[Update] Microsoft May Have Broken Windows Update for Some Windows 7 Users – How to Fix Error 80248015


Some Windows 7 users are reporting problems with Windows Update seeing error 80248015. Several users have reported this issue on Microsoft's forums and it appears the problem is probably being triggered by a file used by Windows Update that may have been set to expire on December 3 - yep, another date related issue. Since this file is expired, Windows Update fails to bring any new updates and shows up the following error message:

Windows could not search for new updates. An error occurred while checking for new updates for your computer. Error(s) found: Code 80248015. Windows Update encountered an unknown error.

The problematic file is found in C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\AuthCabs\authcab.cab that contains an XML file called authorization.xml set to expire on 12/3/2017 at 11:59:25 PST. [Update: XML file cannot be edited since its digitally signed by Microsoft - if a user does try to change the file, it won't be used by Windows Update]

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Note that this underlying cause has been reported by affected users and not by any official, as Microsoft is yet to comment on the issue. So far looking at the number of reports from both users and journalists, it is being suggested that probably everyone on Windows 7 is affected by this. However, there is no way to confirm if that indeed is the case.

"When I clicked on the Windows Update icon today to start the updates it said that my computer was up to date and that there were no updates available which I know was not the truth because I hadn’t installed any of the [recent ones]," one user said.

While it may have been an oversight by the company, this isn't the first time that Microsoft is making the lives of Windows 7 users a little too messy. Earlier this year a Google researcher had suggested that the company was exposing Windows 7 users to risks by fixing security issues in Windows 10, disclosing them publicly, not patching them up as fast in Windows 7, and then asking users to upgrade to Windows 10 for better security. If looked at it from Microsoft's perspective, the Redmond software maker wants everyone to be on its latest operating system and has been investing its efforts on its security and performance. However, for users who paid for their Windows 7, the company has to offer promised security updates until 2020.

Possible fixes for Windows 7 error 80248015

Since rebooting the system doesn't resolve the issue, Ghacks suggests disabling "Give me updates for Microsoft products and check for new optional Microsoft software when I update Windows" in the settings to temporarily fix the issue.

However, a few users have reported experiencing more problems with the above fix. Others have reported that the trusted old workaround of setting the date back to December 2nd resolves the issue as they are able to receive and install the latest security updates. The latter might be a safer fix until Microsoft releases a patch to this problem.

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We have contacted Microsoft for a comment and will update this space.

[Update] Microsoft says the issue has now been resolved

In a statement to Wccftech, the Redmond software giant has said that the problem that was "causing a delay" has been resolved, however, didn't offer any more details."

"We resolved the issue causing a delay in the update delivery service." Microsoft