Fix Background Intelligent Transfer Service – BITS Stuck on Stopping / Starting

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If you are savvy windows user, You may often see a service name called BITS. Sometimes, You may encounter some common problem with it. In this article, You will find some steps to fix BITS stuck at stopping or starting which is a very common unnoticeable problem in windows.

Probably, A few windows users are familiar with the word “BITS“. The full form is “Background Intelligent Transfer Service“. All of windows background tasks that use bandwidth are mostly depended on it. Specially, Your windows update or store app updates can be interrupted, If there is any issue with it. Normally, This service run smoothly without any problem. In some cases, It may not work correctly and you won’t notice it until you encounter any update or download related problem. Sometimes, BITS stuck on stopping / starting state which is very common problem. But, There are a few troubleshooting steps that can help you.

bits-stuck-stopping-screenshot

How to Know If BITS Stuck on Stopping / Starting:

It is really an easy task. You have to follow these things –

  • First of all, Press Win + R from keyboard to open Run.
  • Now, Type “services.msc” and hit Enter.
  • You will see services windows before you. Find “Background Intelligent Transfer Service” from there and double click on it.
  • Now, Look what’s the service status. If it shows “running”, It means it’s working fine. “Stopping” status means there is something wrong.
  • If you find it Stopped, You can click on Start. It should launch the service instantly. But, Sometimes, It also may be stuck on starting stage.

In stopping state, You must see Start, Stop, Pause or Resume buttons are grayed. That, Means you can’t do anything on it normally.

There is another way to detect if BITS is not working fine. To do it

  • Press Win + X and select Command Prompt (Admin).
  • Now, Type the following command and hit Enter.
sc bits query
  • If everything is OK, You will see “STATE: 4 RUNNING” in the outputs. You may find “SATE: 3 STOP_PENDING“.

BITS cannot accept control message command prompt

How to Fix BITS Stucks at Stopping State:

There are a few methods that you can try to resolve this problem. Fortunately, In most cases, You can easily get rid of it. That means, Any of these methods will work. So, Let’s see how to resolve it.

Try to Start / Stop BITS by Command:

As all of these buttons are grayed, We can try command prompt method. Here are details.

  • First of all, Open Command Prompt with administrator rights.
  • Now, Type the following commands and hit Enter.
net stop bits
net start bits
  • It rarely may work. If you are unlucky, You may see the message “The service cannot accept control messages at this time“.

When you find it fails to fix your problem, You can go through next method.

Use BITS Troubleshooter:

Windows has its own troubleshooters for basic problems. You can try them for any windows related problem. “Background Intelligent Transfer Service” troubleshooter can help you to fix stuck at stopping issue. Here are the things to do:

  • At first, Open Start Menu and type “troubleshoot”. You will see the Troubleshooting app. Just click on it.
  • Now, In right sidebar, You should see View All option. Click on it.
  • Then, Find and click on Background Intelligent Transfer Service.
  • Click on Next and follow on screen instructions. It will fix any BITS related problem.

Run DISM Command to Fix BITS Stuck on Stopping:

You have another awesome method that works in most cases. Personally, I fixed BITS stuck on stopping problem by this method. If have already decided to reset windows to fix this problem, Running DISM command can save you. Here are the things to follow.

  • In Command Prompt with administrator rights, Type the following command and hit Enter.
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
  • It may take a few minutes to one / two hours to complete the full process. Wait until the end.
  • Restart your PC after the process got finished.
  • Now check, If you are still facing BITS stuck at stopping error.

When you run DISM command, It should finish the process successfully. But, Sometimes, It may be stopped by showing you an error message. You can read: Fix Hosted Network Couldn’t be Started to get better instructions what to do.

Restore or Reset Windows:

If nothing works, You can restore windows to earlier restore point when this problem was not existed. Everything i mentioned above should work. Probably, You won’t need to reset windows to resolve this problem.

Please, Let me know, If you don’t find it helpful. You also can add your method by comment.

1 COMMENT

  1. A very nice article, thank you
    I edited a version to Plain English that you may find helpful for wider audiences:

    All windows background tasks that use bandwidth are mostly dependant on it. Specially, Your windows update or store app updates can be interrupted if there is an issue with it. In some cases, it may not work correctly and you won’t notice it until you encounter an update or download problem. Sometimes, BITS is stuck on stopping / starting state which is very common.
    Check if BITS is stuck on Stopping / Starting:
    1. Check status in Services
    1. Run | type “services.msc”, [Enter].
    2. Find “Background Intelligent Transfer Service” and double click on it.
    hah, it was set to manual
    3. If “running”, it’s fine. “Stopping” means there is something wrong.
    4. If Stopped, click on Start. It should launch the service instantly. But, Sometimes, It also may be stuck on starting stage.
    2. Another way to check:
    ⦁ [Win] + [X] | Command Prompt (Admin).
    Type “sc bits query”, [Enter].
    ⦁ If everything is OK, You will see “STATE: 4 RUNNING” in the outputs.
    You may find “SATE: 3 STOP_PENDING“.
    This is caused by attempting to start or stop the IIS services while another start or stop command is still processing for IIS. So stop all batch-processing or scheduled operations until the Service Control Manager has had ample time to clear all processing. You should then be able to start or stop the IISADMIN service.
    Checked Windows Update, some updates failed Automatically download disabled, enabled it

    If you cannot start BITS
    1. Try to Start / Stop BITS with Command prompt:
    1. Open Command Prompt with administrator rights.
    2. Type the following commands and hit Enter.
    net stop bits
    net start bits
    3. It rarely works. You may get “The service cannot accept control messages at this time“.
    2. If it fails, try
    1. Start Menu, type “troubleshoot”. Click on the Troubleshooting app.
    2. In the right sidebar, click on the View All option.
    3. Find and click on Background Intelligent Transfer Service
    4. Click Next and follow on screen instructions to fix BITS related problems
    3. OR, you can run DISM Command to Fix BITS Stuck on Stopping
    1. Open Command Prompt with administrator rights.
    2. Type “DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth”, [Enter].
    3. It may take a few minutes to hours to complete the full process. Wait until the end then restart.
    4. Check if you are still facing the BITS error.
    5. If you get an error read https://www.xtremerain.com/fix-hosted-network-couldnt-start/ for more instructions.
    4. Plan D is to restore Windows to an earlier point
    5. Plan E is is a Windows reset

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