Troubleshoot problems updating Windows - Microsoft Support (2023)

In Windows 11, you decidewhen and how to get the latest updates to keep your device running smoothly and securely.This article will help you answer questions and troubleshoot common problems with your Windows 11 update.

If you're looking for info on how to activate Windows 11 or to verify that yourinstallation of Windows 11 is activated,see Activate Windows .

Have issues installing Windows updates? Start here.

Your device may not be able to update to the latest version of Windows 11 for a few reasons. The following tips can help you pinpoint the issue affecting your device.

Before you begin, make sure your device is plugged into a power source and connected to the internet. Then, try the steps listed below to get your PC to update.

Some updates require administrator access. If your account doesn't have administrator access, see Create a local user or administrator account in Windows . Or if someone else at home or in your office has an administrator account on your device, try asking them to install the updates.

Important:

  • Before trying any of the solutions below, make sure youback up your personal files. You can use File History to back up your files to another drive, or insert a USB drive and use File Explorer to drag and copy important files to the USB drive. If you’re signing into Windows with a Microsoft account, your system settings will be automatically restored after updating, once you’re connected to the internet.

  • You can also back up your files with OneDrive. For more info, go to Back up your Documents, Pictures, and Desktop folders with OneDrive .

  • Learn more about Windows Update

Make sure that your device has enough space. Your device requires at least 16 GB of free space to upgrade a 32-bit OS, or 20 GB for a 64-bit OS. If your device has a small hard drive, you may need to insert a USB drive to update it.

If your PC is running low on storage, try the techniques at Free up drive space in Windows .

Many updates require you to restart your device. Save your work and close all open applications. Then, select Start > Power , and select either Update and restart or Update and shut down .

Even if you have downloaded some updates, there may be more available. After trying the preceding steps, run Windows Update again by selecting Start > Settings > Windows Update > Check for updates . Download and install any new updates.

Check for updates in Settings

Remove any external storage devices and drives, docks, and other hardware plugged into your device that aren't needed for basic functionality. Then try to run updates again and see if this resolved your issue. If it didn't, continue to the next tip.

If you've added hardware to your device, check for third-party driver updates and installation instructions on the hardware manufacturer’s website. Update any drivers, then try to run updates again and see if this resolved your issue. If it didn't, continue to the next tip.

  1. In the search box on the taskbar, type device manager , then select Device Manager from the list of results.

  2. In the window that appears, look for any device with a yellow exclamation mark next to it. (You may have to select each category to view the list of devices.) Select the device name.

  3. Select Action , and then choose either Update driver or Uninstall to correct the errors.

Common troubleshooting questions

If you are receiving an error message with a specific error code, try running the Windows Update Troubleshooter . If that doesn't resolve the issue, see Fix Windows Update errors and follow the instructions to help resolve common update issues.

The time required to download and install updates depends on connection speed, network settings, and the size of the update. If the installation remains stuck at the same percentage, try checking for updates again or running the Windows Update Troubleshooter .

To check for updates, select Start > Settings > Windows Update > Check for updates .

To get help, in the search box on the taskbar, type get help , then select Get Help from the list of results. To leave feedback if you run into further problems, in the search box on the taskbar, type feedback hub , then select Feedback Hub from the list of results.

(Video) Fix Windows Update Problems in Windows 10

Windows 11 is the most secure Windows ever, and we recommend you stay updated to protect your PC from security risks and to keep it running smoothly. However, you can temporarily pause updates as well as schedule a restart to install updates at a time that's convenient for you.
Learn how to temporarily pause updates
Find out how to schedule a restart to install updates at a convenient time

You will only receive a notification when it’s time to restart your computer to apply the installed updates.

Monthly quality updates on Windows 11 are quite small and have a minimal impact on data usage. Feature updates typically happen twice per year, and you can control when to install them. They require more data but are less frequent.

If you’re on a metered connection, some updates for Windows won’t be installed automatically. Metered connections in Windows

Your computer might be slow for a number of reasons, but updating to the latest version of Windows 11 can improve its performance. For help with a slow computer, see Tips to improve PC performance in Windows .

If you're having trouble finding your files after an upgrade, see Find lost files after the upgrade to Windows 10 or 11 for other things to try.

Advanced

Warning: Microsoft only recommends trying the procedures in this section if you're comfortable working in the command line. These procedures require administrator permissions on your device.

  1. In the search box on the taskbar, type command prompt , then select Run as administrator from the list of options. Select Yes . Next, in the window that appears, type the following commands one at a time, including the spaces as shown. After you type each command, press Enter . Then let each command complete before you type the next command.

    net stop bits

    net stop wuauserv

    ren %systemroot%\softwaredistribution softwaredistribution.bak

    ren %systemroot%\system32\catroot2 catroot2.bak

    net start bits

    net start wuauserv

  2. After all these commands are completed, close the Command Prompt window and restart your computer.

In some instances, third-party antivirus or security software can cause errors when you try to update to the latest version of Windows 11. You can temporarily uninstall this software, update your PC, and then reinstall the software after your device is up to date. We recommend using third-party antivirus or security software that’s compatible with the latest version of Windows 11. You can check compatibility by visiting the software manufacturer’s website.

Note: Before uninstalling software, make sure you know how to reinstall your programs and that you have any necessary product keys.

In the search box on the taskbar, type command prompt, and then select Run as administrator from the list of options. Select Yes .In the window that appears, type the following command, including the space as shown:
chkdsk/f C:
and then press Enter . Repairs will automatically start on your hard drive, and you’ll be asked to restart your device.

A clean restart starts Windows with a minimal set of drivers and startup programs. This helps eliminate software conflicts that occur when you install a program or an update that may cause issues updating your PC.
Learn how to do a clean restart

  1. In the search box on the taskbar, type command prompt , then select Run as administrator from the list of options.

  2. In the window that appears, type this command including spaces as shown:
    DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth

  3. Press Enter . When the command operation has run successfully, you'll see a confirmation message from Command Prompt that says,“The restore operation completed successfully” or “The operation completed successfully”.
    Note: If you don't see a confirmation message, retype the command and try again.

  4. Next, type this command, including the space as shown:
    sfc /scannow

  5. Press Enter . Wait until the sfc scan verification reaches 100% completion, and then close Command Prompt.

  6. Try running the Windows Update again.

Troubleshoot problems updating Windows - Microsoft Support (1)

Learn how to repair a Windows image

(Video) How To Fix All Windows 10 Update Errors | Fix Error Encountered

Go to the software download page and select Download tool now todownload the clean installation tool. Make sure to carefully read the notes on the software download page before using the tool.

In Windows 10, you decidewhen and how to get the latest updates to keep your device running smoothly and securely.This article will help you answer questions and troubleshoot common problems with your Windows 10 update.

If you're looking for info on how to activate Windows 10 or to verify that yourinstallation of Windows 10 is activated,see Activate Windows .

Have issues installing Windows updates? Start here.

Your device may not be able to update to the latest version of Windows 10 for a few reasons. The following tips can help you pinpoint the issue affecting your device.

Before you begin, make sure your device is plugged into a power source and connected to the internet. Then, try the steps listed below to get your PC to update.

Some updates require administrator access. If your account doesn't have administrator access, see Create a local user or administrator account in Windows . Or if someone else at home or in your office has an administrator account on your device, try asking them to install the updates.

Important:

  • Before trying any of the solutions below, make sure youback up your personal files. You can use File History to back up your files to another drive, or insert a USB drive and use File Explorer to drag and copy important files to the USB drive. If you’re signing into Windows with a Microsoft account, your system settings will be automatically restored after updating, once you’re connected to the internet.

  • You can also back up your files with OneDrive. For more info, go to Back up your Documents, Pictures, and Desktop folders with OneDrive .

  • Learn more about Windows Update

  • Serviced versions of Windows 10: Frequently asked questions

Make sure that your device has enough space. Your device requires at least 16 GB of free space to upgrade a 32-bit OS, or 20 GB for a 64-bit OS. If your device has a small hard drive, you may need to insert a USB drive to update it.

If your PC is running low on storage, try the techniques at Free up drive space in Windows .

Many updates require you to restart your device. Save your work and close all open applications. Then, select Start > Power , and select either Update and restart or Update and shut down .

Even if you have downloaded some updates, there may be more available. After trying the preceding steps, run Windows Update again by selecting Start > Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update > Check for updates . Download and install any new updates.

Check for updates in Settings

(Video) Troubleshoot issues updating Windows 10 | Microsoft

Remove any external storage devices and drives, docks, and other hardware plugged into your device that aren't needed for basic functionality. Then try to run updates again and see if this resolved your issue. If it didn't, continue to the next tip.

If you've added hardware to your device, check for third-party driver updates and installation instructions on the hardware manufacturer’s website. Update any drivers, then try to run updates again and see if this resolved your issue. If it didn't, continue to the next tip.

  1. In the search box on the taskbar, type device manager , then select Device Manager from the list of results.

  2. In the window that appears, look for any device with a yellow exclamation mark next to it. (You may have to select each category to view the list of devices.) Select the device name.

  3. Select Action , and then choose either Update driver or Uninstall to correct the errors.

Common troubleshooting questions

If you are receiving an error message with a specific error code, try running the Windows Update Troubleshooter . If that doesn't resolve the issue, see Fix Windows Update errors and follow the instructions to help resolve common update issues.

The time required to download and install updates depends on connection speed, network settings, and the size of the update. If the installation remains stuck at the same percentage, try checking for updates again or running the Windows Update Troubleshooter .

To check for updates, select Start > Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update > Check for updates.

To get help, in the search box on the task bar, type get help , then select Get Help from the list of results. To leave feedback if you run into further problems, in the search box on the taskbar, type feedback hub , then select Feedback Hub from the list of results.

Windows 10 is the most secure Windows ever, and we recommend you stay updated to protect your PC from security risks and to keep it running smoothly. However, you can temporarily pause updates as well as schedule a restart to install updates at a time that's convenient for you.
Learn how to temporarily pause updates
Find out how to schedule a restart to install updates at a convenient time

You will only receive a notification when it’s time to restart your computer to apply the installed updates.

Tips:

  • If you need to know where you left off in your work after an update, use Timeline to jump back in.

  • To get started with Timeline, select Task View on the taskbar, or press the Windows logo key +Tab and select the activity you want to resume.

Monthly quality updates on Windows 10 are quite small and have a minimal impact on data usage. Feature updates typically happen twice per year, and you can control when to install them. They require more data but are less frequent.

If you’re on a metered connection, some updates for Windows won’t be installed automatically. Metered connections in Windows

(Video) How to Fix All Windows 10 Update Errors (100% Works) 0x80070422, 0x80072ee7, 0x8024a105,802400420

Your computer might be slow for a number of reasons, but updating to the latest version of Windows 10 can improve its performance. For help with a slow computer, see Tips to improve PC performance in Windows .

If you're having trouble finding your files after an upgrade, see Find lost files after the upgrade to Windows 10 or 11 for other things to try.

Advanced

Warning: Microsoft only recommends trying the procedures in this section if you're comfortable working in the command line. These procedures require administrator permissions on your device.

  1. In the search box on the taskbar, type command prompt , then select Run as administrator from the list of options. Select Yes . Next, in the window that appears, type the following commands one at a time, including the spaces as shown. After you type each command, press Enter . Then let each command complete before you type the next command.

    net stop bits

    net stop wuauserv

    ren %systemroot%\softwaredistribution softwaredistribution.bak

    ren %systemroot%\system32\catroot2 catroot2.bak

    net start bits

    net start wuauserv

  2. After all these commands are completed, close the Command Prompt window and restart your computer.

In some instances, third-party antivirus or security software can cause errors when you try to update to the latest version of Windows 10. You can temporarily uninstall this software, update your PC, and then reinstall the software after your device is up to date. We recommend using third-party antivirus or security software that’s compatible with the latest version of Windows 10. You can check compatibility by visiting the software manufacturer’s website.

Note: Before uninstalling software, make sure you know how to reinstall your programs and that you have any necessary product keys.

In the search box on the taskbar, type command prompt, and then select Run as administrator from the list of options. Select Yes . In the window that appears, type the following command, including the space as shown:
chkdsk/f C:
and then press Enter . Repairs will automatically start on your hard drive, and you’ll be asked to restart your device.

A clean restart starts Windows with a minimal set of drivers and startup programs. This helps eliminate software conflicts that occur when you install a program or an update that may cause issues updating your PC.
Learn how to do a clean restart

  1. In the search box on the taskbar, type command prompt , then select Run as administrator from the list of options.

  2. In the window that appears, type this command including spaces as shown:
    DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth

  3. Press Enter . When the command operation has run successfully, you'll see a confirmation message from Command Prompt that says,“The restore operation completed successfully” or “The operation completed successfully”.
    Note: If you don't see a confirmation message, retype the command and try again.

  4. Next, type this command, including the space as shown:
    sfc /scannow

  5. Press Enter . Wait until the sfc scan verification reaches 100% completion, and then close Command Prompt.

  6. Try running the Windows Update again.

Troubleshoot problems updating Windows - Microsoft Support (2)

Learn how to repair a Windows image

Go to the software download page and select Download tool now todownload the clean installation tool. Make sure to carefully read the notes on the software download page before using the tool.

Still stuck?

Contact Microsoft support if you continue to have problems with your Windows updates.

FAQs

How do I fix Windows Update issues in troubleshooter? ›

If you get an error code while downloading and installing Windows updates, the Update Troubleshooter can help resolve the problem. Select Start > Settings > Update & Security > Troubleshoot > Additional troubleshooters.

Why is my Windows Update failing to install? ›

This error might mean that your PC doesn't have the required updates installed. Check to make sure that all important updates are installed on your PC before you try upgrading. This likely indicates that your PC doesn't have enough space available to install the upgrade.

Why can't I update to Windows 11 even though I meet the requirements? ›

The main obstacles to upgrading devices to Windows 11 are the CPU and the Trusted Platform Module (TPM), which was either not present or not enabled in the research. Windows 11 requires TPM 2.0 and approved CPUs.

How long does it take for Windows Update troubleshooter? ›

The process will take around 10-15 minutes, and it will examine all the system files and replace the corrupted ones. Once done, restart your system and try to rerun Windows Update Troubleshooter. Check if the problem is fixed or not.

How do I force a Windows Update to install? ›

If you want to install the update now, select Start > Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update , and then select Check for updates. If updates are available, install them.

Why does my system update keep failing? ›

Many Android users face an Android system update failure due to the lack of storage space. So, before the system installation process, you should make sure that you have enough storage space for the next update on your phone.

Is it normal for Windows Update to take hours? ›

Windows 10 updates take so long to complete because Microsoft is constantly adding larger files and features to them. The biggest updates, released in the spring and fall of every year, usually take upwards of four hours to install.

Can you cancel a Windows Update in Progress? ›

Right, Click on Windows Update and select Stop from the menu. Another way to do it is to click a Stop link in the Windows update located at the top left corner. Step 4. A dialogue box will show up providing you with a process to stop the installation progress.

How do I bypass Windows 11 system requirements? ›

In Command Prompt, type the OOBE\BYPASSNRO command to bypass network requirements on Windows 11 and press Enter. The computer will restart automatically, and the out-of-box experience (OOBE) will start again.

Is there any reason not to install Windows 11? ›

If you have a computer with unsupported hardware, you should not try to upgrade to Windows 11. Period. Although there are workarounds to bypass the TPM 2.0 and other checks, if you manage to install version 21H2, the device will state in an unsupported state.

What happens if you turn off laptop while updating? ›

Apart from a few glitches, it will not do any damage to your PC. After downloading the updates, you always have an option to schedule a computer restart or restart immediately to incorporate the updates. So, you can always restart the updates if your PC shuts down.

Can I use my computer while Windows is updating? ›

Windows update is mostly safe to do while performing other tasks, with the caveat that if a file needs to be replaced, it must not be open for read/write at that time. Nowadays, Windows is good about replacing files during shutdown and restart, making file replacements safer.

How long does troubleshooting last? ›

Troubleshooting a problem usually does not take very long. The average time is aobut 60 to 90 mins. In many cases the solution to the problem is even easier than finding the problem. If we discover that the troubleshooting process will take additional time, we will tell you before continuing.

What is a hard reset on Windows? ›

A hard reset is a process of reverting a device back to the state it was in when shipped from the factory. That is to say, it erases all data including apps, user profiles, and settings. Hard resets can be helpful for wiping all data before selling a computer, smartphone, or tablet.

How do I force a software update? ›

The best way to force an Android update is to go to Settings > Software update > Download and install.

How do you remove a Windows 10 update that keeps failing? ›

To uninstall a Feature Update, head to Settings > Update & Security > Recovery, and scroll down to Go Back to the Previous Version of Windows 10. Click the Get Started button to start the uninstallation process.

What happens if you don't update your system? ›

Cyber Attacks And Malicious Threats

If you don't apply those updates, you're still vulnerable. Outdated software is prone to malware infections and other cyber concerns like Ransomware.

Can I stop my computer in the middle of an update? ›

You should never shut down your device to stop the update in progress. This can cause serious damage to Windows and make your computer unusable. When the process finishes, you can either uninstall the update or use Windows 10's rollback option to set your computer back to the previous version.

How long should I wait for Windows Update to finish? ›

We recommend waiting two hours, just in case Windows is doing a lot of work. Windows may just need some time to finish the process, especially if it's a big update and your hard drive is slow and full.

Why is my Windows Update taking so long? ›

Why do updates take so long to install? Windows 10 updates take a while to complete because Microsoft is constantly adding larger files and features to them. The biggest updates, released in the spring and fall of every year, take upwards of four hours to install — if there are no problems.

Can you decline Windows 11 and install later? ›

If I decline the upgrade, can I change my mind and upgrade later? Yes. You can upgrade by going to Settings > Windows Update if you originally declined the offer.

Are you forced to use Windows 11? ›

If you want to use Windows 11, you can choose to get it on your PC. If you want to continue to use Windows 10, you can choose to decline Windows 11 update. This will not influence your device. You should not worry about it.

Is Windows 11 worth it? ›

Windows 11 is worth the update for most people. It comes with a wide range of new features, performance improvements, and design changes. As the latest Windows OS, it usually gets more attention than Windows 10, too. There's not too much risk in upgrading to Windows 11, either.

Is Windows 11 worth it 2022? ›

Dubbed the Windows 11 2022 Update (and referred to as version 22H2 on your PC), the free download has started rolling out to users in more than 190 countries, says Microsoft. It comes with several new features and improvements offered to those on laptops, desktops and tablets. Is it worth the upgrade? Absolutely.

Which is better Windows 10 or 11? ›

Better virtual desktop support

You'll find it easier to create and toggle between different virtual desktops in Windows 11 than in Windows 10. Windows 11 lets you set up virtual desktops in a way that's similar to on a Mac. It allows you to toggle between multiple desktops at once for personal, work, school or gaming.

Can you go back to Windows 10 from Windows 11? ›

Go to Settings > System > Recovery and, under the Advanced Startup heading, click Restart Now. At the Windows 11 recovery menu, choose Use A Device and select your USB drive. When you see the prompt to boot from the USB drive, tap the spacebar to start Windows Setup. Follow the prompts to install Windows 10.

Where is fix issues on Windows Update page? ›

If you see a "Can't install updates" notification, select it to visit the Windows Update page in Settings. From there, you'll see a "Fix issues" button.

Is there a Windows 10 update repair tool? ›

Select Start > Settings > Update & Security > Troubleshoot, or select the Find troubleshooters shortcut at the end of this topic. Select the type of troubleshooting you want to do, then select Run the troubleshooter. Allow the troubleshooter to run and then answer any questions on the screen.

How do I force a Windows Update manually? ›

If you want to install the update now, select Start > Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update , and then select Check for updates. If updates are available, install them.

Why is my software update not updating? ›

If your Android device won't update, it might have to do with your Wi-Fi connection, battery, storage space, or the age of your device. Android mobile devices usually update automatically, but updates can be delayed or prevented for various reasons.

Videos

1. How to troubleshoot Windows 10 Update | Microsoft
(Microsoft Helps)
2. Fix your device is missing important security and quality fixes windows 10 | Problem Solved
(Teconz)
3. How To Fix Microsoft Update Error 0x80080005 - Error Encountered Windows Update Windows 10
(GameTrick)
4. How to use the Windows Troubleshooter | Microsoft | Windows 10
(Microsoft Helps)
5. Microsoft End Windows 10 support with This (KB5017308) Update || Windows 10 End
(Current Technical News)
6. Windows update problems How to download updates manually using the Microsoft Update Catalog
(Windows, computers and Technology)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Geoffrey Lueilwitz

Last Updated: 03/13/2023

Views: 6002

Rating: 5 / 5 (80 voted)

Reviews: 87% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Geoffrey Lueilwitz

Birthday: 1997-03-23

Address: 74183 Thomas Course, Port Micheal, OK 55446-1529

Phone: +13408645881558

Job: Global Representative

Hobby: Sailing, Vehicle restoration, Rowing, Ghost hunting, Scrapbooking, Rugby, Board sports

Introduction: My name is Geoffrey Lueilwitz, I am a zealous, encouraging, sparkling, enchanting, graceful, faithful, nice person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.