How to fix error code 80072efe in Windows

The error code 80072efe occurs when there are update problems due to a missing internet connection or unreachable Windows servers. Another possible cause is attempting to update Windows 7, which is no longer supported. We present suggested solutions including the Windows 7 update patch, checking your internet connection, and making exceptions in your firewall.

When does error code 80072efe occur?

Error code 80072efe, like error codes 0x80070643, 0x80073701 and 0xc0000005, is a common update error that doesn’t have a single specific cause. It often occurs when an update cannot be installed and can be related to issues such as internet connectivity problems, Windows server difficulties, or corrupt Windows system files. Additionally, using Windows 7 can also be a contributing factor, as it no longer receives automatic Windows updates since January 2021.


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Solutions for 80072efe

To solve the error, follow these steps.

Wait for Windows server

Sometimes, patience is the best solution, and this can also be the case with error 80072efe. If the primary issue is a server-side problem with Windows, waiting for about 10 to 20 minutes and then restarting the update search can resolve the problem. In some cases, Windows will successfully complete the update without any issues.

Check internet connection

Faulty internet connections can indeed lead to issues with the update search and trigger error code 80072efe. To eliminate this common source of error, start by checking if your internet connection is functioning. You can do this by opening a web page in your browser or disconnecting and then reconnecting. If you are using a proxy server, it might also be the cause. Try disabling the proxy server and then attempt the update search again.

Windows Update Troubleshooter

Windows offers an automatic troubleshooting feature to address issues with Windows components. Here’s how to initiate the troubleshooter:

  1. Open the Troubleshooter by typing ‘Troubleshooter’ in the Windows search bar and selecting the corresponding service.

  2. In Windows 10, choose ‘Additional troubleshooter’ or in Windows 11, select ‘Other troubleshooter’.

  3. Locate ‘Windows Update’ and click ‘Run’. This will initiate the Windows Update component troubleshooter.

  4. Follow the suggestions provided by Windows for resolving the issue, and then restart your computer.

Resetting the update components

If neither the internet connection nor the Windows server, and even troubleshooting, helps, you can try resetting the Windows Update components. These components include BITS, MSI Installer, Cryptographic, and Windows Update services. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open the command prompt as administrator. To do this, press [Ctrl] + [R] to start Command Prompt, type ‘cmd’, and then press [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [Enter].
  2. Enter the following CMD commands one after the other and confirm each command with [Enter]:
net stop wuauserv
net stop cryptSvc
net stop bits
net stop msiserver
ren C:\\Windows\\SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.old
ren C:\\Windows\\System32\\catroot2 Catroot2.old
  1. Activate the components one after the other with the following commands and press [Enter] after each command:
net start wuauserv
net start cryptSvc
net start bits
net start msiserver
ren C:\\Windows\\System32\\catroot2 Catroot2.old
  1. Restart the computer.

Windows 7 update patch

Microsoft officially ended support for Windows 7 in January 2021, which means the operating system no longer receives automatic updates. If you’re reinstalling Windows 7 and encounter error 80072efe, you can make Windows 7 updateable again using the following workaround:

  1. Visit the Windows Update Catalog to download the required patch for Windows 7 updates, which you can find under the name KB3138612. Make sure to choose the 32-bit or 64-bit version depending on your Windows version.
  2. Download the appropriate update MSU file and double-click on the file to install it.
  3. After installation, click ‘Restart now’.
  4. Start Windows Update and search for updates. However, searching for and installing updates can still take a long time on Windows 7, even with a patch.

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