Fix Windows 10 won’t download or install updates

Fix Windows 10 won’t download or install updates

Fix Windows 10 won’t download or install updates: While Windows 10 is the most sophisticated & advance version of Microsoft OS till now but that doesn’t mean that you won’t face any issues. In fact, users are still complaining about the Windows update getting stuck. Now updates are a very important part of Windows OS ecosystem and since Windows 10, updates are mandatory and they are automatically downloaded & installed from time to time.

Windows updates are automatically downloaded & installed regardless of whether you want to install it or not. The only thing you can do about Windows updates is that you can slightly delay installing the updates. But the problem users are facing is that Windows updates are continuously being accumulated while some of the updates are waiting to be downloaded on the other hand many are waiting to be installed. But the problem here is that none of them are actually being installed or downloaded.

Fix Windows 10 won’t download or install updates

Why Windows 10 updates won’t download or install?

This issue can be caused due to slow or poor Internet connection, corrupt system files, corrupt SoftwareDistribution folder, the software may conflict with old & new versions, some background services related to Windows updates might have stopped, any pre-existing issue that was not known before the Windows started updating, etc. These are some of the reason as to why you are not being able to download or install Windows updates. But don’t worry the issue can be fixed by following the below-listed troubleshooting guide.

If you’re facing another issue where Windows 10 updates are extremely slow then follow this guide to fix the issue.

Fix Windows 10 won’t download or install updates

Make sure to create a restore point just in case something goes wrong. There are several methods to fix the Window when it got stuck while downloading or installing updates. 

Method 1: Run Windows Update Troubleshooter

Windows Update Troubleshooter automatically detects any problem related to updates and tries to fix it. You just need to run Update Troubleshooter by following the below steps:

1. Open Control Panel by clicking on the Start menu and type control panel.

Open the control panel by searching for it using search bar

2. In control panel go to view and select Large Icons as View.

3. Select Troubleshooting under the Control Panel window.

Select Troubleshooting

4. Under System and Security, click on Fix problems with windows update.

Under System and Security, click on Fix problems with windows update | Fix Windows 10 won’t download or install updates

5. A new window will open, mark Apply repairs automatically and click Next.

A new window will open, mark Apply repairs automatically and click on next

6. The Troubleshooter will detect any issues with Windows Updates if there are any.

Troubleshooting process will start detecting the problem and try again to install the updates

7. If any corruption or problem is present then the troubleshooter will automatically detect it and will ask you to apply the Fix or skip it.

Ask for either to skip the fix or apply the fix | Fix Windows 10 won’t download or install updates

8. Click on Apply this fix and issues with Windows Update will be resolved.

Click on apply the fix

Once the issue with Windows updates is resolved, you need to install Windows 10 updates:

1. Click on Start or press Windows Key.

2. Type updates and click on Check for updates.

Type updates and select check for updates

3. This will open the Windows Update window, simply click on the Install now button.

Click on Install now | Fix Windows 10 won’t download or install updates

Hopefully, you should be able to fix Windows 10 won’t download or install updates issue by now but if the problem still persists then follow the next method.

Method 2: Start All Windows Update Services

The Windows Updates can be stuck if the services and permissions related to updates are not started or enabled. This issue can be easily fixed by enabling services related to Windows Updates.

1. Open Run by pressing Windows key + R simultaneously.

2. Type services.msc in the Run box.

Type services.msc in the Run box and hit Enter

3. A new window of services window will pop-up.

4. Search for Windows Update service, right-click on it and select Properties.

Search for Windows Update service, right click on it and select

5. The service name should be wuauserv.

6. Now from the Startup type drop-down select Automatic and if the service status is showing stopped then click on the Start button.

Set the start-up type to automatic and if the service status is stopped then press start to make it running

7. Similarly, repeat the same steps for Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) and Cryptographic Service.

Make sure BITS is set to Automatic and click Start if the service is not running | Fix Windows 10 won’t download or install updates

8. Restart your computer and see if you’re able to download or install Windows updates. 

Method 3: Rename SoftwareDistribution Folder

If the above solutions are not working, you can try to fix the issue using the Command Prompt. In this method, we will fix the corruption of SoftareDistribution Folder by renaming it.

1. Press Windows Key + X then select Command Prompt (Admin).

2. Now type the following commands to stop Windows Update Services and then hit Enter after each one:

net stop wuauserv
net stop cryptSvc
net stop bits
net stop msiserver

Stop Windows update services wuauserv cryptSvc bits msiserver

3. Next, type the following command to rename SoftwareDistribution Folder and then hit Enter:

ren C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.old
ren C:\Windows\System32\catroot2 catroot2.old

Rename SoftwareDistribution Folder | Fix Windows 10 won’t download or install updates

4. Finally, type the following command to start Windows Update Services and hit Enter after each one:

net start wuauserv
net start cryptSvc
net start bits
net start msiserver

Start Windows update services wuauserv cryptSvc bits msiserver

5. Reboot your PC to save changes.

When the computer restarts check if you are able to fix Windows 10 won’t download or install updates issue.

Method 4: Run System Restore

If Windows Updates are still not working and causing your system to malfunction then you can always try to restore system to the older configuration when everything was working. You can undo all the changes made so far by incomplete Windows updates. And once the system is restored to an earlier working time then you can again try to run Windows updates. To perform System restore follow the below steps:

1. Open Start or press Windows Key.

2. Type Restore under Windows Search and click on Create a restore point.

Type Restore and click on create a restore point

3. Select the System Protection tab and click on the System Restore button.

system restore in system properties

4. Click Next and choose the desired System Restore point.

Click Next and choose the desired System Restore point

4. Follow the on-screen instruction to complete the System Restore.

5. After reboot, again check for Windows Update and see if you’re able to fix the issue.

Method 5: Download the Updates Offline

If none of the above methods helps in fixing the problem, then you can try to use the third-party tool which is known as WSUS Offline Update. The WSUS software will download the Window Updates and install them without any issues. Once the tool is used to download & install Windows Updates, the Windows Update should just work fine. This means from the next time you don’t need to use this tool for updates, as Windows Updates would work and will download & install updates without any issue.

1. Download the WSUS software and extract it.

2. Open the folder where the software has been extracted and run UpdateGenerator.exe.

3. A new window will pop up and under the Windows tab, select your Windows version. If you are using 64-bit edition then select x64 global and if you are using 32-bit edition then select x86 global.

New window will pop up and under the Windows tab select the windows version

4. Click on the Start button and the WSUS offline should start downloading the updates.

5. After the download, open the Client folder of the software and run UpdateInstaller.exe.

6. Now, click on the Start button again to start installing the downloaded updates.

7. Once the Tool has finished downloading & installing the updates, restart your PC.

Method 6: Reset Windows 10

Note: If you can’t access your PC then restart your PC a few times until you start Automatic Repair or use this guide to access Advanced Startup options. Then navigate to Troubleshoot > Reset this PC > Remove everything.

1. Press Windows Key + I to open Settings then click on Update & Security icon.

Press Windows Key + I to open Settings then click on Update & security icon

2. From the left-hand menu select Recovery.

3. Under Reset this PC click on the “Get Started” button.

On Update & Security click on Get Started under Reset this PC

4. Select the option to Keep my files.

Select the option to Keep my files and click Next | Fix Windows 10 won’t download or install updates

5. For the next step you might be asked to insert Windows 10 installation media, so ensure you have it ready.

6. Now, select your version of Windows and click on only the drive where Windows is installed > Just remove my files.

click on only the drive where Windows is installed

7. Click on the Reset button.

8. Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the reset.

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These were some methods to Fix Windows 10 won’t download or install updates issue, hope this solves the problem. Although, if you still have any questions regarding this post then feel free to ask them in the comment’s section.

Posted by
Aditya Farrad

Aditya is a self-motivated information technology professional and has been a technology writer for the last 7 years. He covers Internet services, mobile, Windows, software, and How-to guides.

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