How to Fix ERROR_SERVICE_DOES_NOT_EXIST on Windows 10/11

Quick Fix

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As we all know, Windows Update and Windows Store are two interdependent services. When one of them is faulty or experiencing problems, the other one may not work well, too.

One problem that notoriously affects these two services is ERROR_SERVICE_DOES_NOT_EXIST. What is it?


ERROR_SERVICE_DOES_NOT_EXIST is just among the many known Windows system errors. It is generally encountered during the Windows update process or whenever upgrading Windows Defender. When it shows, it is usually accompanied by error messages that indicate specific problems. And because each problem is different, the solutions often vary, too.

But why does this error message show? Well, there are a few reasons. Some of which are as follows:

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  • Problematic Windows Update Services. When the Windows update requires running certain processes or services but are not available, the ERROR_SERVICE_DOES_NOT_EXIST may appear on your screen.
  • Unavailable System Files. When the system files needed by the update are not registered or are not found, this error may be thrown.
  • 0x80070424 Error Scam. If a malware entity or a potentially unwanted program has infected your computer, there is a chance that you will see this error message.

Can this error be fixed? How do you troubleshoot ERROR_SERVICE_DOES_NOT_EXIST?


There are several solutions you can try to resolve ERROR_SERVICE_DOES_NOT_EXIST. We’ve shared some of them below:

Solution #1: Perform basic troubleshooting

The first and most important thing that you should do when you come across the error is to perform basic troubleshooting. And fortunately, troubleshooting the problem with a Windows computer is easy because you have this built-in Windows 10/11 Store App Troubleshooter that helps you fix any issues associated with the app.

Here’s how to use the Windows 10/11 Store App Troubleshooter:

  1. Press the Windows + I keys. This will open Settings.
  2. Next, click Update and Security.
  3. Navigate to the Troubleshoot tab and select Windows Update.
  4. Choose Run Troubleshooter.

Solution #2: Delete all the files from the Software Distribution folder

All downloaded Windows Updates are saved in the SoftwareDistribution folder. Once the installation of an update is completed, the files in this folder are deleted right away.

If the files are not gotten rid of or are not cleaned up, error messages may surface. So, to prevent these errors from appearing, delete all the files in this folder. For a more detailed guide on how to do it, refer to the steps below:

  1. Press the Windows + X keys to access the WinX menu.
  2. Select Command Prompt as Admin.
  3. Into the command line, enter the following commands. Make sure you hit Enter after typing each command.
    • net stop wuauserv
    • net stop cryptSvc
    • net stop bits
    • net stop msiserver
  4. At this point, the Windows Update Service, MSI Installer, Background Intelligent Transfer Service, and Cryptographic services are stopped.
  5. Next, go to C: > Windows > SoftwareDistribution. Delete all the files and folders here by pressing CTRL + A, and then click Delete.
  6. Now, reset the Catroot2 folder to reset all the services you stopped. To do this, enter the following commands. Make sure you hit Enter after every command.
    • net start wuauserv
    • net start cryptSvc
    • net start bits
    • net start msiserver
  7. Exit Command Prompt and restart your computer.
  8. Try to run the Windows Update utility once more.

Solution #3: Reset the Microsoft Store cache

Like most browsers, Microsoft Store will generate cache files as you view games and apps. So, it is only wise to remove these files when no longer needed. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Right-click on the Start button.
  2. Click Command Prompt (Administrator).
  3. Into the command line, input wsreset.exe and hit Enter. This command clears the cache files created by the Windows Store app.
  4. Restart your PC and open the Microsoft Store once again. See if the problem persists.

Solution #4: Make sure all necessary Windows Update services are running

As mentioned above, there are certain processes and files needed to run a Windows Update. If your system cannot find them, then it is likely that you will see the ERROR_SERVICE_DOES_NOT_EXIST message.

To ensure all required Windows Update services are up and running, follow these steps:

  1. Press the Windows + R keys to launch the Run dialog box.
  2. Into the text field, input services.msc and press Enter.
  3. From the list of services, check if the following services are up and running and check their Startup types. Make sure they are as follows:
    • Background Intelligent Transfer Service – Manual
    • Windows Update Service – Manual (Triggered)
    • Workstation Service – Automatic
  4. If the above services are not running, click the Start button next to them to start them. Check if the error message still shows.

Solution #5: Clear your PC of system junk

Often times, Windows Update and Windows Store errors arise due to junk files that interfere with your system processes. To keep these files from triggering errors on your computer, make it a habit to clear them.

One of the easiest and most convenient ways to clear your PC of system junk is by using a third-party PC repair tool. In just a few minutes, this tool can scan your PC and delete files that may only put your PC at risk.

Wrapping Up

The ERROR_SERVICE_DOES_NOT_EXIST may not be fatal, but it’s always better to stay on the safe side. Try any of the solutions above until you find a fix that works for you.

Do you know other ways to resolve the error? We’d like to know. Share them in the comments!

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