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How to fix Windows Update problems on Windows 10

Fixing Windows Update on Windows 10
Fixing Windows Update on Windows 10 (Image credit: 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.

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.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: 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.comIn 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).

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. 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.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Restart your device.
  2. Open Settings.
  3. Click on Update & Security.
  4. Click on Windows Update.
  5. Click the Resume updates button.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: 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.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Select the items that you want to clear to free up space.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.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. 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.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. 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.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. 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.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Open the Microsoft Update Catalog page.
  2. Search for the KB number — for example, KB4530684.
  3. 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.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the .msu download link to save the package on your device.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: 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 /norestartThis example installs the update package located in the Downloads folder:wusa C:\Users\m__la\Downloads\windows10.0-kb4530684-x64_02ab3d424a993fbefa857f5b92999383f56c6986.msu /quiet /norestartQuick 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.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

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

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: 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.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Select the update causing the problem.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Next button.
  2. 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.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Next button.
  2. 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.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Next button.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Next button.
  2. Select the USB flash drive option.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Next button
  2. Select the flash drive from the list.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Next button.
  2. 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.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Install now button.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the I don't have a product key option to continue (assuming that your device was already activated).

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Next button.
  2. Select the edition of Windows 10. (This selection must match the version your product key activates.)

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Next button.
  2. Select the I accept the license terms option to continue.
  3. Click the Next button.
  4. Click on the Custom: Install Windows only (Advanced) option.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. 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.
  2. Click the Yes button.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Select the empty drive (Drive 0 Unallocated Space).

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. 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.

Mauro Huculak is technical writer for WindowsCentral.com. His primary focus is to write comprehensive how-tos to help users get the most out of Windows 10 and its many related technologies. He has an IT background with professional certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA, and he's a recognized member of the Microsoft MVP community.

3 Comments
  • What do you do about error 0x80070002? Don't want to install fresh as it was an upgrade from Windows 7 Pro
  • Frankenstein I can't see Windows anymore because of the hiccups. I'd go Linux Mint if I were you only because it's evolving to be a better OS than Windows. I'd compare Linux Mint 19 to older Windows editions (without tiling or from before Windows 8.1) with current functionalities. Still, one should learn how to use a terminal in order to use Mint at its full potential which is not that difficult.
  • I wanted to disable Windows Updates on my Home Edition and the only solution which permanently worked for me was to run cmd as an aministrator and then type: sc delete wuauserv