Fixing Windows Update on Windows 10Source: Windows Central

On Windows 10, Windows Update is an essential component that provides the mechanism to download and install quality updates as well as feature updates to improve the overall performance, integrate new features, and patch security vulnerabilities. However, for different reasons, sometimes, you may experience problems with the feature, such as stuck for a long time scanning and downloading, errors and failures during installation, and many other issues.

Thankfully, if you run into an issue or an error (for example, 0x80070020, 0x80240438, 0xC19001E2, 0x80070424, 0x80242006, 0x8007000E, 0x80D02002, 0x80070070, 0x80096004, 0x80080005, 0x8007000D, or 0x80240034), you can use a number of troubleshooting steps to fix Windows Update on your installation.

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In this Windows 10 guide, we'll walk you through several ways to fix common problems with Windows Update on your device.

How to fix Windows Update covering basics

If you're trying to update your device and Windows Update isn't working, you can follow a few necessary steps to resolve the problem, including restarting your computer, checking to make sure that you have a working internet connection, and using the feature to pause updates.

Restarting device

To restart your device, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Click the Power options menu.
  3. Click the Restart button.

    Windows 10 restart optionSource: Windows Central

Once you complete the steps, try to update your device again from the Windows Update settings page.

Checking internet connection

Although it might be obvious, but if you're not connected to the internet, you won't be able to download and install updates.

To confirm you have an active internet connection, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Command Prompt and click the top result to open the console.
  3. Type the following command to confirm you have an active internet connection and press Enter:

    ping google.com

    Check internet connectivity Source: Windows Central

    In the command, we're pinging Google domain as an example, but you can use other pingable domains or services, such as CloudFlare.com, or Google DNS services (8.8.8.8 or 8.8.4.4).

  4. Confirm you're getting a reply without any packet loss.

Of course, you can always try to open any website with your web browser, but using Command Prompt is a more effective method to confirm network connectivity.

If you can't connect to the internet, then it's probably a problem with your connection, not Windows Update. You can use this comprehensive guide to resolve most common issues connecting to a network.

Pausing updates

Sometimes, if you're dealing with issues downloading updates, pausing and resuming Windows Update can help to fix the problem.

To pause and resume updates on Windows 10, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Update & Security.
  3. Click on Windows Update.
  4. Click the Pause updates for 7 days button.

    Pause Windows Update optionSource: Windows Central

  5. Restart your device.
  6. Open Settings.
  7. Click on Update & Security.
  8. Click on Windows Update.
  9. Click the Resume updates button.

    Resume Windows Update optionSource: Windows Central

After you complete the steps, try checking for updates again to see if the problem was resolved.

Freeing up space

Usually, the lack of storage can trigger errors trying to updates your device. If you need additional space to install updates, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on System.
  3. Click on Storage.
  4. Under the "Local Disk C:" section, click the Temporary files section.

    Windows 10 Storage settings, Temporary files optionSource: Windows Central

  5. Select the items that you want to clear to free up space.

    Windows 10 Temporary files settingsSource: Windows Central

    Quick note: Selecting the Downloads option will clear the files from the "Downloads" folder. If you have important files, clear the option, or copy the files you want to keep to an external drive before proceeding.

  6. Click the Remove files button.

Once you complete the steps, you'll have more space to run Windows Update without triggering the no enough space error code.

If you have to reclaim more space, you can check this guide with many more ways to free up space on Windows 10.

How to fix Windows Update using Troubleshooter

Windows 10 comes with a Windows Update troubleshooter tool that can diagnose and resolve common problems with the feature.

To use the troubleshooter to fix problems with Windows Update, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Update & Security.
  3. Click on Troubleshoot.
  4. Under the "Get up and running" section, select the Windows Update option.
  5. Click the Run the troubleshooter button.

    Windows Update troubleshooterSource: Windows Central

  6. Click the Close button.

Once you complete the steps, the troubleshooter will diagnose and resolve any issue that it finds, and then you should be able to update again.

How to fix Windows Update installing update manually

Sometimes installing the most recent update manually can help to fix problems with the Windows Update service.

Determining system type

Before you can download the correct update package, you have to confirm whether you're using a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows 10.

To determine your device system type, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on System.
  3. Click on About.
  4. Under the "Device specifications" section, determine the system type.

    Windows 10 version informationSource: Windows Central

  5. Under the "Windows specifications" section, determine the version number.

After you complete the steps, you can proceed to download the latest package for your installation.

Downloading updates manually

To download quality updates of Windows 10 manually, use these steps:

  1. Open the Windows Update History page.
  2. Click the version of Windows 10 that matches your installation (for example, version 1909) from the left side.
  3. Confirm the knowledge base number of the latest update — for example, KB4530684.

    Windows Update history page onlineSource: Windows Central

  4. Open the Microsoft Update Catalog page.
  5. Search for the KB number — for example, KB4530684.
  6. Click the Download button for the version that applies for your installation. For instance, if you're running the 64-bit version, you should click the download button for the "Windows 10 Version 1903 for x64-based Systems" update.

    Microsoft Update Catalog pageSource: Windows Central

  7. Click the .msu download link to save the package on your device.

    Windows 10 update msu packageSource: Windows Central

Once you complete the steps, you can proceed to install the update on your computer.

Installing updates manually

To install the latest update that you downloaded manually, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.
  3. Type the following command to install the update and press Enter:

    wusa C:\PATH-TO-UPDATE\NAME-OF-UPDATE.msu /quiet /norestart

    This example installs the update package located in the Downloads folder:

    wusa C:\Users\m__la\Downloads\windows10.0-kb4530684-x64_02ab3d424a993fbefa857f5b92999383f56c6986.msu /quiet /norestart

    Command Prompt install quality update manuallySource: Windows Central

    Quick tip: If the name is too long to type, then type Windows10.0-kb and press the Tab key to complete the name automatically and continue typing the command.

After you complete the steps, the update package will install, but you'll need to restart the device manually to finish applying the changes. If the update applies successfully, there's a good chance that Windows Update will start working again.

How to fix Windows Update repairing installation

If there's a problem with running Windows Update, there is a chance that you may have one or multiple corrupted system files, which you can repair using the System File Checker (SFC) command tool.

To repair the Windows 10 installation to resolve issues with Windows Update, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.
  3. Type the following command to repair the system image and press Enter:

    dism /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth

  4. Type the following command to repair the installation files and press Enter:

    sfc /scannow

    Windows 10 repair installation commandsSource: Windows Central

Once you complete the steps, try running Windows Update one more time, and if the problem was a missing or damaged system file, now the update service should start working as always.

How to fix Windows Update skipping maintenance schedule

Although updates are essential to keep your device running smoothly and secure, sometimes updates can roll out with unknown bugs that may cause problems, including installation issues.

If you suspect that the problem could be the update and not your installation, it's recommended not to install the cumulative update until the next release.

To skip an update release, you have to hide it from your device using these steps:

  1. Open the Windows Support website.
  2. Click the Download the "Show or hide updates" troubleshooter package now link to save the troubleshooter on your device.
  3. Double-click the wsuhowhide.diagcab file.
  4. Click the Next button.
  5. Click the Hide updates option.

    Windows 10 hide update wizardSource: Windows Central

  6. Select the update causing the problem.

    Select Windows Update release to hideSource: Windows Central

  7. Click the Next button.
  8. Click the Close button.

After you complete the steps, the update will no longer be available for your device, resolving any errors trying to install the quality update using Windows Update. However, when a follow-up update becomes available, it'll eventually download and install automatically.

How to fix Windows Update installing latest version

Sometimes if you're running an older version of Windows 10, you can try upgrading to the most recent release to fix many problems with the current installation, including issues with Windows Update. While there are multiple ways to upgrade to the latest version, using the Update Assistant tool is the easiest method.

To upgrade a device to the latest version with the Update Assistant, use these steps:

  1. Open the Windows 10 download page.
  2. Click the Update now button.
  3. Save the Update Assistant installer to your device.
  4. Double-click the Windows10Upgrade file to launch the assistant.
  5. Click the Update Now button.

    Windows Update update assistant toolSource: Windows Central

  6. Click the Next button.
  7. Click the Restart Now button.

Once you complete the steps, the new version of Windows 10 will hopefully resolve the problem with Windows Update, and it might even improve system performance as well as other issues with the previous release.

How to fix Windows Update performing clean installation

If nothing seems to work to resolve the issue with Windows Update, as a last resort, you may want to consider performing a clean installation of Windows 10 to resolve this and other problems.

Creating bootable media

Before you can proceed with the installation of Windows 10, you need to create a USB media to start your device and continue with the installation.

To create a bootable media using the Media Creation Tool, use these steps:

  1. Open the Windows 10 download page.
  2. Click the Download tool now button.
  3. Save the Media Creation Tool installer to your device.
  4. Double-click the MediaCreationToolxxxx.exe file to begin the process.
  5. Click the Accept button to agree to the terms.
  6. Select the Create install media (USB flash drive, DVD, or ISO file) for another PC option.

    Create boot media optionSource: Windows Central

  7. Click the Next button.

    Media Creation Tool Windows 10 installation settingsSource: Windows Central

  8. Click the Next button.
  9. Select the USB flash drive option.

    Media Creation Tool USB optionSource: Windows Central

  10. Click the Next button
  11. Select the flash drive from the list.

    Select USB to create boot mediaSource: Windows Central

  12. Click the Next button.
  13. Click the Finish button.

After you complete the steps, you can proceed with the clean installation of Windows 10.

Installing Windows 10

To do a clean installation of Windows 10, use these steps:

Warning: This is a friendly reminder that this process will erase everything on your computer. It's always recommended to make a temporary full backup of your PC before proceeding.

  1. Start the computer with the Windows 10 USB media.

    Quick tip: If you can't boot your device with the bootable media, then you need to change your basic input/output system (BIOS) settings to change the boot order to start the device from USB. Usually, this process requires hitting one of the function keys (F1, F2, F3, F10, or F12), the ESC, or Delete key as soon as you start the computer. The only caveat is that these settings will be different per manufacturer, and even by computer model. So make sure to check your device manufacturer's support website for more specific instructions.

  2. On prompt, press any key to boot from the device.

  3. On the "Windows Setup," click the Next button.

    Windows 10 SetupSource: Windows Central

  4. Click the Install now button.

    Windows 10 Setup install optionSource: Windows Central

  5. Click the I don't have a product key option to continue (assuming that your device was already activated).

    Windows 10 product key optionSource: Windows Central

  6. Click the Next button.
  7. Select the edition of Windows 10. (This selection must match the version your product key activates.)

    Windows 10 Setup select editionSource: Windows Central

  8. Click the Next button.
  9. Select the I accept the license terms option to continue.
  10. Click the Next button.
  11. Click on the Custom: Install Windows only (Advanced) option.

    Windows 10 setup custom install optionSource: Windows Central

  12. Select the partition with the current installation (usually "Drive 0"), and click the Delete button.

    Quick tip: If "Drive 0" has multiple partitions, you have to select and delete each of the partitions to allow the setup to use the entire drive for the new clean installation. Windows 10 will create the required partitions automatically during the process. It's not necessary to delete the partitions on secondary drives.

  13. Click the Yes button.

    Delete partitions to install Windows 10Source: Windows Central

  14. Select the empty drive (Drive 0 Unallocated Space).

    Begin clean install of Windows 10Source: Windows Central

  15. Click the Next button.

Once you complete the steps, you'll need to continue with the out-of-box experience (OOBE) to configure your device, and after the process, the issue with Windows Update should be resolved as well as other system problems.

If you need assistant performing a clean install of Windows 10, you can use this comprehensive guide.

More Windows 10 resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10, visit the following resources:

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