Windows Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) is an essential component that helps programs download data and files from the Internet.
Currently, programs require the latest updates, new content, or configurations, and BITS intelligently handles network interruptions even after reboots by pausing and resuming transmission.
Intelligent in BITS also increases or decreases the file transfer speed based on the available network bandwidth Its application-defined transfer policies ensure that if a networked application is consuming more bandwidth, its transfer rate is reduced to prevent file transfers on expensive networks.
It also offers an easy way to download files to install updates on Windows 10. Thus, even after exiting the application, BITS will still transfer files, provided that you are still logged in and the network connection is maintained. If you log out and log back in, BITS will resume transmission after the connection is restored.
But that’s not all. Starting with the May 2019 update, BITS will now account for power consumption and transfer files when the computer is online and in modern standby mode.
In short, it ensures that downloads and uploads between your device and the remote server continue without any impact on network performance. This is especially useful for applications that need to upload or download files to or from an HTTP or REST web server or SMB file servers, account for network costs, automatically resume file transfers after restart or outages, or maintain the responsiveness of other network applications.
While BITS can be an intelligent service, sometimes it might not start or suddenly stop working altogether. As a result, other services such as Microsoft Store or Windows Update will not function as expected.
We’ll show you various ways to troubleshoot and fix BITS when it won’t start.
- Restart the background smart transfer service.
- Scan your device for malware.
- Use the BITS troubleshooter.
- Use the SFC and DISM command line tool
- Temporarily disable your security software.
- Install the latest quality update from Microsoft Update.
- Enable Network Location Services and Network List.
- Modify Normal Startup was selected for startup selection.
- Edit the registry.
- Reset computer settings.
Fix Background Intelligent Transfer Service not working
- Restart Background Intelligent Transfer Service
- Check your device for malware
- Use Explorer BITS Errors and Fixers
- Use the SFC and DISM command line tool
- Temporarily disable security software
- Install the latest quality update from Microsoft Update
- Enable network site awareness and network menu services
- Change the startup selection setting to normal startup
- Edit registry
- Reset your computer
Note. The instructions in this guide are for the Windows 10 operating system.
Restart the Background Intelligent Transfer Service
BITS usually starts automatically with your computer at startup, but if it doesn’t, you can manually check and restart the service.
1. Right click on Start> Run.
2. Type services.msc in the Run box and press Enter to open Windows Services.
3. Find Background Intelligent Transfer Service in the list of services on the right.
4. If BITS is running, right-click and select Restart to restart the service and fix it wherever it gets stuck for whatever reason.
5. If BITS does not start, double-click the entry in Windows Services and change the startup type in the new pop-up to Automatic.
6. Next to the Service Status field, click the Start button and check if BITS is working normally.
Scan your device for malware
Viruses and malware often target BITS to prevent it from running normally. If it doesn’t start, run a malware or virus scan to make sure nothing is stopping BITS from providing proper communication between your device and other BITS-based networks.
If you have good antivirus software installed, you can use it, otherwise try one of the best antimalware programs like Malwarebytes to run a scan and then restart your computer to see if the BITS issue is gone.
Use the BITS troubleshooter
The BITS troubleshooter can solve the most common service problems in Windows 10.
1. To do this, open the Control Panel and click the View By menu in the upper right corner. Click Large Icons.
2. Click Troubleshoot from the list of options.
3. Click Hardware and Sound.
4. Then click the Background Intelligent Transfer Service Troubleshooter under Windows.
5. Click Advanced.
6. Select Apply Repair Automatically> Next.
7. The BITS Troubleshooter will begin scanning, detecting and fixing any issues that might prevent it from starting or working properly.
Use the SFC and DISM command line tool
If BITS still won’t start, you can use the System File Checker (SFC) tool and the DISM command line tool to resolve the issue.
1. In the search bar, enter CMD to open the command line menu and click Run as administrator.
2. In the Command Prompt window, enter this command and press Enter: DISM / Online / Cleanup-Image / RestoreHealth. This will scan and repair any damage to the system files.
3. Then enter this command and press Enter: sfc / scannow.
You can also try the check disk command to see if it helps. In the same command prompt window type chkdsk / r / f and press Enter.
4. Reboot the device and it will scan for errors, fixing any errors that are preventing BITS from starting or working properly.
Temporarily disable your security software
This is a stopgap measure to help you check if it is causing BITS to start. Security software protects your device from security threats such as viruses and malware and cannot be disabled.
However, in this case, temporarily disable it and see if BITS starts normally. If so, your antivirus might be the cause. Otherwise, re-enable the security software as soon as finished.
Install the latest quality update from Microsoft Update
If none of the fixes have worked so far, the problem might be in the operating system and you can fix it by downloading the latest Microsoft updates.
1. You can do it manually, but check the name of the Knowledge Base (Knowledge Base) in the Windows 10 Update History and then confirm if you need a 32-bit or 64-bit update by going to Settings> System> “About system” and checking the system type.
2. Download Windows Update from the Microsoft Update Catalog. Here you can find the link in KB to update and click Download for 32 or 64 bit.
Click the .msu link to download the file.
3. Double-click the .msu file or select Command Prompt> Run as Administrator and enter the command: wusa C: FOLDER-PATH UPDATE-NAME.msu / quiet / norestart and press Enter.
4. Restart your computer and check if the service is working normally again.
Turn on Network Location Services and Network List
Windows services are dependent on each other, but there are two specific services that do not appear in Windows Services when the BITS button is pressed, but they only start when these two services are working properly – the Network Location Information Service and the Network List Service. P>
1. To enable them, right-click Start> Run, type services.msc and press Enter.
2. In Windows Services, find the Network Location Awareness and Network List services and right-click them to start them using the startup type steps we described for BITS above.
If each service is running, leave it as it is, but if each one shows “stopped”, click the “Start” button to restart the service. Set all startup options for each of these services to Automatic, including BITS.
Change the startup selection setting to normal startup
Depending on your computer, the default startup selection setting should be Normal or Selective startup.
1. To change it, right-click Start> Run and type msconfig. Click System Configuration.
2. On the General tab, change the Startup value to Normal Startup.
3. Click Apply and restart your computer to check if the BITS service starts up normally.
4. Return to the General tab and select the Selective startup option. Clear the Load Startup Items check box.
Registry Editor requires that you pay special attention to each step to prevent further problems with your computer. This is due to changes to the registry, so be sure to back up your registry before taking the steps below.
1. Right-click on Start and select Run. Enter regedit in the run dialog to open the Registry Editor. In Registry Editor navigate to this key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE SYSTEM CurrentControlSet Control BackupRestore FilesNotToBackup
2. Check if the FilesNotToBackup entry exists in the BackupRestore key. If not, create it by clicking Edit> New> Key in the BackupRestore key. Rename the value to FilesNotToBackup and press Enter. Leave the key blank.
3. Go to Windows Services (right-click Start> Run> type services.msc> Enter) and find Background Transfer Service. Right click on BITS and select Properties.
4. If the BITS service is running, leave it as it is; if stopped, click Start and make sure the Startup Type in the BITS Properties is set to Automatic.
Restart your computer
If all else fails, restart your computer as a last resort.
1. Go to Settings> Update & Security.
2. Click Recovery> Reset this PC.
3. Click “Get Started” and then select “Keep My Files” or “Delete All”. All settings will be returned to their defaults, and applications will be removed, so you’d better choose the “Keep my files” option.
4. Click Next and choose whether you want to keep the files or delete everything. Click “Reset” and wait for Windows to complete the process. When it’s done, click Continue, restart your computer and check if BITS is working normally.
5. Restart your computer and check if the BITS error is resolved.