Everytime you try to run the Windows Updater you always get the message  “Windows can’t update important files and services while the system is using them.  Save any open files and restart the computer, and try to check for new updates.“   This is caused by a Registry Key that has not been removed after a previous update.

There is a simple solution for some:

1. Open regedit.exe

2. Navigate to the Registry Key  “HKLM/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/WindowsUpdate/Auto Update

3. Look for Registry Key “RebootRequired”.

4. Delete the Registry Key. Do not look for a value, there will be a KEY(folder) called “RebootRequired”

5. Reboot the Machine .

6. Run Windows update again.

If this fails to resolve issues you can try the following:

Empty your temporary Internet Files Folder
Open Run Command (Windows key + R)
type: cd %temp%
Empty the contents of that folder (del *.*)
Restart your computer

You can also give this a try:
1. Click Start, type msconfig in the Start Search box, and then press ENTER.
User Account Control permission
If you are prompted for an administrator password or for a confirmation, type the password, or click Continue.
2. On the General tab, click Selective Startup.
3. Under Selective Startup, click to clear the Load Startup Items check box.
4. Click the Services tab, click to select the Hide All Microsoft Services check box, and then click Disable All.
5. Click OK.
6. When you are prompted, click Restart.
7. After the computer starts, check whether the problem is resolved.

This should solve your issue and allow you to Windows Update to install the next round of patches.

Good Luck!




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12 Responses to “[Solved] – Always getting message “Windows can’t update important files and services while the system is using them””

  1. Craig says:

    Thanks, but none of it helped, i.e. unsolved.

  2. Bubba Bubbalicious says:

    Did not work for me either. The MS Fix It utility also does not work.

    This is a radical approach: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/971058

  3. wockeezy1 says:

    The last alternative you gave helped a lot…thanks so much

  4. Linda says:

    I can’t thank you enough for this resolution! I tried everything and looked everywhere and nothing worked until I found your post. THANK YOU!!!

  5. burak says:

    wow it is work thank you

  6. michail koichev says:

    This work for me
    2. Navigate to the Registry Key “HKLM/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/WindowsUpdate/Auto Update

    3. Look for Registry Key “RebootRequired”

  7. MSK says:

    Thank a lot is working 🙂

  8. Anjay Krishna Murthy says:

    Deleting Registry Key worked!

  9. anonymus says:

    thanku brother i will never forget you

  10. Alan Jones says:

    The Registry change resolved the issue for me.

    Thank you.

  11. Ammar says:

    i cant find “HKLM/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/WindowsUpdate/Auto Update
    please help me (

  12. Shlomi says:

    Save me alot of time!!
    Thank you!!

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