Security center could not change your automatic updates settings

I was working on a friends PC the other day. It had Windows XP Home on it and several viruses! After cleaning out the viruses, I updated the PC to XP SP 2 to get the security advantages that the service pack confers.

However, on re-starting the PC after the install, the Security Centre gave a warning that Automatic Updates were not turned on. On attempting to turn it on from the Security Centre, I got the error message “The security center could not change your automatic updates settings”.

I tried changing the Automatic Update settings through the Control Panel but according to the Control Panel, the Updates were turned on! However, every time I re-started or logged in again, I got the warning “Your computer may be at risk”.


I did a Google search on this error and found a resolution on Google Groups – after registering the dlls in this thread, I closed and re-opened the Security Centre and the Automatic Updates showed as being on.

62 thoughts on “Security center could not change your automatic updates settings”

  1. Thanks, Tom. This post saved me a headache. That message was driving me crazy (and, I think, my system wasn’t Autoupdating, as I’d feared). One good think about the ‘net — you can pretty much guarantee that someone’s had the same problem and already found a solution. For ANY problem that comes up. 😉

  2. Thanks a bunch, you and Kaylene aka Taurarian are “the man”! Easy fix, worked right the first time, quick too! Well, quick once XP finally decided to let the first command actually run…

  3. Hey man…

    I have got the exact same problem. My automatic updates do not work. I didn’t really understand the solution for this problem. Could you be a friend and tell me how exactly you tackled this problem?

  4. Hello. The thread half worked for me. It did not solve my Windows Update error but at least it let me turn system restore on/off again. Thanks, Noel. Ireland.

  5. Thank you very much. I had been spent few hours to solve this problem and finally able to do it! Thanks!

  6. How do you permanently get rid of the stupid warning flag that keeps nagging me to turn on automatic updates

  7. Denver,

    the easiest way might be to turn on Automatic Updates – not trying to be smart – you should be keeping your pc up to date with the latest patches from Microsoft antway.

  8. Ok, along these lines I have a very strange problem with Windows XP and Automatic Updates. I do not want them, so I turn them off.. fairly simple process… but once a week the option for automatic updates gets turned back ON without my interaction. This happens on 5 different XP Pro machines that I have.. plus my XP Home laptop.

    Anyone else see this? This has been going on for months. My first thought was that maybe a Virus or Spyware was changing it… assuming it was ON.. flipping the current setting… but I run all kinds of VIRI/spyware software and also can’t believe all 6 machines would have the same infection.

    Any ideas?? The normal “windows security, turn off updates…” just won’t work… I do this every week after it gets changed… and the next week it will turn itself back on… very annoying.


  9. Here is a way to get rid of that annoying little warning.
    Goto the control pannel /security settings.
    Ont he left hand side, click where it says “Change the way security center alerts me”.
    Then just uncheck the ones that you dont want to see.
    Easy to do but for some reason MS is kinda quiet on how to do this

  10. Well, thanks for the idea.. but as I stated.. changing the settings to NOT do auto updates does not work for more than a week… then somehow it gets changed back. I want auto updates turned off… 100%.. forever… but low and behold once a week they keep getting turned back on somehow…….. arrrrrrg!

  11. Dan, have you tried turning the auto update service off? If not…
    Go to control pannel…..administrative tools…. amd click on services
    Look down the list untill you find automatic updates, about 6 services down the list.

    Double click automatic updates. In the center where it says “startup type”, change it to manual or disabled.

    If you go to the MS sight to do updates you will have to turn this service back on in order for it to work and update from the web site.

    I hope that helps.

  12. I have a bodgy version of XP-Pro and use the windizupdates web site for my updates (no WGA spyware) I also managed to download the SP-2 from another non-Micro$oft website.
    I also keep getting that nagging pop-up advising me to switch on my updates, It’s a pain in the neck.
    There must be a simple way of pissing it off.

  13. i have this problem with Vista, can anyone give me a fix for it?

  14. when i tried to register the dll thats mentioned, when registering some of them it gave this error message. Please help.. this is driving me crazy.. 🙁 my OS is Vista 32-bit home premium

    the module “wups.dll” was loaded but the call to DllRegisterServer failed with error code 0x80070005

  15. It still won’t turn on and I have checked to see if everthing is right in the control panel.

  16. Brilliant. Re-registered the files and all OK now. Thanks – this was driving me around the bend! About a million updates to install now though!

  17. I don’t have that problem BUT i have a seriously annoying problem with my automatic updates that i just can’t change. I haven’t been getting any updates because the default setting is to download them at 3am but of course my pc isn’t on at that time and in automatic update settings i can’t change a single thing. Where each bit is its got they darkish grey colour over the top of it blocking it off so pretty much i haven’t been getting any updates in the past few months…. plz help

  18. Hi i am unable to turn on the automatic update when i try to turn on, i am getting a error msg as the secutiry center could not change your automatic updates setting and treid to do manullay unable ti turn on can you send me fix for this problem

  19. I just had this same issue with my PC for the first time. I had heard of the issue before but had never seen how to fix it. Thanks for the help!

  20. OMG!!!!! YOU ARE SERIOUSLY A GODSEND!!! My computer started acting up yesterday, and I didn’t know why. Now, I’m going to start doing the updates now. Thank you so much! Oh, also, for some reason, ever since my Automatic Updates stopped working, I’ve been getting random popups whenever I’m on the internet. Like, getting prizes and movies and such. My popup blocker is on, but I have no idea why it’s doing it…..

  21. I have a completely different problem. When i looked in services.msc i couldnt find the tab for Automatic Updates. HOw come?

  22. I have a similar problem in WINDOWS VISTA. Can you help us fix the same problem in it?


  23. Nice one Tom!
    This tip may be over 6 years old, but it’s still helping people and worked a treat on my sister’s PC – thanks!

    1. ok how did u fix it ? i dont really understand how anyone did it but apperently this works cuz everyones comments say it works

  24. i have the same problem but i dont understand how all of you fixed it…. plz help

  25. Holy Schnikes!

    Who would’ve thunk that after more than 5 years this post would even exist let alone work like a charm, thanks so much, this absolutely did the trick.

    God bless you!

  26. Open command prompt and Enter this below command and hit ENTER KEY:

    regsvr32 wuaueng.dll

    You will receive small pop-up window saying “command succeed”

    That’s it.!!!!, now try to TURN ON Auto Update.

    1. Thanks Jagan

      v helpful and easy
      you made me happy
      i am wearing smiley face

  27. Hey, it worked! This has been bothering me for a while now. Thank you! 🙂

  28. to resolve problem automatic “updates not working”

    Click Start, select Run and type:

    regsvr32 wuapi.dll
    regsvr32 wuaueng.dll
    regsvr32 atl.dll
    regsvr32 wucltui.dll
    regsvr32 wups.dll
    Press enter after each one and wait for the success message …
    after that go to security centar and turn ON automatic update… it work !!!!

    1. Hey thanks for the advice.
      Just done this and hey presto windows update now working

      Many Thanks,


  29. Thank you SO MUCH!! Why couldn’t Microsoft provide this info when I checked at the Windows sites?!?

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