Windows Update error 80072EFE can prevent you from downloading updates on your Windows 11/10 system. This error is common on all versions of Windows. The main cause of the Windows Update error 80072EFE is connection interruption between your computer and the Windows Update servers. While the error has been there for a long, no permanent fix has been brought forward for it.
The accompanying error messages could be:
- ERROR_INTERNET_CONNECTION_ABORTED – The connection with the server has been terminated.
- WININET_E_CONNECTION_ABORTED – The connection with the server was terminated abnormally
- ERROR_WINHTTP_CONNECTION_ABORTED – The connection with the server was terminated abnormally.
This Windows Update error may occur when the internet connection is interrupted or when your antivirus tool or Microsoft Defender Firewall identifies some files as threats in the SoftwareDistribution folder and Catroot2 folder (Windows system folder that is needed for Windows Updates). If the Catroot2 folder is corrupted, then also this error 80072EFE may occur.
Windows Update Error 80072EFE
Before you begin troubleshooting, wait for 10 minutes, restart your computer, reset your router and try again. If it does not help, try our suggestions:
- Check your internet connection; Try another connection
- Temporarily don’t let your antivirus scan SoftwareDistribution and Catroot2 folders
- Disable Firewall and security programs temporarily
- Delete the Catroot2 folder
- Run the Network Troubleshooters
- Run the Windows Updates troubleshooter.
Let us see these in detail.
1] Check your internet connection; Try another connection
It is necessary for the internet connection to work for Windows updates to download. While working offline and trying to update Windows manually, you might not notice the status of the internet connection. In such a case, try opening websites on your browser to check your internet connection.
2] Temporarily don’t let your antivirus scan SoftwareDistribution & Catroot2 folders
Anti-virus programs are known to flag genuine programs and files as virus or malware. If the files in the SoftwareDistribution and Catroot2 folders are identified as threats, the anti-virus software will prevent the Windows update.
You can whitelist the SoftwareDistribution and Catroot2 folders in your anti-virus interface to avoid such possibilities. Kindly contact your anti-virus vendor for instructions on the same.
3] Disable Firewall and security programs temporarily
The Firewall or a security software could be preventing the Windows update and causing the error in the discussion. To isolate this cause, you could disable the Windows Firewall and the security programs temporarily.
4] Delete the Catroot2 folder contents
The Catroot2 folder stores signatures of the Windows update package. Thus, this folder is important. Any corruption of signatures in this folder can cause Windows Update error 80072EFE. In case you encounter this error, you could delete the Catroot2 folder. Thereafter, try updating Windows and it will start storing the signatures again. The procedure to delete the Catroot2 folder is as follows:
Press Win+R to open the Run window and type the command services.msc. Hit Enter to open the Services window.
Search for the Cryptographic Service in the list and double-click on it to open its properties.
Click on Stop and hit OK to save the settings.
Now, go to the path C:\Windows\System32\ in the File Explorer.
You will find the Catroot2 subfolder in the System32 folder.
Right-click on Catroot2 and select Delete.
You can restart the Cryptographic service now.
Go to the Cryptographic Services window as earlier and click on Start. Then hit OK to save the settings.
Try updating Windows now and it should work.
5] Run the Network Adapter Troubleshooter
Even if the internet is working fine, the network might be facing other issues thus preventing the Windows Update and causing the error in the discussion. In such a case, we can run the Network troubleshooter to resolve the problem. The procedure to run the Network troubleshooter is as follows:
Click on the Start button and then on the gear-like symbol to open the Settings menu.
Go to Updates and Security > Troubleshoot.
Select the Network Adapter Troubleshooter from the list and run it.
Restart the system once you are done.
6] Run the Windows Updates Troubleshooter
The Windows Updates Troubleshooter is a powerful tool that checks for every possible problem with Windows updates and fixes it if possible. The simple procedure to run a Windows updates troubleshooter is as follows:
Open the Troubleshoot menu as in the previous solution.
Select the Windows Updates troubleshooter from the list and run it.
Restart the computer once you are done.
How do I stop Windows Update service error?
All the best!