issue while updating Windows for a few users and is worth a shot if the above two didn’t work. It’s fairly simpler than the other intricate methods mentioned later in the article.

To download Security Intelligence updates, press WINDOWS + S to launch the ‘Search’ menu, enter ‘Windows Security’ in the text field at the top, and click on the relevant search result to launch the app.

In Windows Security, select the ‘Virus & threat protection’ option.

Next, locate the ‘Virus & threat protection updates’ option and click on ‘Protection updates’ under it.

Now, click on ‘Check for updates’ to download and install any available security updates.

After the update is installed, the ‘Error encountered’ issue when updating Windows should be fixed.

4. Reset Windows Update Components

Windows Update Components are responsible for downloading and installing updates, security patches, and drivers. If you ever run into a problem while downloading these and nothing else seems to work, resetting the Windows Update Components will prove an effective fix.

There are many ways you can reset the Windows Update Components, but here we will primarily focus on the Command Prompt method. You can check the other methods here.

To reset Windows Update Components, launch an elevated Windows Terminal and then open the Command Prompt tab as discussed earlier. Next, execute the following commands to stop the BITS (Background Intelligent Transfer Service), Windows Update, and Cryptographic service. To execute, paste the three commands individually and press ENTER after each.

net stop bits
net stop wuauserv
net stop cryptsvc

You will next have to delete the qmgr*.dat files by executing the following command.

Del "%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Application Data\Microsoft\Network\Downloader\qmgr*.dat"

Note: You can skip the following step for now and execute the others mentioned here. If the error persists after executing the others, then execute this along with the others in the second attempt.

Next, execute the following commands to rename a few folders on the system. Again, paste the following commands individually and press ENTER after each to execute them.

Ren %Systemroot%\SoftwareDistribution\DataStore DataStore.bak
Ren %Systemroot%\SoftwareDistribution\Download Download.bak
Ren %Systemroot%\System32\catroot2 catroot2.bak

The next step is to reset the BITS and Windows Update service. You can do that by executing the following commands.


Next, paste the following command and press ENTER to execute it.

You will now have to re-register the Windows Update and BITS files. To do that, paste the following commands one a time and press ENTER after each to execute them. Click ‘OK’ in case a prompt pops up after executing the commands.

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

Next, reset the Winsock or Windows Sockets by executing the following command.

netsh winsock reset

Now, execute the following commands to restart the three services (BITS, Windows Update, and Cryptographic service) that we stopped in the first step.

net start bits
net start wuauserv 
net start cryptsvc

That’s it! Now, restart the computer for the changes to come into effect and the update error will most likely be fixed.

5. Reset your Windows 11 PC

If nothing else works, you can always reset the Windows. However, this should be your last approach. When resetting the Windows, you have the option to either save the files but remove everything including the apps and settings or delete everything and reinstall the Windows. We recommend going with the latter as it gets your Windows on a clean slate and resolves any error.

To reset the Windows, launch the Settings app as discussed earlier, and select ‘Recovery’ on the right in the ‘System’ tab.

Next, click on ‘Reset PC’ next to ‘Reset this PC’ under ‘Recovery options’.

The ‘Reset this PC’ window will appear and you will find two options, either to keep the files and remove the apps and settings or remove everything including the files. We recommend selecting the second option.

Note: If any other Window apart from the ones listed here pops up, choose the relevant response to proceed.

Next, you will be asked how you would like to reinstall the Windows, select ‘Local reinstall’.

Next will be the ‘Additional settings’ window, where you can verify the current Windows reset settings. Click on ‘Next’ to proceed.

Finally, verify how resetting Windows will affect the PC and click on ‘Reset’ to start the process.

Resetting Windows will take a while but once the reset is complete, the ‘Error encountered’ issue would be fixed.

Once you are done with the above fixes, the issue with Windows Update would be fixed and you can easily scan and install the recent version on your system, as you did before.