Fix “The update information is outdated” error with exclamation sign on elementary OS wingpanel

Recently, one of my test PCs running elementary OS Freya is showing a orange exclamatory icon on the top panel (wing panel). Seems like this popped out after a major update was applied and after computer was restarted. The error message read as “The update information is outdated. This may be caused by network problems or by repository that is no longer available. Please update manually by selecting ‘Show updates’ from the indicator menu, and watching for any failing repositories.”  Certainly, the internet connection is good at my end, so the culprit is definitely due to outdated repository sources. The fix is simple and I was able to fix the problem in few minutes. Let’s get started.

elementary OS update error on wing panel
elementary OS update error on wing panel

Fix Outdated Repository Sources Error in elementary OS

STEP 1: Go to ‘Applications’ and launch ‘Terminal’.

STEP 2: Type the following command and hit enter.

sudo apt-get update

You will have to enter root password for the update to progress. Also click ‘Reload’ when it prompts for cache update.

STEP 3: Now the most important part is going through the update process list in the terminal. A normal end without problems will not have 404 Error, but in this case you should certainly have at least one error. Note that the repository source error may be different in your computer. On my test PC, the update command ended with two 404 errors.

404 Errors in Terminal
404 Errors in Terminal

STEP 4: Copy the paste the following command to open the Software sources:

sudo software-properties-gtk

STEP 5: Click ‘Other Software’ tab. Scroll through the list of repository sources and uncheck the source which was throwing out Error 404 in STEP 3. In my scenario, it is the trusty main. Click ‘Close’.

Software & Updates
Software & Updates

STEP 6: It will ask you to reload cache. Click ‘Reload’.

STEP 7: You are almost done at this stage. But I recommend resetting the repository sources to default values so that you won’t get the same error message again in near future. This command remove and rebuilds the repository sources.

sudo rm /etc/apt/sources.list

STEP 8: Enter the following command again:

sudo software-properties-gtk

Click ‘Ubuntu Software’ tab. Check the box ‘Canonical-supported free and open-source software (main)’. Also click the drop-down ‘Download from:’ list and select ‘Main server’. Click ‘Close’.

Reset Repository Sources
Reset Repository Sources

Reload the cache as needed.

That’s it. By know that orange update warning icon on the top bar should have vanished. Did it work for you? Do let us know in the comments below.

Kiran Kumar
Hi there! I'm Kiran Kumar, founder of I'm an avid Linux lover and enjoy hands-on with new promising distros. Currently, I'm using Ubuntu as a daily driver and run several other distros such as Fedora, Solus, Manjaro, Debian, and some new ones on my test PC and virtual machines. I have a day job as an Engineer, and this website is one of my favorite past time activities, especially during Winter ;). When I'm not writing for FOSSLinux, I'm seen biking and hiking on scenic trails. I hope you enjoy using this website as much as I do writing for it. Feedback from readers is something that inspires me to do more and spread Linux love!. If you find a time, drop me an email or feedback from the 'Contact' page. Or simply leave a comment below if you found this article useful. Have a good day!


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