Background Intelligent Transfer Service will not start

Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) is a service built into Windows that transfers files in the background using idle network bandwidth. It basically acts as a download manager for Windows Update and other services by being able to resume from broken or partial downloads.

If you are having problems with downloading Windows updates because BITS will not start or is giving errors, there are a couple of ways you can try to fix the issue. If you are getting any of these errors, read on:

Background intelligent transfer service did not start properly

Background intelligent transfer service will not start

Background intelligent transfer service has stopped working

If BITS can’t be started for some reason, first make sure it is enabled in the Services control panel applet. Go to Start, Control Panel, Administrative Tools, and click on Services.

Make sure that Background Intelligent Transfer Service is set to Automatic or Manual as the startup type.

 bits wont start


If it’s not set to Manual or Automatic, then double-click on it and change the startup type to either one of these. If the service is configured correctly, but BITS will still not start up properly, check to make sure none of the dependent services are disabled.

Again, go through the list of services and make sure all of the following are set to Automatic or Manual:

Terminal Services, Remote Procedure Call (RPC), System Event Notification, Windows Management Instrumentation Driver Extensions, COM+ Event System, DCOM Server Process Launcher

If all of the services are correctly configured, you can try to delete and reset the download queue by deleting the following two files:

%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Application Data\Microsoft\Network\Downloader\qmgr0.dat

%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Application Data\Microsoft\Network\Downloader\qmgr1.dat

Now try to start the BITS service by going to the command prompt and typing in net start bits. This will reset the BITS transfer queue and hopefully allow the service to start properly. If not, then continue reading!

If you are running Windows Vista and you cannot start the Background Intelligent Transfer Service, you can download the BITS Repair Tool to fix any problems corrupted BITS files. This tool by Microsoft tries three different methods to reset BITS on Vista.

You can also check to make sure that a missing DLL file is not preventing BITS from starting properly. Go to Start, Run and type in the following command:

depends.exe %windir%\system32\qmgr.dll

background intelligent transfer service

The Windows Dependency Walker will pop up and you will get an error message if any of the required DLLs are missing. You also want to check the DLL dependencies for Windows Update:

depends.exe %windir%\system32\wuauserv.dll

If you simply get a window with a whole bunch of DLLs listed and no error messages that means all the appropriate DLL files for BITS and Windows Update are correctly installed on your system.

dependency walker


If you get an error about a DLL not being found or that is missing, then it is best to run System File Checker, which will copy back all of the original Windows DLL files. Go to Start, Run, and type in CMD. At the prompt, type in

sfc /scannow

Afterwards, reboot your machine and hopefully your problem will now be fixed! If Background Intelligent Transfer Service still won’t start, post a message here and I’ll try to help! Enjoy!

Comments [53]

  1. Hi, im using 64bit Vista and cannot get BITS start working.

    Im getting this error when i try to start it: "Error 3: The system cannot find the path specified."

    Tried to use the BITS Repair Tool but it says it doesnt require any correction.

    I also run the System File Checker and it said that "Windows Resource Protection did not find any integrity violations."

    Any idea?


  2. I have tried everything you suggested, it does not appear to be working, windows says the downloads are not needed. The svchost.exe is in the system32 folder, but will not open. When I tried the depends.exe%windir%sysyetm32… it said their was no association. I tried repair from install disc too. How can I just install a fresh BITS?

  3. What did you tell DavidsNed? I'm having the same problem with thje same feedback to everything DavidsNed said? Appreciate any help.

  4. I recently cleaned an XP machine of some viruses but was left with the BITS error…cannot find the file specified. I searched the registry for the word BITS and found two places where the part of the path was changed from %SystemRoot% to %fystemRoot%. I changed the two entries and BITS started working.

  5. Just wanted to say thanks. You've manged to help me achieve what MS completely failed to do. I know were to look 1st next time.

  6. I have tried everything after getting infected with a virus. The only thing left is Auto-Updates. And when I try and start BITS the path is wrong in Services. I can't find where to change it. If I try and change anything like enabling the profile in LogOn in services for BITS I get Access Denied. Any light on the subject will be helpful.

  7. Mindbank – my hero!. I took your advice to the next level and just did a registry search for %fystem and not only got the BITS to work, but the automatic update service to run as well. (total of four changes to the registry to the two you wrote about)

  8. Thanks you! You have saved the day with this article!


  9. When I tried sfc/scannow it asks me for the service pack 3 cd. I don't have anything like that. I have Windows Media and get error 3 when trying to connect to the Media Guide. Can you help me reinstall BITS? Thank you.

  10. I have done all of the scans for teh dll and I still get the error 2: cannot find specified file?

  11. I have tried everything after getting infected with a virus. The only thing left is Auto-Updates. And when I try and start BITS the path is wrong in Services. I can’t find where to change it. If I try and change anything like enabling the profile in LogOn in services for BITS I get Access Denied. Any light on the subject will be helpful.
    hey mndbank please help

  12. Hi THere.
    Using XP Pro SP2 36bit
    BITS gets the error “blah blah could not be started on local computer. Error 2: Could not find the file specified.”

    Tried everything suggested and nothing…
    Can you maybe give me a list of ALL the files needed for BITS to run and where they should be?

  13. I've tried everything you've posted and then some…I tried net start bits and windows says no such file…..Help…

  14. Noone of these actually helped me. I keep getting "ACCESS DENIED"

    even using the famous net command from Microsoft :


    it alsogives access denied ( im administrator go figure..)

  15. When trying to start BITS, I get "Error 126: The specified module could not be found." None of the above fix it. In fact, when using the "Daney link," I get the following for steps 4 & 5: msxml.ddl & iniitpki.ddl could not be found; "The module 'qmgr.ddl' was loaded but the entry-point DllRegisterServer was not found" …Help!…

  16. > ‘qmgr.ddl’ was loaded but the entry-point DllRegisterServer

    > was not found”

    I assume you meant qmgr.dll ?

    did you unregister first ?

    regsvr32 c:pathto hedll /u

  17. Problem with Automatic Updates or BITS (Background Intelligent Transfer Service)

    This may be caused due to viruses. The solution was searching the registry for the word fystemRoot.

    I found it at a lot of places places in which the word %SystemRoot% had been changed to %fystemRoot%.

    This was probably changes by some malware to prevent BITS/ Automatic Updates from starting. Changing it back fixed the issue.



  18. I'm getting the same problem Vivek pointed out, where the path is pointing to %fystem%. How do I change the path back to normal? I tried running regedit but it didn't do anything.

  19. We recently had the same problem. The solution was to remove a non-working device in device manager. In Device Manager, there a device with an error. I uninstalled the device, and the BITS service started right up.

  20. I have tried everything you suggested, it does not appear to be working. When i attempt to start BITS it says "Access Denied".

    PLz help me

  21. Inspiron 1420 with Windows Vista Service Pack 1. Windows Update won't work. Error 80246008. I trouble shoot all of the BITS alternatives, but I always get the message "Windows could not start the BITS service on local computer. Error 126 The specified module could not be found." Not sure what else to do? Is there a way to reinstall BITS service?

  22. I tried this all without succes. But i found a solution!

    I compared the qmgr.dll and the qmgrprxy.dll with another Vista machine and they did not match. So i copied the file from the working vista machine to the not working machine. But to do so i had to rename the files first. This was not possible when booted from vista nor in save mode so i booted the machine from dvd and then choose repair and then started the command prompt. Used rename c:windowssystem32qmgr.dll qmgr.old.

    Then rebooted the machine to normal copied the new file to the system32 directory. used regsvr32 to register the files again. Rebooted the machine, started BITS. And that did the trick for me! Hope you can read my crappy enghlish and maybe able to use this info!


  23. I tried to run depends.exe%windir%system32qmgr.dll. I got an error that said "File dos not have a program associated with it for performing this action. Create an association in the set association control panel" I also tried to run depends.exe%windir%system32wuauserv.dll. I got the same error message. I also tried to go to CMD and enter sfc/scannow. I got an error message that said "You must be an administration running a console session in order to use the SFC utility." I am in the administrator account. So I am not sure why it would not allow me to do the SFC thing. My laptop will not update because the BITS won't start. Please help!

  24. not always will you be able to change the ImagePath data value due to permission problem. This can also be caused by a virus but even after it has been removed – you will still need to reset the security settings. the best way to do it is to use this fix:

    or just type the command:

    secedit /configure /cfg %windir%
    epairsecsetup.inf /db secsetup.sdb /verbose

  25. so here's the deal, my BITS starts and then it stops just as soon as it starts up..not quite sure whats going on..I tried the run depends.exe %windir%system32qmgr.dll and it says cannot find depends.exe make sure you typed the name correctly and try again…I also tried to do the run CMD then sfc /scannow but it says must be an adminstrator…which i'm set as the administrator..plz help

  26. I am having some problems with my BITS it wont start, well it does but it says "BITS services on local computer started then stopped…". I think I have tried all your suggestions correctly but nothing seems to fix the problem. I think this may be a recuring problem, as i have never been able to install updates for my vista since, well ever! Is there any way you can help me


  27. @acraiger : That worked!! I noticed that mysteriusly an unknown device popped up in device manager. After uninstalling it everything workd fine. Thanks ;)

  28. I have Vista 32-bit and I tried all the methods, but still BITS does not want to work. I cannot download the BITS repair tool! Please help!

  29. Exactly what Mindbank said above worked for me too. Seems to be main issue with this. I think a common virus /bug disables the path to these two services by replacing the 'S' with the 'f' but the antivirus program then removes the bug without undoing what the virus did to replace the system path.

    Do a search in your registry. Start -> Run and open 'regedit', then Control-F and search for %fystemRoot%

    Change where it says "fystemRoot" fopr "SystemRoot" and BITS starts working again (along with automatic updates if you fix the other path the virus disables)

  30. This file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action. Create an association in the folder options control panel.

    Can anyone help me, pls? This error appears everytime i want to open Internet Explorer or any other program.

  31. Hi – I have ahd trouble with the BITS service not working for several weeks, ever since a very bad virus had my PC in the shop for cleaning. I am not sure if it was the virus or the technicians …

    I have tried all remedies hear, nothing works. I can see the service but can not start it (it is set to automatic (delayed start).

    I cannot run the depends.exe command – it is not recognized. And when I try the scf scannow command I am told I must be an administrator ina console window (I am an administrator, not sure what a consol window is.)

    The BITS fix tool tells me that it is not required at this time.


    Windows Visa Home Premium (32); Norton 360


  32. This is a great article that has helped me alot. I'm down to this point:

    You can also check to make sure that a missing DLL file is not preventing BITS from starting properly. Go to Start, Run and type in the following command:

    depends.exe %windir%system32qmgr.dll

    I get the following error message:

    Windows cannot find 'depends.exe'. Make sure you typed the name correctly, and then try again. To search for a file, click the Start button, and then click Search.

    Your next instruction:

    depends.exe %windir%system32wuauserv.dll worked fine. I ran sfc /scannow and it fixed a number of problems, but not that depends.exe problem.

    I'd be grateful if you can help. This was a great help already. I can't reload windows because I have a very old program ('93!) with many accounts on it and I could never recover the data if I wiped it clean, as I don't have the original program discs. If all else fails, I'll just be stuck with XP service pack 1 as I can't update any further.


  33. I've been searching for a couple of days now to try and fix the problem I'm having, the BITS service isn't working and hasn't been since the 5th of January, the last update that the machine managed to put on was KB972581 on the 4th. Everything after that date has failed apart from ones I have manually downloaded and installed.

    I have tried uninstalling and reinstalling both service packs (it's Vista Enterprise by the way), neither of which repaired it. I've deleted the qmgr files, which hasn't helped, I ran the dependencies tool which tells me this about qmgr:

    "Warning: At least one module has an unresolved import due to a missing export function in a delay-load dependent module."

    …and the same thing about wuauserv!

    When I actually try and run Windows update it finds the updates with no problem but when I click on "Install Updates" it says it's downloading, then before it actually manages to start the downloads says:

    "Some updates were not installed"


    "Error(s) found:

    Code 80246008"

    sfc /scannow doesn't find any integrity violations and I have tried the BITS repair tool which tells me that:

    "BITS repair is not required currently"

    In my services BITS is there (although originally it wasn't and one of the previous steps I took (a batch file using regsvrc32 to try and re-register some of the DLLs)) fixed it. When I try and start it it says:

    "Windows could not start the Background Intelligent Transfer Service service on Local Computer.

    Error 1075: The dependency service does not exist or has been marked for deletion"

    The Windows Update service is started and seemingly running okay.

    Sorry about the masses of information, hope there's enough there to help!

  34. Can anyone help. I had my laptop fixed due to windows xp not starting up. My laptop will load data cd’s i.e. excel, word etc, but it won’t load DVD’s or pc cd’s or dvd games.

    However when I put a DVD or cd in the d drive I can hear it trying to connect but nothing happens no error messages it’s like it trying to do something. Before it was fixed there were no problems with DVD’s or cd’s.

    I tried deleting the upper and lower filters but in {4D36E965-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318} there is only the lower filters no upper filters.

    I have tried Allow active content to run on my computer. I have tried changing the speed and still nothing.

  35. Depends.exe says I am missing two DLLs



    I ran sfc /scannow and rebooted but no joy.

    Any further suggestions?

  36. Thanks for this post. I wish I could say this resolved my BITS issue but it didn't. I must not have depends.exe on my computer because it couldn't pull it up. I did manage to run the system file checker and it seemed like it was copying files from my XP SP3 disc while it was running, but when I rebooted and tried to start BITS, I saw the same issues. I'm running XP SP3 and my issue is that when I try to start BITS, I get an alert saying:

    "Could not start the Background Intelligent Transfer Service service on Local Computer.

    Error 2: The system cannot find the file specified."

    When I try to change the startup type of BITS from Automatic to Manual, I just get a blunt "Access is denied."

    Help anyone???

  37. Thank you so much to Mindbank.

    My issue was also resolved by doing the exact same thing. Found the altered entries in the registry and once changed I could start the service.

  38. I am running VISTA Business. BITS is set on automatic but will not start. The list of services listed above are on automatic and with the exception of System Event Notification are set on start. When I tried to start SENS, I got error message 1068, "Dependency service or group failed to start." When I went to the tab for dependencies, I got an error message that "Interface Class not registered," and no services were listed on the dependency tab. When I tried to delete the two files listed starting with %allusersprofile% I got, "Cannot find C:program dataapplication."

    I downloaded the BITS repair tool and when I ran it, the message came back, "Not required currently." When I go to the Start menu and type in either of the two commands beginning with depends.exe%windir% nothing is found. Sfc /scannow did not find any integrity violations.

    Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated.

  39. Just wanted to say that Mindbank is the man. Thank you sir. That would have caused me no end of grief if it hadn't have been for your suggestion.

    Also rather annoying that other people say the same thing you mentioned later on but don't credit you.

    Oh well.

  40. To Chonga;

    I had the same issue.

    I think searching in the registry for %fystemRoot% and changing it to %SystemRoot% will fix your problem. Mindbank mentioned this in one of the first posts.

    If that doesn't work you could always reinstall the service pack (3).

    Oh that simple? No… Access Denied again.

    The fix for that? Download and run Microsoft's Fixit app –

    Good luck!

  41. Many thanks to you all for the comments I have now fixed the BITS service after many hours of trying.

    My problem was registry corruption – %SystemRoot% had been renamed to %fystemRoot%. I had to change three entries and tried to start the BITS service.

    Started first time…. Thanks once again.

  42. Need help. Running windowsXP. Automatic updates won’t update, apparently due to problem wiht BITS. Tried everything described on the site listed above in “Website”, nothing worked. Look forward to your reply.

    Thank you.

  43. A week ago my friend was over to try and help me get my automatic updates to turn on. He asked if you could help turn on the background intelligent transfer service. I have not heard back from you. Does that mean you can not help?

  44. Thanks I was able to start BITS.
    COM+ Event System was disabled in my case (vista 32 bit)

  45. I opened the dependency walker and then I opened the file and showed me this qmgr.dll ….” Warning: At least one module has an unresolved import due to a missing export function in a delay-load dependent module. ” help please

  46. Thank you so much..this helped me a lot..

  47. Thank you for the information! Deleting the queues worked.

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