What do I do when I cannot update Windows?

One issue that we hear in technical support is the Windows Updates keep failing or getting stuck.  If none of these work or you need help following any of these steps, please contact technical support.

If Windows Updates seem to be stuck or unresponsive at 0%, 32%, 62%, 87%, or 99%, please wait at least 4 to 7 hours and typically Windows Updates will continue.

If Windows Updates does not progress or an error stating Windows Updates failed you can either run the Windows Updates Troubleshooter (Find it by typing Troubleshoot Settings in the taskbar and running it) or try the troubleshooting steps below:

Clearing the SoftwareDistribution Folder

If you are actually getting a message stating that Windows Updates failed you can try the steps below.
  1. On the Windows task bar select "Type here to search"
  2. Type Command Prompt, right-click it, and choose Run as Administrator.
  3. In the Command Prompt type net stop wuauserv and hit Enter.
  4. Next type net stop bits and hit Enter.
  5. On the Windows task bar select "Type here to search" again.
  6. Type C:\Windows and hit Enter.
  7. On the right side of the Windows Explorer window, scroll down then right-click on the SoftwareDistribution folder.
  8. Select Delete.  If prompted select Yes that you are sure you want to delete the folder.
  9. Close the Windows Explorer window.
  10. Back at the Command Prompt type net start wuauserv and hit Enter.
  11. Next type net start bits and hit Enter.
You can now close the Command Prompt and run Windows Updates again.

Run DISM and SFC

  1. In the search box on the taskbar, type Command Prompt.  Press and hold (or right-click) Command Prompt (Desktop app) from the search results and select Run as administrator.
  2. Enter DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth (note the space before each "/").  (Note: This step may take a few minutes to start and up to 30 minutes to run and complete.)
  3. Enter sfc /scannow (note the space between "sfc" and "/").

Media Creation Tool

If none of the above methods have worked, you will need to use the Microsoft Media Creation Tool. 
  1. You can find this tool online at https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/software-download/windows10
  2. Once at the site, select Download tool now.  If given a choice to run or save, choose save.
  3. Once the tool completes downloading, please run it.
  4. The first screen that pops up may state SmartScreen can't be reached right now.  Choose Run
  5. A new screen will appear that says Getting a few things ready.  This may take a few minutes but on the next screen Accept the license terms.  Getting a few things ready will appear again.
  6. Choose Upgrade this PC now then select Next and let Windows complete the upgrade.
  7. If this does not resolve the issue, please follow steps 1-5 again.  When you get to step 6 choose to create installation media instead of upgrading.  You will need a USB flash drive and then follow the steps to create an installer on the USB drive.  When complete, reboot and run Windows Upgrade from the USB drive.


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