Are you getting “Your device is missing important security and quality fixes” on Windows 10?

One of the many good things about Microsoft is that it consistently rolls out updates to fix bugs or improve your system’s security. It is in your best interest to install the updates as soon as they are rolled out. However, sometimes Windows Update doesn’t seem to install updates and throws an error that says “your device is missing important security and quality fixes”.

If you are facing this error and need help, this article will walk you through some quick fixes that can fix the problem. Try these solutions in the order they’re listed – we’ve listed the easiest ones first.

Run the Windows Update troubleshooter

The built-in updates troubleshooter should be your first choice when you encounter the error message “your device is missing important security and quality fixes”. If Windows identifies the problem and fixes it for you, you don’t have to jump through hoops to rule out possible problems.

  1. Press Win + I to open the Settings app and select Update & Security
  1. Select Resolving problems from the left pane.
  1. Select Additional troubleshooters
  1. Select Windows UpdateRun the troubleshooter
  1. Wait for the troubleshooter to detect possible problems.
  1. If Windows finds the problem, it will propose and implement the solution. If the problem is not identified, it indicates that no problems were detected.

If no issues were detected, continue to the next solution.

Manually reset Windows Update service

If the previous method didn’t work, you can try restarting the Windows Update service (and some related services too). You also need to rename the SoftwareDistribution and catroot2 folders.

SoftwareDistribution is a folder where Windows Update temporarily stores files needed to install new updates. Catroot2 is a folder where the Windows Update package stores the signatures required for installation.

Note that the System32 folder has two eponymous folders: catroot and catroot2. This method involves renaming the catroot2 folder, which is automatically recreated when you reboot. However, if you rename or delete the catroot folder, your computer may not be able to boot.

  1. Open an elevated command prompt by searching for cmd from the Start menu and select Run as administrator from the right pane.
  1. Run the following commands in this order by typing them into the command prompt and pressing the . to push Enter key:

just stop wuauserv

net stop cryptSvc

net stop bits

just stop msiserver

Run C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.old

Run C:\Windows\System32\catroot2 Catroot2.old

just start wauser

net start cryptSvc

net start bits

just start msiserver

The net start/stop commands start/stop the listed services. The Ren command renames the folder at the named path (for example, C:\Windows\SoftwareDistributionto the name at the end (SoftwareDistribution.old) of the command.

Once done, restart your computer and see if you can successfully install Windows updates.

However, you may encounter some errors with this method. Maybe the Windows Update service or the BITS service won’t start, or the services you were trying to stop were not running in the first place.

If this happens, try the next solution.

Fix damaged files

The errors you encountered in the previous method could be due to corrupt system files. You can replace the corrupt or missing system files using two built-in Windows utilities, the System File Checker and Deployment Image Service and Management

  1. Open an elevated Command Prompt by searching the Start menu for: cmd and select Run as administrator from the right pane.
  1. This step may or may not work depending on what is causing your Windows Update problem as DISM uses Windows Update to fetch files for replacing any corruption. However, it is still worth running the following command to repair the Windows image:

DISM.exe /Online /Cleaning-image /Restorehealth

  1. When you see the message The operation was completed successfullyrun the following command:

sfc /scannow

  1. Try the previous method again.

If you still can’t update Windows, try the next solution.

Fix Corrupt Registry Keys

The error could be due to the Windows Update service not starting properly, getting corrupted or missing altogether. If this is the case, there is a simple solution.

  1. You can download the .reg file for the corrupt or missing services from Tenforums† Search for Windows Update (wuauserv) and select Windows Update to download the .reg file.
  1. Run the .reg file and select Run when you see a security warning (it’s safe).
  1. Try restarting the Windows Update service with the command just start wauser and it should run fine.

Ideally, once your Windows Update service has started, you should be able to install the updates.

If you’re not comfortable with downloading a .reg file and installing it on your computer, you can use a Windows tool to install updates without messing with the registry.

Using Windows 10 Update Assistant

Windows 10 Update Assistant helps you download feature updates and improvements when Microsoft releases them. It also provides more control for scheduling your updates. Most importantly, though, it can help you fix the “your device is missing important security and quality fixes” error.

  1. To download Windows 10 Update Assistant
  1. Start the assistant and click on Update now to start installing the latest updates.

Reset your PC

If for some reason you still can’t install updates, you can: reset your pc

  1. Press Win + I to launch the Settings app and go to . to go Update & Security
  2. To search Reset this PC in the right pane below the recovery section and select Get started
  1. Select if prompted Save my files to start the reset process.

When the reset process is complete, Windows will automatically install the latest updates.

Did you solve the problem?

Hopefully you were able to use these fixes and get your Windows Update working again. If the error occurred after you tried to stop automatic updates, make sure you use the correct methods to stop Windows Update to avoid collateral damage.

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