Windows Update Failed to Install? Learn How to Fix It Quickly

Windows updates are crucial for the security and stability of your computer, but what do you do when they fail to install? This can be a frustrating experience, but don’t worry – we’re here to help.

In this blog post, we will walk you through the steps to take in order to fix a failed Windows update. Keep reading for more information!

Why Does Windows Update Failed to Install?

There could be a number of reasons why Windows Update failed to install. Some of the most common include:

  • Corrupted update files: If the downloaded update files are corrupted, Windows will be unable to install them.
  • Outdated system components: Certain components of your Windows operating system may need to be updated in order for an update to install successfully.
  • Incompatible hardware: If you have hardware that is incompatible with the update, Windows won’t be able to install it.
  • Insufficient space: If your system drive doesn’t have enough free space, the update process will fail.
  • Multiple updates in the queue: The update process may fail if too many updates are waiting to install at once.
  • Update service stopped: The Windows Update service may be stopped or disabled, preventing the installation of updates.
  • Antivirus intervention: Your antivirus program may block the update or interfere with its installation.
Windows Update Failed to Install

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How to Fix a Failed Windows Update?

Once you’ve identified why your update failed, it’s time to take action. The following fixes will help you get your update installed successfully.

Fix 1: Restart Your System

Before you attempt any major fixes, make sure that you have restarted your computer and tried installing the update again. This will often solve the issue without needing to take any further action. Sometimes when multiple updates are queued up, some of them might fail to install. Restarting your system will clear the queue and give all the updates a fresh start.

Fix 2: Unplug the External Hardware Components

If you have recently plugged in any external hardware, such as USB drives or printers, try unplugging them and then attempting to install the update again. These devices can sometimes interfere with the update process, which will cause it to fail.

Fix 3: Check Your System Requirements

Before you attempt to install an update, make sure that your system meets all of the necessary requirements for it. Check Microsoft’s website or the Windows Update page for any additional information about the specific update you’re trying to install.

Fix 4: Run Windows Update Troubleshooter

Windows 10 and 11 come with a built-in Windows Update Troubleshooter. To help diagnose and fix any update errors, you can run the Windows Update Troubleshooter. This will detect any underlying issues that may be causing the failed update installation and give you recommendations on how to proceed.

Here are the steps to run the Windows Update Troubleshooter:

  1. Click on the Start button and choose Settings from the Start Menu.
  2. Select Update & Security under Windows update & security
  3. Switch to the Troubleshoot tab on the left pane and select Additional troubleshooters on the right.
  4. Look for the Windows Update troubleshooter and select windows update troubleshooter
  5. Click the Run the troubleshooter button.
  6. Windows will now look for the start detecting problem
  7. After the troubleshooting is completed, Windows will list the problems and possible solutions.problems detected by the troubleshooter

Fix 5: Pause Windows Updates

This is a handy trick. If the Windows update failed to install even after repeated attempts, you can pause the Windows updates for a short period of time. Pausing the updates will clear all the currently downloaded update files. So, if any update file is corrupted and preventing the update to install, pausing the update will do the trick.

To pause the Windows updates, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the Start button and select Settings from the Start Menu.
  2. Switch to the Update & Security settings.
  3. Under the “Windows Update” tab, look for the Pause updates for 7 days option and click on it.
  4. Now, under the same window, click the Resume updates window to download the fresh update files.resume updates

Fix 6: Delete SoftwareDistribution Folder

The SoftwareDistribution folder is where all the Windows update files are downloaded. Sometimes, the downloaded update files can be corrupted or damaged due to various reasons. If this is the case, deleting the SoftwareDistribution folder may solve your issue. It will clear any existing update downloads and start from a fresh download when you attempt to install an update again.

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Launch the Command Prompt with the administrative rights.
  2. On the command line window, use the net stop wuauserv command to stop the Windows Update service and the net stop bits command to stop Background Intelligent Transfer Service.stop wuauserv and bits
  3. Now launch the File Explorer and navigate to the following address: C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution.softwaredistribution location
  4. Delete the contents(files and folders) of the SoftwareDistribution folder.delete contents of softwaredistribution folder
  5. Now again, launch the Command Prompt window and use the net start wuauserv command to start the Windows Update service and the net start bits command to start Background Intelligent Transfer Service.start services

Fix 7: Run SFC Scan

If none of the above methods are effective in fixing a failed Windows update, try running an SFC scan. An SFC (System File Checker) scan will detect and replace any system files that are damaged or missing from your computer.

Here is how to run the SFC command:

  1. Search for the “Command Prompt” on the Windows search box, right-click on its icon, and select Run as administrator.
    run command prompt as administrator
  2. Type SFC /scannow in the command prompt window and press Enter to execute it.sfc scan started
  3. Wait for the scan to finish. It might take a few minutes.sfc scan completed
  4. Once the scan is completed, you should be able to install updates properly.

Fix 8: Increase the Available Hard Disk Space

If your system drive is almost full, it might result into Windows Update not working. So, make sure that you have enough free space on your hard disk to allow the installation process to complete successfully. You can easily check and see how much disk space is available by right-clicking on your system drive (C:) and selecting the Properties option.

To make some hard disk space, you can use a Windows built-in tool called Disk Cleanup to clear temporary files and other data that take up valuable disk space.

Follow these steps to use Disk Cleanup:

  1. Open the Start menu and type Disk Cleanup in the search bar.
  2. Select Disk Cleanup from the list of results and click on it to launch the tool.disk cleanup windows 10
  3. Choose the drive you want to clean up and click OK.choose the drive to clean
  4. Now check all the boxes, including temporary files, recycle bin, etc., and hit files to clear
  5. Wait for the tool to finish cleaning up the drive.

Fix 9: Restart Windows Update Service

Sometimes, the Windows Update service might get stuck or become unresponsive. In such cases, you can restart the Windows Update service and try installing the update again.

To restart the Windows update service, follow these steps:

Here is how to restart the Windows Update Service:

  1. Use Windows + R shortcut on your keyboard to launch “Run Command Box.”
  2. Type services.msc in the run command box and hit Enter to launch Windows “Services”.services msc run command
  3. Look for the “Windows Update” service, right-click on it, and select Restart.restart windows update

Fix 10: Download Windows Updates Manually

If the update still fails to install, you can download and install it manually. Microsoft provides links to all the updates on their website, so you can easily download the update files yourself and then just double-click on them to install them.

Here is how to download and install the Windows updates manually:

  1. Visit the Microsoft Update Catalog website.
  2. Search for the update you want to install using its KB update catalog
  3. From the search results, look for the one that best matches the update you are looking for and click the Download button at the right. Make sure to choose an appropriate download option that matches your system architecture (32-bit or 64-bit).download the correct update
  4. A new window will appear. Click the link to download the required the link to download the update
  5. Once downloaded, double-click on it to install.
  6. Follow the instructions on-screen and complete the installation process.

Final Words

Windows update failures can be frustrating, but with the fixes listed in this article, you should be able to solve most of the update problems. These are some of the most effective methods to fix a failed update installation on Windows. We hope that one of these solutions will help you get rid of this issue quickly and without any hassle. Remember, if none of the above methods is helping, you can always contact Microsoft support for additional assistance.

Why does Windows Update 20H2 keep failing?

The most common reasons for a failed Windows Update 20H2 installation are corrupted or damaged files, insufficient hard disk space, incorrect settings, and issues with the Windows Update Service. Try using one of the above methods to resolve this issue.

Can I skip Windows Update?

No. It is not recommended to skip Windows Update, as doing so can lead to compatibility issues and make your computer vulnerable to security threats. Always make sure to keep your system up-to-date with the latest security updates.

How do I manually download Windows updates?

To manually download and install Windows updates, search for the update you want to install using its KB number on the Microsoft Update Catalog website, download it, and install it.

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