When Windows doesn’t update, we all get a little nervous. Microsoft strongly recommends that all users regularly update their operating system to keep it at an acceptable level of security and performance. It would seem that the Windows update process is automatic: all the work is literally done for you.
Nevertheless, once again going to the Update Center, you can understand that the system, for some reason, cannot install one or more updates. It should be noted right away that it is absolutely not worth panicking in such a situation. Some users run Windows without updating it for years – and they are fine.
However, it is still recommended to update Windows OS at least once every few months to get all the most important security updates. But what if Windows isn’t updating? In today’s article we will try to answer this extremely difficult question.
Personal data backup
Before proceeding with any experiments, be sure to make sure that all your personal data has been saved and is not in danger. You have to dig into the internals of the OS, and therefore the loss of data is a very likely outcome. Flash drives, disks, SSD / HDD, images – do everything in your power to protect your “good”.
Reboot the PC and retry the update
As a rule, Windows is not updated due to the fact that the previously downloaded update is still in the installation queue. The solution is to restart the computer and restart the system update process. We reboot your PC, go to the Update Center and check if anything has changed.
Running the troubleshooter
Some of you may not know about this, but Microsoft ships Windows 10 along with a special troubleshooter that can automatically solve the problems that have arisen in the system. This tool does not always work, but in some situations it is quite sufficient. To run the troubleshooter on Windows 10, you need:
- press Win + S to call the search bar;
- enter the query “Troubleshooting Windows Update” and click on the result found;
- click on the “Advanced” item and check the box next to the “Automatically apply fixes” option;
- wait until the troubleshooter finishes working and follow the further instructions on the screen;
- restart your computer.
Pause system update
The following solution may seem somewhat counterintuitive to you, but in order to troubleshoot Windows update problems, you need to try to pause the automatic installation of updates. Do the following:
- press Win + S;
- enter “Update Center” and select the found result;
- click on the “Pause update for 7 days” option;
- close all options windows and restart your computer;
- re-enter Windows Update and start the system update process.
Why should this work? The fact is that this process resets the installation of all pending updates for Windows, thereby eliminating the “congestion”. This time Windows will surely update without any problems.
Removing the SoftwareDistribution folder
Many users are not familiar with such a solution, and it is they who can often fix the problem with updating Windows. So, first you need to put your OS into Safe Mode. This is done very simply from the operating system:
- press Win + I;
- go to the “Update and Security” section;
- click on the “Recovery” tab;
- click on the “Restart now” option in the section with special boot options;
- then go through “Diagnostics → Additional parameters → Boot parameters” and select the “Restart” option;
- press the F4 button to enter the OS in safe mode;
- go to the Windows folder on the system partition and delete the SoftwareDistribution folder;
- restart your computer and enter the OS normally.
Don’t worry, the SoftwareDistribution folder will be recreated as soon as you log into your operating system. Open WU and run Windows update. In most cases, this method fixes all problems with an OS update. Most likely, it will help you too, but if not, move on.
Downloading the update from the official Microsoft website
If the Update Center does not want to perform the task assigned to it, even after all the above manipulations, then why not simply download the problematic update from the official Microsoft website? This will bypass the Update Center entirely – the problem is resolved.
Use the link and download the latest update for Windows 10. Next, run the installer on your computer and follow the instructions on the screen. Everything is extremely simple and the installation of the latest update will go smoothly.
Downloading specific updates from the catalog
If you are having problems with a specific update, you can always manually download it from the Microsoft Update Catalog. So, first you need to find the problematic update number. To do this, open the Windows Update settings and go to the “Update Log” subsection. Next, we look for an update with an error and copy its number, for example, into a notebook.
Follow the link and drive the previously copied update number into the search engine. Download the installer for the update you need, and then start installing it. The process is semi-automatic, and therefore you shouldn’t have any difficulties. After installation, restart your computer and … calmly go about your business.
Repair Windows system files and components
Windows update problems can result from damaged system files and components. Why your OS suffered such damage is difficult to say. Fortunately, the situation can be corrected using such system utilities as SFC and DISM. Both are run from the command line with administrator privileges.
- right-click on Start and select Command Prompt (be sure to have admin rights!);
- enter the command “sfc / scannow” and press Enter;
- restart your computer after executing the command;
- reopen the command prompt;
- run the command “DISM / Online / Cleanup-Image / RestoreHealth”;
- restart your computer again.
As practice shows, the methods described above work fine if your copy of Windows is not updated for one reason or another. Unfortunately, if nothing worked, then it’s easier to either skip the released update, or restore / reinstall Windows.