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[Solved] : Troubleshooting Steps for Microsoft Windows Update Error Code 80072f8f

We earlier talked about the Windows Update problem and the solution to the code 80072ee2 error. Today we shall see the troubleshooting steps and solution to a different kind of error – code 80072f8f which occurs when we do Windows 7 or Vista or XP related updates from Microsoft.

Windows Update Error Code 80072F8F - Troubleshooting

Why does Windows Update Error 80072f8f occur mainly?

So you have bought a new Dell or Samsung laptop. With the hardware you get a brand new Windows 7 Home Premium pre-installed from the OEM manufacturer. Otherwise, you bought Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate from a Best Buy store and you installed on your brand new computer and you are ready to go.

Well, for now, everything is fine. After sometime the Windows giant Microsoft decides to release update to your Windows 7 OS (current update is SP1) or XP (current update is SP3). Now you decide to update to the latest version and fail with an error code of 80072f8f. What’s the reason?

The main reason is this : [Microsoft Article for Vista]

If you receive Windows Update error 80072f8f while checking for updates, your computer’s date and time might not be the same as the date and time for the online Windows Update service.

Ah, you see, you’ve changed the date and time of your system and that’s why your update is not working. Or otherwise, you might have got a hacked or pirated version of Windows and you don’t want your genuine serial number or crack to go blank! Well, in that case you cannot update to the latest release. Either you have to get better hack or crack software to make your Windows genuine and sync your date and time service with that of Microsoft.

Troubleshooting Steps


The answer is simple. Just change your date & time to the current period. You can follow the following steps from Microsoft Windows article to serve your purpose.

To change your computer’s date and time

  1. Open Date and Time by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking Clock, Language, and Region, and then clicking Date and Time.
  2. On the Date and Time tab, make sure that your computer’s date and time are correct. If they’re not, click Change date and time. Administrator permission required If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
  3. In the Date and Time Settings dialog box, do the following:
    • To change the date, under Date, click the left or right arrows to find the current month in the calendar, and then click the current date.
    • To change the time, under Time, double-click the hour, minutes, or seconds that you want to change, and then click the arrows to increase or decrease the value.
  4. When you have finished changing the time settings, click OK.

Or otherwise, there is a better solution to your Windows Update error 80072f8f problem. Just sync your computer clock with any Internet time server. To do it, just follow the succeeding steps.

      1. Click the Start button Picture of the Start button, click Control Panel, click Clock, Language, and Region, and then click Date and Time.
      2. Click the Internet Time tab, and then click Change settings. Administrator permission required If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
      3. Click Automatically synchronize with an Internet time server, select a time server, and then click OK.

This solution should work on Windows 7, Vista, XP and other Windows OS. But if you are planning to buy a Windows 8 PC, you should see my review on the Windows 8 price list of different versions and hardware devices. I think this solution should work on Windows 8 when Microsoft decides to release an update for this Metro-UI based tablet OS.

{ 4 comments… add one }

  • Shaun October 17, 2013, 1:56 pm

    Neither of these methods have worked for me. I’ve checked the date and time on the laptop and in the BIOS. I’ve tried importing a new copy of the GTE certificate yet still I have this error! This is on a laptop which I’ve just reinstalled with Win 7 32bit with sp1 and when I try to update it or activate windows I get the 80072f8f error. I’ve reinstalled again but still the issue occurs. I’m now going to reinstall a different machine with the same installation media (which has worked fine in the past) and see how I get on.

  • Cynthia August 30, 2014, 4:59 pm

    It not work for me too I have tried every thing I have 64-bit windows 7 Ultimate and it is Genuine I just checked it some thing else is wrong?

  • Cynthia October 21, 2014, 11:55 pm

    this dose not work for me too. Clock I did it is keeping perfect time, I bought my Windows 7 Ultimate from bestbuy a couple of years ago and was good until August 30 was the last update using windows update and never had problems till then, now the darn windows update wont work cause of that darn error code 80072f8f BestBuy dose not sell bad stuff do they? If they are is that against laws? I have Windows 7 Ultimate sp1 x64 bit os, please just need a good patch update to fix this why is this not working when did my clock????

    • Palla Sridhar October 22, 2014, 6:32 am

      @Cynthia: There may be a problem with the Root Certificate. Please go Here (You will have to use IE to access this link most likely)
      Find the relevant version of your OS -> Click on Add
      Select View basket in the right hand corner
      Download the update and run the update.

      Once installed restart the PC and try updates again

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