Windows – How to fix Windows 8.1 Update Hanging

windows 8.1windows update

My Windows 8.1 laptop has not been updated for a long time. I am trying to run Windows Update > Check for updates but it keeps showing the Checking for updates... progress bar forever (more than 3 hours):

I tried all two approaches described in the YouTube video entitled "How To Fix Windows Stuck On Checking For Updates FIX 2017!" but none works. Namely:

1. Stop 2 services and delete all contents of the SoftwareDistribution folder.
2. Downloading from Microsoft and running the Windows Update Troubleshooter.

I also disabled the firewall, as suggested here:

But none worked for me. Is there any other trick that I can use to revive* my laptop's Windows 8.1 update?

*I'm saying revive because it used to work perfectly. I don't know when it stopped.

UPDATE:

@magicandre1981's 1st tip in his answer did the trick:

(the reason it says "Never" for "Updates were installed" is because during all my attempts to revive update, I have reset and clear the entire SoftwareDistribution folder)

Stop the Windows Update Service (via services.msc or in a cmd.exe which is started as admin via net stop wuauserv - this improves speed of installing the MSU update which you have to download), download and install this update by double click on the MSU: