Windows Tutorials

How to Resolve Windows Updates Not Installing

Having trouble with Windows updates not installing? Discover effective solutions to fix update installation issues and keep your system up to date.

Windows updates are crucial for maintaining the security and functionality of your computer system. They provide bug fixes, performance improvements, and the latest features from Microsoft. However, at times, you may encounter issues where Windows updates fail to install properly. In this article, we will explore common reasons behind this problem and provide effective solutions to resolve it.

1. Introduction

Windows updates play a vital role in keeping your operating system secure and up to date. They ensure that your computer is equipped with the latest security patches, bug fixes, and improvements from Microsoft. However, it can be frustrating when you encounter issues where Windows updates fail to install.

In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss various troubleshooting steps and methods to resolve the issue of Windows updates not installing correctly. We will explore common problems associated with Windows updates and provide practical solutions to overcome them.

2. Understanding Windows Updates

2.1 The Importance of Windows Updates

Windows updates are essential for maintaining the overall health and security of your computer system. They address vulnerabilities, patch security loopholes, and provide improvements to the operating system. By installing updates, you ensure that your computer is running efficiently and protected against potential threats.

2.2 Common Issues with Windows Updates

Before diving into the solutions, let’s familiarize ourselves with some common issues that can prevent Windows updates from installing:

  • Error messages during update installation
  • Update installation stuck at a certain percentage
  • Failed updates leading to system instability or crashes
  • Incomplete or partial installation of updates
  • Automatic update failures without any specific error message

Understanding these common issues will help us diagnose and resolve the problems effectively.

3. Troubleshooting Windows Updates

When Windows updates fail to install, there are several troubleshooting steps you can take to identify and fix the problem. Here are some essential steps to follow:

3.1 Checking the Internet Connection

Ensure that your computer has a stable and reliable internet connection. Unstable connections or limited bandwidth can interfere with the update process. Verify that other internet-dependent services are working correctly.

3.2 Verifying Sufficient Disk Space

Make sure your computer has enough free disk space to accommodate the updates. Insufficient disk space can hinder the installation process. Delete unnecessary files or move them to an external storage device to free up space.

3.3 Running Windows Update Troubleshooter

Windows provides a built-in troubleshooting tool specifically designed to fix update-related issues. Run the Windows Update Troubleshooter to automatically detect and resolve common problems with Windows updates.

3.4 Restarting the Windows Update Service

Restarting the Windows Update service can often resolve update installation failures. This can be done through the Services Manager. Restarting the service clears any temporary issues and allows updates to install smoothly.

3.5 Disabling Third-Party Antivirus Software

In some cases, third-party antivirus software can interfere with Windows updates. Temporarily disable or uninstall any antivirus software you have installed and try installing the updates again. Remember to re-enable or reinstall the antivirus software afterward to maintain system security.

4. Updating Windows Manually

If the automatic update process fails repeatedly, you can try updating Windows manually. Here are a couple of methods to consider:

4.1 Downloading Updates from Microsoft Catalog

Visit the Microsoft Update Catalog website and search for the specific updates you need. Download the updates manually and install them on your computer. This method ensures that you have the correct updates and allows you to bypass any installation issues.

4.2 Using Windows Update Assistant

Windows Update Assistant is a utility provided by Microsoft that helps you manually install the latest updates. Download and run the Windows Update Assistant tool from the official Microsoft website. The tool will guide you through the process of updating your system.

5. Resolving Specific Windows Update Errors

Certain Windows update errors are more common than others. Let’s address some of the frequently encountered errors and their solutions:

5.1 Error 0x80070002: The System Cannot Find the File Specified

This error often occurs when Windows Update is unable to locate the necessary update files. Running the Windows Update Troubleshooter, verifying disk space, and ensuring a stable internet connection can help resolve this issue.

5.2 Error 0x80070003: The System Cannot Find the Path Specified

This error is similar to the previous one, indicating that the update files are missing or cannot be located. Following the troubleshooting steps mentioned earlier and checking the integrity of your system files using the System File Checker (SFC) can help fix this error.

5.3 Error 0x80073712: A File Needed by Windows Update Is Missing

This error suggests that a file required for the update process is missing or corrupted. Running the Windows Update Troubleshooter, performing a clean boot, and running the Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) tool can help resolve this issue.

Option 1:

  1. Disable or remove all antivirus. Windows 10 Reverting Changes
  2. Reinstall patches through windows update if that does not work move to step 3
  3. Manually download the path that is having an issue from

Option 2:

  1. Log in as local administrator
  2. Run disk cleanup. Click on  Cleanup System Files. Make sure All files are selected.
  3. We will now create a .bat file
  4. Open notepad
  5. Copy and paste the script below to notepad

echo Simple Script to Reset / Clear Windows Update
attrib -h -r -s %windir%system32catroot2
attrib -h -r -s %windir%system32catroot2*.*
net stop wuauserv
net stop CryptSvc
net stop BITS
ren %windir%system32catroot2 catroot2.old
ren %windir%SoftwareDistribution sold.old
ren "%ALLUSERSPROFILE%application dataMicrosoftNetworkdownloader" downloader.old
net Start BITS
net start CryptSvc
net start wuauserv
echo Task completed successfully...

6. save to desktop as wureset.bat

7. Run the .bat file as administrator.

8. Manually download the path that is having an issue from



6. Conclusion

Windows updates are crucial for maintaining the security and performance of your computer system. However, encountering issues where Windows updates fail to install can be frustrating. By following the troubleshooting steps outlined in this article, you can effectively resolve most problems related to Windows updates. Remember to stay patient, as resolving these issues may require multiple attempts or different solutions.


7. Frequently Asked Questions

7.1 Can I skip installing Windows updates?

While it is technically possible to skip installing Windows updates, it is not recommended. Windows updates are crucial for maintaining the security and performance of your computer system. Skipping updates can leave your system vulnerable to security threats and may result in compatibility issues with software and hardware.

7.2 How long does a Windows update take to install?

The duration of a Windows update installation can vary depending on the size of the update and the speed of your internet connection. Smaller updates typically take a few minutes, while larger updates or major feature updates may take several hours. It is advisable to schedule updates during a time when you can afford to have your computer unavailable for a certain period.

7.3 What should I do if Windows Update keeps failing?

If Windows Update keeps failing, try the following steps:

  1. Run the Windows Update Troubleshooter.
  2. Restart the Windows Update service.
  3. Check your internet connection.
  4. Verify sufficient disk space.
  5. Disable third-party antivirus software temporarily.

If the issue persists, consider seeking assistance from Microsoft support or a professional technician.

7.4 Will installing Windows updates delete my files?

No, installing Windows updates should not delete your files. However, it is always recommended to backup your important files before performing any major system updates, just as a precautionary measure.

7.5 How often should I install Windows updates?

It is recommended to install Windows updates as soon as they become available. Microsoft regularly releases updates to address security vulnerabilities and improve the functionality of the operating system. By keeping your system up to date, you ensure that your computer remains secure and performs optimally.

author avatar
Patrick Domingues

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