Windows Update Error 0x80072ee2

For a while now I’ve been getting timeouts when using Windows updates through our proxy servers. Everything else seems to be working just fine, no complaints on browsing the web, it just seems that whenever I’m using Windows update through the proxy it takes a few times before it’s successful. Up until now it wasn’t really a problem because we use internal WSUS servers, however testing the Microsoft Operation Manager Suite and pointing Windows update to the Internet for getting the patches made it clear that connectivity issues were getting in the way of progress. Every time we scheduled an update run, it’s would time out on the proxy with error 0x80072ee2, direct connection went fine on all occasions. To make a long story short it turns out that the underlying mechanism of Windows Updates depends on the Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS), which in turn uses a different mechanism to connect to the internet (WINHTTP).

Normally it will use your Internet Explorer proxy to connect to the Internet, yet this seems to be having a few issues where Windows Update is unable to connect. What helped me in fixing the problem is telling WINHTTP to always use a dedicated proxy instead of relying of the automatic detection of a proxy or use the settings from Internet Explorer. Simply use good old netsh or use the powershell cmdlet:


to accomplish this task.

List the current proxy
netsh winhttp show proxy

Set a proxy server
netsh winhttp set proxy <FQDN:Port> 

Reset the proxy for winhttp
netsh winhttp reset proxy


Can’t download updates from Windows Update from behind a firewall or proxy server

How the Windows Update client determines which proxy server to use to connect to the Windows Update Web site

Windows Update Error List

Netsh Commands for Windows Hypertext Transfer Protocol (WINHTTP)


Best Practices When Using BITS

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