Windows update error code 80072EFE: How to fix Guide

The Windows update error 80072efe is a general error that you can encounter while using any of the Windows operating systems. However, it is very specific since it relates directly to Windows Update Service.

The error message accompanying the code is normally indicates thus “Some updates were not installed: ## Error(s) found: Code 80072EFE” or “Windows update encountered an unknown error” or something similar.

There is no specific moment you may encounter the error. It can be when starting or shutting down your computer when re-installing the OS, when updating an application or when installing Microsoft-related software. The occurrence of error 80072efe can be very overwhelming because of the negative effects it causes. Apart from failed installation of update(s), your computer is most likely to slow down, freeze and a running program can crash.


Reasons for Error code 80072EFE


Several issues can lead to the occurrence of error 80072efe. While some are minor, others can be complicated. They include;

  • Unreliable/unsteady Internet connection.
  • Accumulated junk files.
  • Downloading a program when the computer is installing the update(s).
  • Virus/malware infection.
  • Installed anti-virus/malware program.
  • Incorrect network configuration.
  • Corrupt Windows registry files.
  • Damaged/outdated system drivers.


How to fix Windows udpate error code 80072EFE


How to fix error code 80072EFE


There are several solutions to error 80072efe. However, not all the solutions can resolve the error. It all depends on the actual cause of the error. This makes it necessary to try out several solutions to see which one works for you.


Method 1 – Basic Steps to fix error code 80072EFE

  1. Your first action should be to run the installed anti-virus/malware program. This should take care of any virus/malware infection that may be causing the problem.
  2. You need to ensure that your computer’s Internet connection is reliable and steady. Note that an unsteady Internet connection can cause disruption during installation of updates only to cause the error.
  3. It is also appropriate to consider disabling the installed anti-virus and Firewall programs before accessing Windows Update Center. You will need to enable them again after resolving the error.
  4. It is possible to encounter the error simply because of a recently installed program or application. Consider uninstalling the program or app to see if it is the cause.

Try these simple and basic measures to see whether or not they resolve the error. if you have already tried them, ignore and move to Method #2.


Method 2 – Troubleshoot Windows Update

Troubleshooting Windows Update can go a long way in resolving error 80072efe and many other errors that interfere with smooth updating of your computer.

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  • Press the combination of Win + X keys.
  • Click “Control Panel”.
  • Type “Troubleshooting” in a search box.
  • Click “View All”.
  • Click “Windows Update” at the bottom.
  • Follow the resultant on-screen instructions to the letter before accessing Windows Update again to see whether or not the error 80072EFE is resolved.



Method 3 – Remove Junk Files

Using your computer over time leads to accumulation of junk files that end up causing internal conflicts in addition to overloading your computer’s hard disk. Removing such files can easily resolve error 0x80072efe.

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  • Press the combination of Win + X keys to open up menu.
  • Select “Command Prompt (Admin)” option.
  • Click “Yes” to run command prompt as an administrator.
  • Type “cleanmgr” before hitting Enter.
  • The tool will begin to run automatically. It calculates how much used space you can claim on the hard disk. Check all the dialogue boxes occupied by unnecessary files including the temporary files box.
  • Click “OK” to let the tool remove all junk files. Revert to what you were doing before the error 80072EFE occurred to see whether or not it is resolved.



Method 4 – Update System Drivers

Damaged/outdated system drivers can cause many errors including error 80072efe. Updating the same can be an easy way of resolving the error.

Step 1. Right-click on “My Computer” before selecting “Properties”.

Step 2. Select “Device Manager”.

Step 3. Navigate through all the devices listed while looking out for any device with a yellow exclamation mark.

Step 4. Right-click on any such device before choosing “Update Driver”.

Step 5. Restart your computer after the update.

If Drivers were the real issues, Doing these steps might solve error code 80072EFE on your system.


Method 5 – Run System File Checker

Running the built-in system file checker tool can be helpful in resolving the error. The tool scans and attempts to repair corrupt files that may be the cause of the error.

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  • 1. Click “Start”.
  • 2. Type “cmd” in the “Search programs and files” box.
  • 3. Press the combination of CTRL + Shift + Enter before clicking “OK” to open command prompt.
  • 4. Type “chkdsk/f/r” into the prompt before hitting Enter.
  • 5. Type “Y” in response to the resultant notification.


Restart the computer to allow disk check to run. You need to give the tool time to complete before trying to do what you were doing before the error appeared to see whether or not the Windows udpate error code 80072EFE is resolved.


Method 6 – Delete CatRoot2 Folder to fix code 80072EFE

Failure by any of the above measures to resolve the error may require that you delete a specific folder that may be causing issues; the CatRoot2 folder.

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  • Click “Start”> “Run”.
  • Type “services.msc” in the Run box before hitting Enter to open services.
  • Double-click “Cryptographic Services” before clicking “Stop” if it is running.
  • Navigate to “C:\Windows\System32\” folder.
  • Delete “CatRoot2” folder.
  • Go back to “Cryptographic Services”, double click on it before restarting it again.
  • Try using Windows Update again to whether or not the error is resolved.



Method 7 – System Restore

Restoring your computer to an earlier date when it worked without any issue will be necessary in case all the above methods fail.

1. Press the combination of Win + Q keys.

2. Click on “Settings”.

3. Choose “Recovery” icon.

4. Select “System Restore” from the resultant open window.

5. Choose an earlier date when your computer worked without any issues.

6. The tool should start to run before shutting down the computer and restarting it again.

Try accessing Windows Update again to see whether or not the windows 10 update error code 80072EFE is resolved.


Method 8 – Fresh OS Installation

Failure by any of the above methods to resolve error 80072efe may mean that the error is caused by a combination of various issues. Re-installing the OS may be your last option in resolving the error.

It is very important to point out that a persistent code 80072efe after fresh OS installation will mean that the error is hardware-related. You may be encountering the error because of a damaged hardware or a recently installed hardware.

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