Windows Update Not Working? Here Are 7 Ways to Fix It

Is the Windows update not working on your system? This can be a huge problem, especially if you rely on them to keep up with the latest security patches and bug fixes.

Microsoft regularly releases Windows updates to patch bugs, provide the latest security patches, introduce new features, and more. Therefore, it is important to keep your device up-to-date with the latest Windows updates.

However, you might find that Windows updates are not working on your system, and you can’t install them. Fortunately, there are various ways to troubleshoot this problem and get back on track.

In this guide, we will discuss various ways to fix Windows Update not working properly.

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Why Is Windows Update Not Working?

Before we dive into the various solutions, let’s first discuss why Windows Update might not be working on your system. Some common causes include:

  • Insufficient storage space: If there is not enough free disk space on your device, Windows Update may not work properly.
  • Network issues: Poor network connections can cause problems with the Windows update process.
  • Incorrect registry keys: If the Windows update registry keys are damaged or deleted, you may experience issues when trying to install updates.
  • Corrupted system files: Corrupt system files may prevent Windows updates from being installed correctly.
  • Windows update service stopped: If the Windows Update service has stopped, you may experience issues when trying to install updates.
  • Antivirus interference: Your antivirus software might be blocking Windows Update from installing properly.

Fix Windows Update Not Working

Once you have identified why Windows Update might not be working on your device, let’s move on to the solutions!

Fix 1: Run the Windows Update Troubleshooter

The first thing that you should try is running the Windows Update Troubleshooter. This will help diagnose any potential issues with your Windows Update process and provide you with a list of suggested fixes. Windows 10 and 11 come with the Troubleshooter built right into the Settings menu.

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 2: Restart Windows Update Service

If the Windows Update Troubleshooter is unable to identify and fix the issue, you can try restarting the Windows Update service. This will help make sure that the service is running properly and can access its necessary files.

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 3: Use SFC Command

If the Windows Update service restart doesn’t work, you can try running the System File Checker (SFC) command. SFC command scans system files and repairs any corrupt or missing files.

To run the SFC command, follow these steps:

  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 4: Use DISM Command

If the SFC command didn’t help, you can try using the DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management) command. This command can help fix problems with the Windows Update process.

Here’s how to use the DISM command:

  1. Open the Command Prompt window with administrator privileges, as mentioned earlier.
  2. Type “DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth” and press Enter to execute the dism command
  3. Wait for the DISM command to finish running. This might take a few minutes.dism command executed
  4. After the command has been executed, try installing updates again and see if it works now.

Fix 5: Clear SoftwareDistribution Folder

The SoftwareDistribution folder stores downloaded updates. If this folder contains corrupted or bad data, you may experience issues while installing Windows Update. You can try clearing the software distribution folder and see if it solves your problem.

To clear the SoftwareDistribution folder, you will have to first stop the Windows Update Service (wuauserv) and the Background Intelligent Transfer Service (bits). After that, you can navigate to the SoftwareDistribution folder location and delete its contents.

NoteRemember that by deleting the content of the SoftwareDistribution folder, you will lose all the downloaded Windows Updates and the update history.

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 6: Clear System Hard Disk Space

If your system has insufficient hard disk space, you may experience issues while installing Windows Update. You can try freeing up hard disk space by removing unnecessary programs and files from the system.

You can also use a 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.

After clearing the hard disk space, try installing Windows Update again and see if it works this time.

Fix 7: Perform the System Restore

Windows 10 and 11 automatically create a System Restore Point every time you install an update. Alternatively, you can manually create a System Restore Point before installing Windows Update.

If you are still not able to install updates on your system, you can try performing a system restore. This will revert the entire Windows environment to the previous state when everything was working properly and allow you to install updates properly.

To perform a system restore, follow these steps:

  1. Launch the Run dialog box by pressing Win + R keys together.
  2. Type rstrui in the Run dialog box and hit Enter.system restore window run command
  3. This will launch the System Restore wizard. Click Next to proceed.start system restore process
  4. Now select a restore point from the list of available points created either automatically or manually by you and click Next to a restore point
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions to finish up the system restore process.finish system restore

Summing Up

An outdated Windows system can cause many problems, so if your Windows Update is not working, it can make your system vulnerable to cyberattacks. Thankfully, the above solutions should help you fix any issues with Windows Updates. These are some of the best ways to fix the Windows Update not working issue on your computer. We hope you find this guide helpful and were able to update your system successfully.

If you have tried all the steps mentioned above and still are not able to install updates, then it is recommended that you contact a Microsoft expert for further assistance. Once your update issue is resolved, ensure automatic updates are enabled on your system so that future updates can be installed without any issues.

What can I do if Windows Update not working?

If your Windows Update is not working, try resetting the Windows Update components, running the System File Checker tool, and performing a clean boot to fix it. You can also try clearing the system’s hard disk space or perform a system restore to solve this issue.

Why is Windows 10 failing to update?

Windows 10 may fail to update due to several reasons, including corrupted system files, low disk space, or outdated drivers. Try resetting the Windows Update components and running the System File Checker tool to fix this issue.

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