How to fix a Windows update that is stuck

Occasionally, a Windows update may get stuck during the download or installation process. When this happens, the computer freezes and nothing works anymore. There are various causes for this. But don’t fear because with our tips and tricks, you can fix the problem and install the update. Read on to find out how to fix a stuck Windows update.

Solution 1: Wait

Sometimes the best remedy to fix an update that’s stuck is to wait. How long you wait may hinge somewhat on your system. In case of a large update or a slow system, some updates may require a longer processing time. In this case, the display may stop updating the progress. However, it could still be updating the system in the background. If an installation has actually failed, you can check for updates again or run the Windows troubleshooter.

Solution 2: Windows troubleshooting

Microsoft provides the Windows troubleshooter for problems with updates. To use it, proceed as follows:

  • Open Settings.
  • Click on Update and Security.
  • In the left panel, select Troubleshooting.
  • Under Fix the problem directly, click Windows Update.

In many cases, Windows will be able to identify the error that’s causing the issue and will fix it automatically.

Solution 3: Install the Windows update manually

You can also install the Windows update manually. Here’s how:

  • Launch Settings.
  • Select Update & Security.
  • In the Windows Update tab, select the Check for updates option.

Solution 4: Free up space

Ensure that you have enough storage space on your device. If your storage is nearly full, the update may not download and install. To do this, do the following:

  • Launch Windows Explorer.
  • Select This PC from the left-hand side.
  • Check if there is enough space on your C: drive. At least 32 GB should be available here.

If this is not the case, you should delete unnecessary data, for example, programs you rarely use.

  • Launch Settings.
  • Click System > Storage.
  • Go to Cleanup recommendations and then click Clean up.

Solution 5: Repair Windows update using Windows tools

Microsoft provides a range of free tools to help with update problems. The Reset Windows Update Agent is one such recommended application to help troubleshoot a problem. You can get it to work as follows:

  • Download the tool from Microsoft.
  • Unpack the archive file and execute the ResetWUEng.cmd file (requires administrator rights). To do this, right-click on the file and select Run as administrator.
  • Answer the security prompt with Yes.
  • Select Reset Windows Update Components from the script menu. This process may take a while, depending on your PC. Once the process has finished, the update should work without any problems.

If Windows is stuck, corrupted or missing installation packages could be the issue. If you encounter one of the following error codes, check out our step-by-step guides to tackle the problem: 0x8024200d, 0x80070bc2, 0x80070002, 0x80240fff and 0x800f081f.

Solution 6: Remove USB and other device connections from PC

Printers, external hard drives or USB sticks connected to the PC or laptop can cause issues during an update. It is best to remove all unnecessary external storage devices and drives, docking stations and other hardware components and attempt the installation again.

Solution 7: Deinstall unknown devices

Open the Device Manager by right-clicking the Windows Start icon and select Device Manager from the menu. Look for devices marked with yellow exclamation marks and right-click to uninstall them.

Solution 8: Restart computer

A reboot of the system can work wonders in case of update issues. Previously installed updates are usually resumed after a restart. You can download and install additional updates again.

Windows Update is stuck – what now?

To sum up, if your Windows update is stuck, you’ve got different options to fix the issue. Many of these require little to no effort. It some cases, simply disconnecting the USB devices can be enough. But Microsoft does offer support in the form of its Windows troubleshooter and the Reset Windows Update Agent.

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