Cannot run Windows Update

My Windows XP Pro will not update from the Microsoft Update site. There appears to be an error. How can I fix it?

There’s a number of things that could be causing it, we’ll start with the easy ones.

1. Check your web browser
Windows Update only works on Internet Explorer. Make sure you are not accessing it through Firefox, Opera or Safari.

2. Remove pop up blockers
Pop up blockers can cause problems with Windows Update. If you are running the Google or Yahoo! toolbars you should disable the built in pop up blockers.

3. Watch for error messages
Sometimes the update function will try to update itself. This will trigger an error message in yellow across the top of the Internet Explorer 6 or 7 window. If that appears, you need to click it to install the Active X control that runs the update function.

4. Clean up your system
Sometimes the system is cluttered with temporary files. Clean up the computer to flush out anything that might be getting in the way.

5. Reinstall the Windows Scripting Host
One common problem that affects the Windows Update function and other web based programs is the Windows Scripting Host. Downloading and installing it often repairs ongoing problems.

Finally, patience might be all that’s needed. The Window and Microsoft Update pages are terribly slow to run at times so you may have to just let them go.

It is important though that you do update Windows on a regular basis so stick with it.

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