Windows 10 upgrade not showing up yet? Here's how to manually trigger an update

Microsoft has opened the floodgates for Windows 10, making the upgrade available in 190 countries around the globe. If you've already reserved the upgrade on Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1 and are yet to see the update, there's an easy fix that allows you to manually initiate the download process.

Before you begin, ensure Windows Update can download and install updates automatically. Not sure how to do that? Here's how:

Turn automatic updating on or off

  1. Open Windows Update by swiping in from the right edge of the screen (or, if you're using a mouse, pointing to the lower-right corner of the screen and moving the mouse pointer up), tapping or clicking Settings, tapping or clicking Change PC settings, and then tapping or clicking Update and recovery.
  2. Tap or click Choose how updates get installed.
  3. Under Important updates, choose the option that you want.
  4. Under Recommended updates, select the Give me recommended updates the same way I receive important updates check box.
  5. Under Microsoft Update, select the Give me updates for other Microsoft products when I update Windows check box, and then tap or click Apply.

Once automatic updates are enabled, launch Command Prompt in Administrator mode and enter the following command: wuauclt.exe/updatenow. That should trigger the Windows 10 download.

How to start a command prompt as an administrator:

  1. Click Start, click All Programs, and then click Accessories.
  2. Right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as administrator.
  3. If the User Account Control dialog box appears, confirm that the action it displays is what you want, and then click Continue.

If you're having any issues, be sure to hit up Windows Central's forums. This discussion is dedicated to force updating.

While you're waiting for Windows 10 to download, check out our review!

Windows 10 review

More Resources

We already have extensive coverage of Windows 10, in case you need more information or how-to articles, make sure you check these resources:

Thanks Chung for the tip!

  • Thinking about downloading the ISO instead.. I have a laptop is preinstalled with win8.1 .. If I extract the product key..will it work on win10 iso installation?
    Note: Laptop is just 5 months old..
  • I do not thinkg so as this is free UPDATE for your windows 8.1
  • What?
  • Your meant to upgrade first before fresh install or won't activate
  • How to extract that key?? I remember there's a program for that, I just forgot it!
  • I use to use a program called jolly rancher which would give me the product key, even for Office.
  • Magical Jellybean Keyfinder Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • there is a program called RW... when you have it, go unter the AHCI tab, then the subtab MSDN
  • The pre-installed product key for Windows 8.1 should be underneath the laptop.
  • Yes if you are making a clean install using iso instead of updating .. Then you shld enter your W8.1 product key..
    If you don't know your product key..
  • false i tried and my key is not valid  
  • You cannot make clean install prior upgrade to windows 10 first. Only success upgrade to windows 10 will upgrade your previous version of product key into w10 version. After upgrade, find your new product key, write it down, then only you can clean install windows 10. However Microsoft claim that after upgraded and login to your Microsoft ID, you can reinstall windows 10 without the product key as Microsoft ID already have your windows version record. Anyone can verify that?
  • I just used an ISO to upgrade my pc from W8.1 to W10. There was no trickery involved in the process. It shows that it is activated as well. Using these workarounds are pointless when the ISOs are available. The process is painless and works as it should.
  • Thanks mate good to know you can upgrade straight from ISO. That's the kind of thing WindowsCentral should cover, not the quirky way working just on W7...
  • Not pointless for me-- the update that was supposed to install the "Get Windows 10" app on my W7 machine keeps failing. Using the ISO and my W7 product key is the only way I can get my upgrade. (afaik)
  • Go back and read what I said. What you did is the MAIN REASON why the workaround is pointless because you used an ISO.
  • where did u get the iso from? kindly share the link or mail it to me at and is it an enterprise copy or what? any help would be appreciated.
  • Microsoft Software Download site
  • Hi I am thinking of doing this, did it delete your files thanks in advance.
  • i am using pirated version of windows 10 so what if i installed ISO files because i dont have produck key and c where can i find ISO files...????
  • Instructions can be found here  
  • So if I get a windows 10 ISO and enter my windows 8 key it will work? Do you need to go through the update process first...or just get the windows 10 ISO, and enter the windows 8 key?
  • You can't use iso file for upgrading Your previus system. ISO file are used for a clean install. You must upgrade through Your Windows Update, or from Windows Store.
  • Just updated two different pc with iso, burn to dvd and run setup from desktop, just dont clean install by booting from the dvd.
  • Where from did you get the ISO file????
  • Please I want to know how you use the ISO to accomplish that. Did you boot from a DVD or USB as in restarting your current windows or you opened the setup program from you media intallation source while your current version of windows (W8.1) was in operation?  I also currenlty have W8.1 OS on my PC and I am scared of the upgrade as I do not want to lose many of my already intalled prorgrams and app fearing that Installing from from an ISO may perform a clean install that will wipe out everything. Please educate me, thanks.
  • With your PC already running, put ISO disk in the disk drive. Find the disk drive from My PC, Open it and find the .exe to run it.
  • No need to extract the product key, just Install Windows 10, It will be activated.
  • I am not sure how this upgrade thing is handled. I had one PC that came without any OS (bits were swapped so OS removed) - I had ISO installed W10 TP on it. Today after getting full upgrade, I stopped Insider Builds, it then restarted and now my W10 is still activated. I believe you can convert - Pirated Windows (keyless versions) to Genuine as long as you associate your local account with MSA. You DON'T need to be a life time insider as every other blog said. At least for me that isn't the case today. Not an insider on keyless PC, but have genuine full version installed.
  • Similar story. I clean installed over my windows 8 PC a couple months ago and have done several resets on build 10240 and just yesterday i finally put to stop receiving insider previews and i restarted after and it says Windows 10 Pro activated.
  • How do I know if I was updated to the released version of 10? I have 4 PCs, 2 on 8.1 (not updated yet. I have a PC and Surface Pro 2 both on the fast ring... How do I know when they are "updated" to Windows 10?
  • Go to cortana or the search box the tpe in "winver" without the quotes
  • Most laptops have a sticker with the key on it underneath.
  • I use that so much, Thank you Microsoft.
  • The OS key is in a secure area of the ROM, you don't need to extract it as it's used automatically by Windows to activate the machine. Saves losing keys or getting them stolen.
  • I recently called microsoft about this. If you install with an ISO your key will be invalid. You must first upgrade using the reservation feature then you can do an ISO install at any point from there.
  • The product keys will NOT be compatible and you will have to go back to Windows8.
  • I tried automatic upgrade - failed 4-5 times. Downloaded ISO, extracted it to a folder, started setup.exe, no key is required. Everything goes fine. I had Win 8.1 Pro with a MSDN individual key, not VLK (not so sure, but think so). Not a clean install, everything is upgraded. Only "Classic shell"program was deleted (have reinstalled it again no problems with new RC version). Also Media Center is removed (I used KM Player and other free players).
  • Don't worry, it will be work because it's upgrade. Windows Team confirmed you need a new key when you install a fresh Windows 10 only.
  • no i tried key is not valid...
  • It's explicitly stated on the troubleshooting activation site that a windows 7/8/8.1 key will not activate Windows 10 if using fresh install. It must be upgraded in place. If it worked for you, great. For myself, it did not. Don't suggest this to people without the caveat that it isn't supported and may not work.
  • hi i tried to put the command in command prompt and delete everything in downlod folder but i still not be able to get win 10 upgrade running in check for updates.When i check the update it says no more update available the actual update failed 6 times when i check my history of updates   what i have to do should i wait or what plz help   thankyou
  • YOu don't need any key for free upgrade. Onely things you need are (1) suitable hardware ( some graphic driver anre not available for windows 10) (2) Installed and activated genuine windows 7 SP1/ 8/8.1. (3) download windows 10 installation file form .Pls make sure to choose correct version based on existing windows and architecture . Instruction to choose and install  YOu can download ISO file and open in your 8.1 . open in file explorer and run setup file as administrator. It will be activated automatically without asking any key. you will be asked to enter kwey if you clean install. you can skip to enter key to complete installaton if you install on tpreviously upgraded PC ( you need to upgrade once first to get the hardware ID registerd for windows 10). YOu can install clean without key and it will be activeated.
  • I tired that. It's asking my for a product key. Obviously a free upgrade doesn't have one. I tried entering my Windows 8 key and keep getting an invalid key error message.
  • my laptop is 1 year old,windows 8.1 preinstalled and i install windows 10 and its activated already using the ISO file i got officially from microsoft.. * make sure u install the latest updates of windows 8.1 and received an app of "get windows 10" .. dont boot from flash drive  instead click the setup of windows 10 from flash drive after making it bootable NOTE: dont try to boot from your fd or make a clean install u will require a windows 10 key..
  • Downloaded it but isn't installing. Error code 80240020.
  • Search google, plenty of answers there
  • Traitor..... Bing it
  • Best reply!
  • super LOL!!
  • WHAT? I'm sorry, even though i absolutely love microsoft, google is just a better search engine. also, it's july 30 and i still haven't got the notification. i reserved ages ago, my PC is more ready than anyones, it says i'm 100% compatible, but i'm not getting a notification!?
  • Delete all the content on the folder:
    C:\Windows \softwaredistribution\download then open CMD in admin mode and type: wuauclt.exe /updatenow
  • I'm not okay with downloading 3.5 Gb again.
  • There is some problems with the first download.. That's why it's better to delete all and start again.. After I made that it installed windows 10 perfectly :)
  • Downloaded it fully the third time.
  • Also took me a few tries.
  • Good call. :-)
  • Dit it and it's downloading plus 5 GB now!
  • Same for me, hope it works this time. 
  • is that work fine now ?
    because i have the same problem ..
  • I can delete all but one file in that folder. Typing that command at the prompt does nothing for me
  • Thanks for the tip. It did the trick here.
  • it doesn't work on windows 7  
  • Yes it does.  I just used it sucessfuly.
  • Yes i think that worked!  
  • I did that, but now the folder $windows.~BT has nothing but a folder named Sources. Help, because I don't know what's happening
  • Man, I deleted it but wuauclt.exe /updatenow does not work, it just does nothing, yes I double checked the spelling, can you help me?
  • This is what I had to do. Found W10 had tried to install twice yesterday morning but failed. Found the tip above last night and got it going before going to bed. All set up now and enjoying on my Surface 3.
  • I've tried this at least 3 times.  I get the same error every time.  Even more annoying is my wife's computer upgraded no problem on it's own, but mine won't upgrade at all.
  • You, my man or woman... are a god-sent frickin' genius! Thanks a million!
  • Works like a charm! Thanks so much for the tip!
  • Or use this--
  • Great tip! Seems to be working now. Thx!
  • It did not work, got the same error as before.
  • Got the same error bro. I think I am going for the ISO thingy.  
  • you can go there to solve the problem ! lot of people have this problem so click this link, it's safe :
  • Yep, this does the trick. I've waited for it to kick in automatically, but no luck. Thanks for the tip, I'm seeing the hidden folder now :)
  • Keeps giving me failed, no matter how many times I try, on both my PC and Surface Pro 3! This is getting frustrating, I mean there is no reason for it to fail when all files are already downloaded on my C drive.
  • What about insiders on 10240, anything to download, or just the security patches?
  • Just a security patch. The build version according to the registry is still 10240.
  • Also didn't work for me so what i did i got the Create Media from Microsoft and selected upgrade this PC and it worked. My Windows 10 is activated and i have all the settings and apps.    So i think it is just like downloading it from the Update but you don't have to wait for it or get any errors.
  • That the trick. Downloading now! 
  • So you had the option of keeping all your programs and stuff? Cuz I have Adobe PS and all that junk, these will remain right? Thanks.
  • Firstly a format and reinstall from an ISO won't now activate as MS have deleted all previous Win10 activator codes. You have to reinstall over an qualifying OS. No need to know the original key. If you do, your Adobe Cloud stuff will vanish and you will need to log onto the Adobe Cloud Desktop when Photoshop CC etc will be automatically reinstalled.
  • Same here worked like a charm. Windows 10 actavated and all my files ect are right where they should be.
  • It doesn't happen on my uncle's laptop. It will appear like "Some updates wre not installed". What was the reason?
  • Just learned the long way that you must upgrade before you can use the ISO to do a clean install. I presume then that my existing product key will be authenticated as being associated with Windows 10.
  • I did the same mistake of clean installing Windows 10 over my Windows 8.1 installation because the instructions led me to believe that would activate it as well :/ Have you managed to get your Windows 10 activated, and how?
  • Presumably reinstall windows 8.1 then upgrade (not clean install) windows 10.
  • think ms release it 2 weeks ago with build 10240, now we just get updates. it was 10240 that went to RTM. Probably why we haven't been seeing the byuild number in the wring bottom of screen saying technical preview  
  • Not working for my Win7 though "Get Windows10" is visible?
  • Trying to update from Win 8.1. It has failed 7 times, re-downloaded 4 times... And now wuauclt.exe/updatenow doesn't function for me anymore. Looks like I'm stuck with 8.1.
  • Should've had some patience bro.
  • Delete all the content on the folder:
    C:\Windows \softwaredistribution\download
    then open CMD in admin mode and type: wuauclt.exe /updatenow
  • I tried that too and still nothing.
  • And this-
  • Just use the tool from Microsoft
  • I've used this tool however it won't let me activate windows. I noticed it wouldn't download apps chosen in the store.I went to make sure everything was activated and sure enough it wasn't, it did ask me to claim the pc with microsoft which I did. When I hit activate, it loads and then says windows can't activiate try again later.  Shows a new product key below. Hopefully just a bug that will get fixed.   
  • Did you do a clean install or use the update thing? 
  • Actually, there won't be any bug fix for this issue. Because this isn't a bug. According to microsoft, you will get your free copy of Genuine Windows 10 only if you upgrade through their reservation system.  Just talked to a microsoft support guy. As per his instruction, you need to Go back to Windows 8.1 or whatever your old OS is by going to Update->Recovery-> Go back to Windows 8.1 (old version here). Then you should properly upgrade to windows 10 again through their reservations system. Now I am waiting for the update from the reservation system. Hope that makes sense, Thanks
  • I was getting the same thing. I don't know if you've resolved it yet, but I just clicked activate about 7 times and it activated.
  • please help me how i can upgrade 8.1 to 10. im trying wuauclt.exe/updatenow but its not i stalled. if i download iso how can i get licence.
  • I reverted back to build 10166 as Windows Central advised, but no update. Can't even update back to build 10240 anymore. Ouch