If you receive Windows Update error 80246005 while checking for updates, it usually means either you cannot save files to the Catroot2 folder, or that the Cryptographic Service was not started or is not working properly. Follow the steps below to correct these problems.

To allow files to be saved in the Catroot2 folder

Windows Update might fail if Windows cannot copy files to the Catroot2 folder or replace files that are in that folder (for example, if the folder or its files are set to read-only). To change the folder so you can write files to it, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Start button Picture of the Start button.
  2. In the Search box, type command prompt.

  3. In the list of results, right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as administrator. Administrator permission required If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

  4. At the Command Prompt window, type attrib -h -s -r c:\windows\system32\catroot2 (where c:\ is the drive where Windows is installed), and then press ENTER.

  5. Next, type attrib -h -s -r c:\windows\system32\catroot2\*.* (where c:\ is the drive where Windows is installed), and then press ENTER.

  6. Type Exit, and then press ENTER to close the Command Prompt window.

To check and restart the Cryptographic Service

  1. Open Administrative Tools by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking System and Maintenance, and then clicking Administrative Tools.

  2. Double-click Services. Administrator permission required If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

  3. In the Services dialog box, click Windows Update (you might need to scroll down to find it; the entries are in alphabetical order).

  4. Note the status of the selection (the status appears in the third column). Right-click Windows Update and do one of the following:

    • If Start is available, click Start.

    • If Restart is available, click Restart.

  5. Now click Cryptographic Services (you might need to scroll up to find it).

  6. Note the status of the selection (the status appears in the third column). Right-click Cryptographic Services and do one of the following:

    • If Start is available, click Start.

    • If Restart is available, click Restart.

  7. Close the Services dialog box.

After trying either of these procedures, go to the Windows Update website and try checking for updates again.

Note

  • While the primary cause of this error is usually what’s described above, some programs might also cause this error by preventing the Windows Update Services (SVCHOST) from accessing the Internet. Programs that might do this include firewalls, anti-spyware software, web accelerators, Internet security or antivirus programs, and proxy servers. If you have any of these programs running, you might need to turn them off while downloading and installing updates. Microsoft recommends you turn them back on after updating your computer. See Windows Update error 80072efd for steps you can take to change Windows Firewall settings.

If you continue to see this error, see this automatic troubleshooter on the Microsoft Support website, or go to the Microsoft Answers website for more assistance.

Help and Support search term: WindowsUpdate_80246005