If you are updating a Windows update and the update gets stuck in the middle of the process. here’s how to fix a stuck Windows update and get everything going on.
Operating system updates are a necessary evil, no matter how hectic they are you have to update it on a regular basis. They are essential for a happy and peaceful life. You might not care for Windows updates, but up to date, OS keep you protected from squash nasty bugs. It generally keeps the OS running as smoothly as possible.
Speaking of running smoothly, these updates do not always do that. In recent versions of Windows, Microsoft has tried to make the process as simple as possible. However, there is always the chance that some unexpected problem will crop up with so many hardware and software configurations out there.
But if it does happen you don’t have to worry because we have got you covered. Go by the below guide to learn how to fix a stuck Windows update by common problems with Windows updates.
1. Make sure the updates really are stuck
2. Turn it off and on again
3. Check the Windows Update utility
4. Run Microsoft’s troubleshooter program
5. Launch Windows in Safe Mode
6. Go back in time with System Restore
7. Delete the Windows Update file cache yourself
8. Launch a thorough virus scan
9. Run a full Windows reset
We are going to cover a lot of ground here for several versions of Windows and a variety of ‘stuck’ scenarios. In case you face any of the situations, tweak some of these steps to suit your situation and software.
The first point to make is that interfering with updates that are not actually stuck can cause a host of problems. First of all, you have to make sure they really are stuck.
If you have plenty of the time, and the patience, we will recommend waiting a couple of hours, especially with slower machines. It may seem extreme, but you don’t have to start meddling with these fundamental processes unless you really have to.
Turning it off and on again” seems an IT support cliché but it works in most of the times. There is no magic trick to this. its simply clears out your computer’s temporary memory and lets Windows start again from scratch with everything on the system.
If your updates are stuck in the background while you still have access to Windows, you can normally restart your system. if they are stuck before or after the OS loads, then you have to hold down the power button and do a hard reset. This can cause some issues itself, so make sure your updates definitely not progressing at all.
In Windows 10 you can find the Windows Update page by going to the Settings app from the Start menu. After that click on Update & Security – if there is something wrong and Windows knows what it is then you should find details here. Sometimes you will just get a message telling you to try the update again at a different time.
If you tap on ‘Advanced options’ and then ‘View your update history’, then you can see recently installed updates that were successful. Just uninstall some or all of them again, this can be a handy troubleshooting option. Windows 10 has actually eased the update process, so you should be seeing fewer errors.
Microsoft knows your pain. It knows the update process can cause problems every now and again, which is why it has developed a troubleshooter program specifically for it. Search the old Control Panel for “troubleshooting” option, then select ‘Fix problems with Windows Update’ from the list on-screen.
This link should be available in Windows 7 and 8 too, but if not you can get at it on the web as well. That said, if you have not yet upgraded to Microsoft’s latest operating system then it’s probably time to do so. By doing this it is more likely to solve your update problems at the same time.
The Safe Mode option is like a restart with extras – only the very basic apps and code that Windows needs to run are loaded into memory. Hence there is even less chance of a rogue, damaged file interfering with the update. In Windows 10, hold down the Shift key then select Power and Restart from the Windows sign-in screen.
On the next screen, you see select Troubleshoot> Advanced Options>Startup Settings>Restart. Then you will see the Safe Mode option appear: try running through the update process again if you can. A quick search online will give you Safe Mode instructions, in case you are using any older versions of Windows.
System Restore is helpful for solving Windows problems for many a year now, but now it happens to be quite well hidden in Windows 10. First, go to Control Panel>System>System Protection and then click System Restore. Just go through the wizard, then select ‘Show more restore points’ to see all your available options.
Choose a time and date, then complete the wizard to go back to how Windows was configured at that point. This process will affect your personal files or programs, but it may not be available to you depending on how Windows was originally set up.
If the Windows’ own troubleshooter doesn’t work (Step 4) then you can try and carry out the same process yourself manually. You can do this by stopping the Windows Update service and deleting the temporary files it has created, then starting Windows Update again. It is a little more involving process, but it is not difficult to do.
First, boot up into Safe Mode (Step 5), then access to the command prompt, the most basic of Windows interfaces: right-click on the Start menu, select Command Prompt (Admin), and a text box should appear. Then type “net stop wuauserv” and hit Enter, after this follow that with “net stop bits” and hit Enter again.
Back in Windows properly then, navigate to the C: Windows SoftwareDistribution folder, and delete everything you find there. You are not going to break anything by doing this. These are just temporary files Windows creates so it knows where it is up to. Windows Update will create them again from scratch.
After doing that, go back to your command prompt window and type “net start wuauserv” (Enter) then “net start bits” (Enter) to get Windows Update and its related background services up and running again. We assume this trick should be enough to kick-start the update that was previously stuck.
One of the most unknown reasons why a Windows update might not be installing is because a virus or some kind of spyware is blocking it. The malicious apps like these can often be squashed by Windows security updates. This is why they try and stop the latest patches from being installed on your machine.
You have to run a full and thorough virus scan using whatever security software you have installed. If you think your antivirus tool has also been compromised then, you can download some on-demand scanners, like this one from Microsoft or this one from Dr Web.
Restoring key Windows files and OS options is much easier than it used to be. Windows 10 ‘resetting’ basically means putting all the system files back to their factory state without touching your personal files along the way.
You can find the option through the Recovery tab on the Update & Security page in the Settings app. Kindly note that third-party apps are removed too, so these will need installing again. Windows 8 version offers both ‘refresh’ and ‘reset’ options, while on Windows 7 version the reset option will typically have been provided by the PC’s manufacturer.