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Fix: Potential Windows update database error detected

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  • 5 min read

With Windows 10 and the upcoming rollout to Windows 11, Microsoft seems to have built a stable update delivery pipeline that can reliably deliver updates to the entire Windows userbase.

However, it’s still not immune to occasional bugs and glitches. In this article, we’re going over a few fixes for the “potential Windows update database error detected” issue. 


Use Microsoft’s online troubleshooter

Microsoft has provided an online troubleshooter that can help you narrow down Windows update errors, their causes and solutions you can try out to get rid of the problem. 

Also read: How to fix Error 1053 in Windows?


Run the Windows update troubleshooter

Windows 10 offers a slew of inbuilt troubleshooters that can resolve just about any issue on your PC, including Windows Update.

Step 1: Press Windows Key + I to open Windows settings and click on Update & Security.

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Step 2; Head over to the Troubleshooting tab.

Step 3: Click on Additional troubleshooters.

Step 4: Click the Windows Update troubleshooter to run it and let the troubleshooter do its thing. 


Reset your PC

Reset your PC can help recover any corrupted or damaged system files that may be hindering Windows updates. Here’s how. 

Step 1: Press Windows key + I to open Windows Settings. Click on the Update and Security option.

Step 2: Head over to the Recovery tab and click the Get Started button under Reset this PC.

Step 3: Select Keep my files and proceed with the restore.

Try updating Windows again after the reset is complete. This should fix the “potential Windows update database error detected” issue.

Also read: Windows could not automatically detect this network’s proxy settings: 10 Fixes


Run an SFC scan

Corrupt files are the number one reason why your PC might be behaving weirdly. Here’s how you can get rid of them and potentially resolve your issue. 

Step 1: Press Windows Key + S to bring up the Cortana/Search box and search for Powershell. Open Windows Powershell from the search results.

Step 2: Type sfc /scannow to scan your system for issues. 

Step 3: If the SFC scan finds any problem, use the following command to resolve them. 

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

Restart your PC, and the Windows update error should’ve been resolved. 


Restart the Windows Update service

Restarting the Windows update service can also help get rid of any Windows update issues. Here’s how.

Step 1: Press Windows key + X to open the quick access menu. Click Command Prompt (admin).

Step 2: Type the following commands one at a time, pressing enter after each command.

Net stop wuauserv
Net stop cryptSvc
Net stop bits
Net stop msiserver
Ren C:WindowsSoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.old
Ren C:WindowsSystem32catroot2 Catroot2.old
Net start wuauserv
Net start cryptSvc
Net start bits
Net start msiserver

Now restart your PC, and you should be able to update Windows just fine.


Perform a clean boot

To isolate the problem, perform a clean boot and then start the missing processes one at a time to find your culprit. 

Step 1: Press the Windows key and search for System Configuration. 

Step 2: Head over to the Services tab. 

Step 3: Uncheck the Hide all Microsoft Services checkbox. Now click the Disable All button. 

Step 4: Now head over to the Startup tab and click on Open Task Manager.

Step 5: Click the Startup tab again, select all the services and click the Disable button. 

This should fix the “potential Windows update database error detected” issue.

Also read: How to change the primary monitor in Windows 10?

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here: yadullahabidi@pm.me.

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