Windows update is extremely necessary for all computers to function properly. Keeping your Windows OS updated to the latest version is of utmost importance because it brings in new features to improvise your OS. Moreover, it gets rid of certain bugs that might have been present in the old version.
So, if your Windows update is not working, it is a big problem and can leave you quite restless looking for answers. Not to worry because, in this article, we will discuss different methods you can try out to fix the “Windows update not working” error. Keep reading!
Why Windows Update Is Not Working?
Given below are some reasons why your Windows update might not be working:
- Windows 10 is having problems downloading updates
- Windows update installation procedure is getting failed.
- The update is stuck while downloading
- Missing Microsoft patches
- Faulty drivers or outdated drivers
- Windows 10 is not updating upon restarting the system
- Windows does not update due to BIOS issues
- Faulty DNS Settings
- Windows update services not running
How To Fix Windows Update Not Working Error?
Regardless of what factor may have caused your Windows 10 update error, you can try implementing the following methods to fix the issue:
- Restart Your Computer
- Pause Updates
- Manually Update Windows
- Use Windows Troubleshooter
- Uninstall Third-Party Security Software
- Check the Windows Update Utility Manually
- Use System Restore
- Scan Your System For Malware
- Reinstall Windows
- Erase Files From Software Distribution Directory
- Change Your DNS
- Repair The Corrupted System Files
- Create More Free Space in System Drive
- Download Security Updates/ Cumulative Quality
- Run the DISM command
- Skip The Windows Update That Is Causing Error
Method #1. Restart Your Computer
Most people have reported the reason behind “Update failed” messages is because multiple updates are waiting in line. In case one is a servicing stack update, it needs to be installed first, secondly, the machine needs to restart before the next update can be installed.
Method #2. Pause Updates
This is an easier fix and involves restarting your machine. Follow the steps given below to do so:
Step 1. Navigate to Settings, and then to, Update & Security, and then, to Windows Update
Step 2. Click on the Advanced Options button.
Step 3. Turn the Pause Updates switch on.
Step 4. Restart your computer.
Step 5. When the machine is booted up, navigate back to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update
Step 6. Then, click on the Resume Updates button.
Note: Pausing Windows updates will delete all the downloaded updates. Try to update your Windows again.
Method #3. Manually Update Windows
Step 1. Go to the official Microsoft Software download website.
Step 2. Click on Update Now
Step 3. The update file will get downloaded to your system.
Step 4. Now, double-click on the downloaded file and click on Yes to download and install the updates to your system.
Step 5. Click on Update Now. The process might take a couple of minutes to finish.
Method #4. Use Windows Troubleshooter
Microsoft has an in-built troubleshooter that can help you solve several problems. This should be your first choice every time you try to solve any issue with your computer. It might not always solve the problem at hand but it will speed up the procedure and there won’t be any harm in trying it out.
Regardless, running the Windows Troubleshooter will give you useful information about the problem so that you can work on it. Follow the steps given below to run the Troubleshooter:
Step 1. Click on the Start button and type in “troubleshoot” and then, select the Troubleshoot settings option from the results that come up.
Step 2. Select the Additional troubleshooters option.
Step 3. Click on Windows Update and then, select Run the troubleshooter button
Method #5. Uninstall Third-Party Security Software
You must have installed third-party security software on your computer to protect your system from virus or malware attacks. However, since it is third-party software, it can lead to some abnormalities in your system.
Perhaps, the third-party software is causing issues with your Windows Update. So, you can try removing the third-party software temporarily and running the Windows Update. Follow the steps given below to do so:
Step 1. Right-click on Start and click on Control Panel
Step 2. Next, choose Programs and Features and select the third-party software that you need to uninstall. Right-click it and then, click on Uninstall to continue with the procedure.
Step 3. Restart your system and check if the Windows Update is working fine now or not.
Method #6. Check the Windows Update Utility Manually
Windows Update is a feature of Microsoft that is responsible for automatically downloading and installing software updates. This service is important for Windows to get software updates along with other essential Microsoft products like Windows Defender, Microsoft Security Essentials, and so on.
In case Windows 10 does not update on its own, you can check if the Windows Update Utility is working or not. Follow the given steps to do so:
Step 1. Open the Settings app from the Windows Start menu. Else, you can also press the Windows + I keys
Step 2. Choose Update & Security
Step 3. The Update & Security popup will show up. In case, something is wrong and Windows knows about it, you will find details here.
Step 4. Next, click on Fix issues and then, Windows Update utility will finish updating the system automatically.
Step 5. Next, click on Advanced options to access more information. We would recommend you to select the Automatic option.
Step 6. Restart the computer and check if the problem is solved or not.
Method #7. Use System Restore
The System Restore feature can take your computer back to a point in the past when it was
Step 1. Open the Start Menu from your Taskbar located at the bottom of the screen
Step 2. Click on the Settings icon
Step 3. Click on Update & Security
Step 4. In the window that opens up, click on View update history to find the last successful update installed on your system.
Step 5. A list of updates will be shown now.
Step 6. Click on Uninstall updates option located at the top
Step 7. Click on Uninstall updates and a new window will pop up to show you the latest updates installed on your PC.
Step 8. Choose the updates you want to uninstall.
Note: This step needs to be executed with much caution because uninstalling a critical update might cause your PC to become full of bugs.
Method #8. Scan Your System For Malware
It is of utmost importance that you keep your system updated because Windows rolls out new updates from time to time that often contains new security features. So, keeping your Windows updated will reduce the chances of getting a malware infection.
Hence, many times malware attacks your Windows update feature so that it doesn’t work properly. Moreover, it also affects many other important Windows services like Windows Update, your antivirus, System Restore, and so on.
In such a situation, it is recommended that your system is clean and does not store any malware. Try scanning your computer with antivirus software or make use of Windows Defender. Also, your security programs should be updated to the latest version to ensure your PC’s safety.
Method #9. Reinstall Windows
You can use this method as a last resort. In case, none of the above methods work for you, try reinstalling Microsoft Windows using the Windows 10 Install Drive. Keep in mind that you need to create a backup of your system on an external hard disk since all the data on your computer will get erased after executing this step.
Method #10. Erase Files From Software Distribution Directory
Via the Windows Services
The files in the Software Distribution directory might have been corrupted. The Windows Update feature perhaps isn’t working because of the same reason.
Step 1. Press the Windows + R key, then, type in services.msc and click on OK or press the Enter key
Step 2. Look for Background Intelligent Transfer Service and right-click on it. Select Stop from the dropdown menu.
Step 3. Then, find Windows Update service, right-click on it and choose Stop from the menu.
Step 4. Next, disabling the above services, go to the folder given below:
Step 5. Select the files listed in the SoftwareDistribution directory and then, hit the Delete option.
Step 6. Go to the Services window and then, start the Windows Update and Background Intelligent Transfer services again.
Then, try to manually download updates and check if the problem gets resolved.
Make Use Of Command Prompt
Step 1. Type in cmd in the search box and click on Run as administrator to start the Command Prompt with elevated privileges. Or you can also go for PowerShell instead of Command Prompt.
Step 2. Enter the commands given below and run them one by one:
net stop wuauserv net stop cryptSvc net stop bits net stop msiserver ren C:WindowsSoftwareDistributionSoftwareDistribution.old ren C:WindowsSystem32catroot2catroot2.old net start wuauserv net start cryptSvc net start bits net start msiserver pause
Once you are done running the commands, check if the Windows Update is working or not.
Method #11. Change Your DNS
Some users have reported that issues with the default DNS prevent you from using Windows Update. In this case, you can follow the steps given below to change your DNS:
Step 1. Right-click on the network icon from the bottom right corner and select Open Network and Sharing Center.
Step 2. From the left panel, click on Change adapter settings.
Step 3. Look for your network connection and right-click on it. Then, choose Properties from the dropdown menu.
Step 4. Next, look for Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and select the Properties option
Step 5. Choose “Use the following DNS server addresses” and type in 22.214.171.124 as your Preferred DNS server and then, 126.96.36.199 as the Alternate DNS server. Then, click on OK to save the changes.
Once you have changed your DNS server, the issue should get resolved and the Windows Update should start working again.
Method #12. Repair The Corrupted System Files
Windows 10 might suffer from update issues because it has corrupted system files. To solve this problem, you can run the SFC scan to check for corrupted system files and also, repair them. Follow the steps given below to do so:
Step 1. Type in the command prompt in the Windows search box and right-click on it. Select Run as administrator option.
Step 2. Next, type in sfc /scannow in the command prompt window and hit the Enter key to continue.
The scanning procedure will begin now. Keep in mind that you can’t close the command prompt window until the scan is completed. You will get the message “Verification 100% completed” when the process is finished.
Step 3. Reboot your system and check if the problem is solved or not.
Method #13. Create More Free Space in System Drive
At times, the Windows update won’t get downloaded or installed because the System Drive doesn’t have enough space. In this case, you need to increase the free space available in the System Drive.
Here’s how to clean up your disk:
This is a useful way to create more disk space and get rid of unnecessary data on your hard disk. Not only does unnecessary data occupy a lot of memory in your drive but also slows your PC down. Follow the steps given below to clean up your disk:
Step 1. Right-click on Start and click on Run. Next, input diskmgmt.msc in the field and click on OK or press the Enter key.
Step 2. You will be shown the main interface of Disk Management now. Choose the System Drive option and select the Properties option from the context menu that comes up.
Step 3. Now, a popup window will come up. Click on Disk Clean-up to continue with the procedure.
Step 4. Now, disk clean-up will start calculating the free space available on your drive. Keep in mind that it will take a couple of minutes to do so and the exact time required depends on the number and size of files you have. Also, you can select the files you want to delete. Click on OK to begin the procedure.
Step 5. A pop-up message will show up asking you to confirm the permanent deletion. Click on Delete Files to continue with the process. Disk Cleanup will then be finished.
Note: You can also go to Settings > System > Storage. Click on Temporary files under the “Local Disk C:” field. Next, select all the items you want to delete and clear up space. Click on Remove Files to delete the files. Keep in mind that if you select the Downloads option clears all files from the Downloads folder. So, if any important files are in the Downloads folder, they’ll get cleared.
Method #14. Download Security Updates/ Cumulative Quality
There are two types of Windows updates rolled out by Windows: Feature and Quality/ Security updates. Sometimes, the “Update failed” messages might be due to security or reliability updates. Go to the Microsoft Update Catalog and then, search with the KB number of the failed update. Next, download the corresponding standalone distribution package. Double-click on it and run it.
Method #15. Run the DISM command
Step 1. Open the command prompt and right-click on the Command menu and Run as administrator option
Step 2. DISM is a neat tool with plenty of capabilities
Step 3. Run the command DISM /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth. This will help you clean corruption in the system and also take a couple of minutes to run.
Method #16. Skip The Windows Update That Is Causing Error
Sometimes, Microsoft might also roll out a problematic update. If all else fails, you need to skip the Windows update.
Trying the above solutions one by one should help you solve the Windows 10 update error. Keeping your Windows system updated is of utmost importance to ensure that your system doesn’t malfunction and stays secure. We hope the above article has been helpful to you.
What To Do If My Windows Won’t Update?
Try looking for updates and install them manually if your Windows won’t update by itself. If that doesn’t work, you can run the Windows Update troubleshooter, scan your system for malware and then, try updating Windows again.
Why Is My Windows Update Not Working?
Perhaps, the Windows update cache needs to be cleared for the Windows update to work. There could be other reasons too like faulty drivers, missing Microsoft patches, or faulty DNS settings.
Can I Download Windows Update Manually?
Yes, just visit the official Microsoft Software download page and look for your Windows version and its latest update available. Click on Upgrade now and the file will get downloaded. Open the .exe file and click on Update now.