The Automatic Updates feature is unavailable or you receive an error message when you try to enable this feature on a Windows XP-based computer: “We are sorry the Security Center could not change the Automatic Updates settings”

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Article ID: 919745 - View products that this article applies to.
Important This article contains information about how to modify the registry. Make sure to back up the registry before you modify it. Make sure that you know how to restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up, restore, and modify the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
256986 Description of the Microsoft Windows registry
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SYMPTOMS

Consider the following scenario:
  • You upgrade your computer from Microsoft Windows 2000 to Microsoft Windows XP Professional.
  • When you start the computer, a balloon message prompts you to turn on the Automatic Updates feature to keep the computer up to date.
  • You try to turn on the Automatic Updates feature from the Security Center in Control Panel.
In this scenario, you receive an error message that resembles the following:
We are sorry the Security Center could not change the Automatic Updates settings.
Additionally, the error message prompts you to turn on the Automatic Updates feature from the Automatic Updates tab in the System Properties dialog box.

However, when you try to turn on the Automatic Updates feature from the Automatic Updates tab in the System Properties dialog box, the Automatic Updates feature is unavailable.

RESOLUTION

Warning Serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly by using Registry Editor or by using another method. These problems might require that you reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that these problems can be solved. Modify the registry at your own risk.

To resolve this problem, follow these steps:
  1. Make sure that the startup type for the following services is set to Automatic, and that the status is set to Started:
    • Automatic Updates
    • Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS)
    To do this, follow these steps:
    1. Click Start, click Run, type services.msc, and then click OK.
    2. In the list of services, click Automatic Updates, and make sure that the Status column displays Started, and that the Startup Type column displays Automatic.
    3. In the list of services, click Background Intelligent Transfer Service, and make sure that the Status column displays Started, and that the Startup Type column displays Automatic.
  2. If the startup type for the Automatic Updates service is not set to Automatic, or if the service is not started, follow these steps:
    1. Right-click Automatic Updates, and then click Properties.
    2. In the Automatic Updates Properties dialog box, click the General tab, and then click Automatic in the Startup Type list.
    3. Click Start, click Apply, and then click OK.
  3. If the startup type for the BITS service is not set to Automatic, or if the service is not started, follow these steps:
    1. Right-click Background Intelligent Transfer Service, and then click Properties.
    2. In the Background Intelligent Transfer Service Properties dialog box, click the General tab, and then click Automatic in the Startup Type list.
    3. Click Start, click Apply, and then click OK.
  4. Make sure that the NoAutoUpdate registry entry is enabled in the registry. To do this, follow these steps:
    1. Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.
    2. In the left pane, locate and then click the following registry subkey:
      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU
    3. In the right pane, double-click NoAutoUpdate, and make sure that the Value data box contains a value of 0.
  5. If the Value data box contains a value of 1, type 0 in the Value data box, and then click OK.
  6. Exit Registry Editor.
  7. Restart the computer.

MORE INFORMATION

For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
328010 How to configure automatic updates by using Group Policy or registry settings

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Article ID: 919745 - Last Review: June 9, 2006 - Revision: 1.1
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
Keywords: 
kbtshoot KB919745

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