How to Fix Error 80072EFE on Windows 7: Simple Troubleshooting Steps

Error 80072EFE on Windows 7 can be a frustrating issue for users as it often prevents them from downloading updates and accessing certain websites. However, fear not, as this article aims to provide simple troubleshooting steps that can help in resolving this error. By following the methods outlined in this guide, Windows 7 users can potentially fix error 80072EFE and regain seamless functioning of their system.

Understanding Error 80072EFE: Causes And Common Symptoms

Error 80072EFE is a common error code that is encountered by Windows 7 users while attempting to update their system. This error is usually associated with issues related to internet connectivity, firewall settings, third-party security software, or corrupted update files.

There are several potential causes for this error, including network connection problems, incorrect firewall configurations, presence of malicious software, or outdated device drivers. Common symptoms of Error 80072EFE include the inability to download or install updates, error messages indicating a connection problem, and system performance issues.

To resolve this error, it is important to identify the specific cause and then follow the appropriate troubleshooting steps. This article will guide you through a series of simple troubleshooting steps, ranging from checking your internet connectivity and firewall settings to seeking expert support if necessary.

By following the recommended steps, you should be able to fix Error 80072EFE on Windows 7 and ensure that your system is updated and functioning properly.

Step 1: Checking Internet Connectivity And Firewall Settings

One common cause of Error 80072EFE on Windows 7 is Internet connectivity issues or firewall settings that are blocking the Windows Update process. To troubleshoot this issue, you should first ensure that your internet connection is stable and functioning properly. Check if you can access other websites without any problems.

Next, you need to verify the firewall settings on your computer. Firewalls are designed to protect your computer from unauthorized access, but they can sometimes interfere with the Windows Update process. Make sure that Windows Update is allowed through your firewall. You can usually find firewall settings in the control panel or security settings of your antivirus software.

Once you have confirmed that your internet connection is working and the firewall settings are not causing the issue, you can proceed to the next troubleshooting steps. By eliminating internet connectivity and firewall-related problems, you can narrow down the potential causes of Error 80072EFE and move closer to finding a solution.

Step 2: Running Windows Update Troubleshooter

The Windows Update Troubleshooter is a built-in tool in Windows 7 that can help identify and resolve issues with Windows Update. It can automatically detect and fix errors that may be causing the Error 80072EFE.

To run the Windows Update Troubleshooter, follow these steps:
1. Click on the Start button and type “troubleshoot” in the search bar.
2. Select the “Troubleshooting” option from the search results.
3. In the Troubleshooting window, click on “Fix problems with Windows Update” under the “System and Security” section.
4. The Windows Update Troubleshooter will launch. Click on “Advanced” and ensure that the option “Apply repairs automatically” is checked.
5. Click on “Next” and wait for the troubleshooter to detect and fix any issues. This process may take a few minutes.
6. Once the troubleshooter has finished, restart your computer and check if the Error 80072EFE has been resolved.

Running the Windows Update Troubleshooter is a simple yet effective way to fix common errors related to Windows Update. If this step doesn’t resolve the issue, proceed to the next troubleshooting step.

Step 3: Removing Temporary Files And Clearing Windows Update Cache

By removing temporary files and clearing the Windows Update cache, you can potentially resolve Error 80072EFE on your Windows 7 system. Temporary files and a corrupted cachecan sometimes interfere with the Windows Update process, leading to this error.

To perform this troubleshooting step, you will need to access the Disk Cleanup utility. You can do this by following these steps:

1. Press the Windows key + R on your keyboard to open the Run dialog box.
2. Type “cleanmgr” into the box and press Enter.
3. The Disk Cleanup utility will open. Select the drive where Windows is installed (usually the C: drive) and click OK.
4. Wait for the utility to calculate the amount of space you can free up. Once it has finished, you will see a list of files that can be deleted.
5. Check the boxes next to “Temporary files” and “Windows Update Cleanup.”
6. Click OK to begin the cleanup process. This may take some time.
7. Once the process is complete, restart your computer and try running Windows Update again.

Clearing temporary files and the Windows Update cache can often resolve Error 80072EFE and allow you to update your Windows 7 system successfully.

Step 4: Disabling Third-Party Security Software And Services

If you are encountering error 80072EFE on Windows 7, it is possible that third-party security software or services installed on your computer are conflicting with Windows Update. These software programs or services often include antiviruses, firewalls, or malware detection tools.

To troubleshoot this issue, you need to temporarily disable these security software and services. Start by disabling the antivirus program installed on your computer. Locate the antivirus icon in the system tray, right-click on it, and select the option to disable or turn off the protection. Make sure to follow the recommended steps provided by the antivirus software.

Additionally, you might need to disable any other third-party security software or services that are running in the background. These could be firewall programs, malware detection tools, or other security-related services. Check the system tray and the task manager for any such programs or services, right-click on them, and select the option to disable or stop them temporarily.

After disabling these security software and services, try running Windows Update again to see if error 80072EFE is resolved. If the error no longer appears, it indicates that one of the disabled programs or services was causing the conflict. In that case, you can either permanently uninstall the conflicting software or contact the software provider for further assistance on how to resolve the issue.

Step 5: Resetting Windows Update Components

Resetting Windows Update components is an effective troubleshooting step to fix Error 80072EFE on Windows 7. Over time, the Windows Update components can become corrupted or malfunctioning, leading to various update-related errors. By resetting these components, you can restore them to their default settings and resolve any issues.

To reset Windows Update components, follow these steps:

1. Open the Windows Start menu and type “cmd” into the search box.
2. Right-click on “Command Prompt” (or “cmd.exe”) and select “Run as administrator.”
3. In the elevated command prompt window, type the following commands one by one, 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
4. Close the command prompt window and restart your computer.

By resetting the Windows Update components, you should be able to resolve Error 80072EFE on Windows 7. After restarting your computer, check if you can successfully update your system through Windows Update without encountering the error.

Step 6: Updating Device Drivers

Updating device drivers can help resolve Error 80072EFE on Windows 7. Outdated or incompatible drivers can interfere with the Windows Update process and cause various errors, including Error 80072EFE. Updating the device drivers ensures that they are compatible with the operating system and can effectively communicate with the hardware.

To update device drivers, follow these steps:

1. Press the Windows key + R to open the Run dialog box.
2. Type “devmgmt.msc” and press Enter to open Device Manager.
3. Expand the categories and locate the devices with a yellow exclamation mark.
4. Right-click on the device and select “Update driver.”
5. Choose the option to search automatically for updated driver software. Windows will search and install the latest drivers.
6. Repeat the process for all devices with outdated drivers.

After updating the drivers, restart the computer and check if the Error 80072EFE is resolved. If the issue persists, you may need to seek further assistance or consider advanced fixes with expert support.

Step 7: Seeking Further Assistance: Advanced Fixes And Expert Support

If you have followed all the previous troubleshooting steps and are still unable to fix error 80072EFE on Windows 7, it might be time to seek further assistance. While the previous steps cover common causes and solutions for this error, there are some advanced fixes that require expert knowledge.

One option is to reach out to the Microsoft support team. They have a dedicated support website where you can find solutions to various Windows errors, including error 80072EFE. They provide in-depth guides, forums, and even live chat support to help you resolve the issue.

Another option is to consult with a computer technician. They have the expertise to diagnose and fix complex issues related to Windows errors. They can perform in-depth troubleshooting, analyze system logs, and provide personalized solutions based on your specific situation.

Remember, when seeking expert support, it’s important to provide them with all the relevant details about the error, the troubleshooting steps you have already taken, and any error codes or error messages you have encountered. This information will help them in diagnosing and resolving the issue more efficiently.

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ 1:

Question: What does error code 80072EFE mean on Windows 7?

Answer: Error code 80072EFE typically indicates a connection issue between your computer and the Windows Update servers. It can occur due to various reasons, such as network problems, firewall settings, or conflicts with antivirus software.

FAQ 2:

Question: How can I fix error 80072EFE on Windows 7?

Answer: Here are some troubleshooting steps you can try to resolve error 80072EFE on Windows 7:
1. Check your internet connection and ensure it is stable.
2. Disable any third-party antivirus or firewall temporarily and check if the error persists.
3. Restart your computer and try running Windows Update again.
4. Reset the Windows Update components by following the steps provided in the article.
5. Run a full system scan using a trusted antivirus program to ensure there are no malware or virus causing the issue.

FAQ 3:

Question: Will resetting the Windows Update components delete my existing updates?

Answer: No, resetting the Windows Update components will not delete your existing updates. It will only clear the update history and reinitialize the update process, which can help resolve any issues causing error 80072EFE. However, it is always recommended to create a system restore point before making any changes to your system.


In conclusion, resolving Error 80072EFE on Windows 7 can be achieved through simple troubleshooting steps. By following the solutions mentioned in the article, such as checking internet connectivity, disabling antivirus software, and resetting Windows Update components, users can effectively address this error and restore their system’s functionality. It is important to note that if the error persists or becomes more complex, seeking professional assistance may be necessary.

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