Fix Windows Update Fails After Restart

As technology advances, operating systems such as Windows are constantly updated to enhance performance, security, and user experience. However, it is common for Windows updates to fail after a restart, leaving users frustrated and with potentially compromised systems. Understanding why updates fail and how to prevent them from happening can save time and effort while also ensuring that your computer is running smoothly and securely. 

This post will explore some common reasons why Windows updates fail after a restart and what steps can be taken to prevent it from happening.

Why Do Windows Updates Fail After Restart?

Windows updates can fail after a restart due to several reasons, including:

  • Insufficient disk space: The update process can only succeed if there is enough free space on the hard drive.
  • Connectivity issues: If there is a loss of internet connection or unstable connectivity during the update process, it can lead to failure.
  • Outdated or incompatible drivers: If outdated or incompatible drivers are on the system, they can prevent the updates from installing successfully.
  • Corrupted system files: If the system files required for the update process become corrupted, it can cause the updates to fail.
  • Interference from antivirus software: Some programs can interfere with the update process and prevent it from completing successfully.
  • Problems with Windows Update components: If the Windows Update components become corrupted, it can cause the updates to fail.

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Fix 1: Restarting Your Computer

The problem you’re experiencing may be a temporary one caused by corrupt temporary files on your device. Removing the problematic file is simple – you can restart your computer. This method has proven effective for many users in resolving their issues, so it’s worth a try.

Fix 2: Run the Windows Update Troubleshooter

The Windows Update Troubleshooter is a tool in Windows that can help diagnose and fix common issues related to Windows Update. It can automatically detect problems and offer solutions to resolve them. It’s recommended to run the Windows Update troubleshooter as a first step in troubleshooting any update-related issues in Windows.

Here is how to utilize 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 fix windows update troubleshooter
  5. Next, click the Run the troubleshooter button.
  6. Windows will now look for the start detecting problem
  7. After troubleshooting, Windows will list the problems and possible solutions.problems detected by the troubleshooter

Fix 3: Free Up Drive Space

When Windows downloads an update, it stores it on your hard drive before installing it. If your hard drive is full, there may need to be more space to store the update, which can prevent it from being installed. By freeing up drive space, you ensure enough room for the updated files to be downloaded and installed properly, which can help resolve the issue.

To free up drive space and address the issue of Windows not updating after a restart, follow these steps:

  1. Open the File Explorer and tap on “This PC”.
  2. Check if the drive where you have set to install Windows updates is full.Update installation drive
  3. If it is complete, try to delete unnecessary or redundant files to free up some space.

Fix 4: Update the Drivers

When you update your device drivers, you ensure they are compatible with the latest version of Windows, which can prevent conflicts and errors that may prevent the updates from installing. Additionally, updated drivers can improve the performance and stability of your system, which can also help with the update process.

Here are the steps to update device drivers using Windows Update:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Windows Update.
  3. Click on Advanced options.Driver update setting screen
  4. Then click the Other updates button.Optional updates
  5. Click on the View optional updates option.
  6. Click the Driver Updates section header. Then browse the list and place check marks beside any driver you want to update.
  7. Click the Download and install button to install the updated driver using Windows Update.

Fix 5: Temporary Disable the Antivirus Program

Sometimes, an antivirus program can interfere with downloading and installing Windows updates. Suppose you suspect that your antivirus software is causing the issue. In that case, it’s advisable to disable it and attempt to install the updates again temporarily.

To disable the in-built Windows Defender scan, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Start button and select Settings from the Start Menu.
  2. Under the Settings window, select Update & security.
  3. Switch to the Windows Security tab on the left and select click Virus & threat protection on the right.virus and threat protection
  4. Look for the “Virus & threat protection settings” heading and click the Manage settings option below.manage settings
  5. Temporarily disable the following options by toggling the button:
    • Real-time Protection
    • Cloud-delivered Protection
    • Automatic sample submission
    • Tamper Protection

Fix 6: Run the SFC Scan

The System File Checker (SFC) command is a robust tool to detect and repair damaged system files. If any system files become corrupted, it can create errors when trying to install updates.

To run the SFC command, follow these steps:

  1. Search for the “Command Prompt” on the search box, right-click 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 7: Run the  DISM Command

Another tool that can be used to repair corrupted system files is the Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) command. If any system files are corrupted and causing errors when installing Windows updates, this command can help fix them.

To run 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.

How To Prevent Windows Updates to Fail After Restart?

  • Free up disk space: Ensure you have sufficient space on your drive to install the updates. If the drive is full, the update process may fail.
  • Disable antivirus software temporarily: As mentioned earlier, some antivirus programs can interfere with the update process. Temporarily disabling the antivirus program during the update process can help prevent this from happening.
  • Check for driver updates: Outdated or incompatible drivers can cause update failures. Check for any pending driver updates for your system and install them before attempting to install Windows updates.
  • Run Windows Update Troubleshooter: The built-in Windows Update troubleshooter can help detect and resolve common updates-related issues. Running this tool can help prevent future update failures.
  • Reset Windows Update components: If Windows Update components become corrupted, it can cause updates to fail. Resetting the components can help restore them to their default settings and resolve the issue.
  • Ensure a stable internet connection: A stable internet connection is necessary for downloading and installing updates. Ensure your Internet connection is stable before downloading and installing updates.

Final Words

Windows updates are essential for maintaining system security, improving performance, and adding new features. However, they can sometimes fail after a restart, causing inconvenience and potential issues. Users can minimize the chances of update failures by understanding the common reasons why updates fail and implementing preventative measures such as freeing up disk space, disabling antivirus software temporarily, and checking for driver updates. 

Additionally, running the Windows Update Troubleshooter and resetting Windows Update components can help resolve issues if they do occur. Users can ensure that their systems remain up-to-date, secure, and running smoothly by taking these steps.

Can I stop Windows updates from automatically installing? 

While it is possible to disable Windows updates, it is not recommended as updates often contain critical security patches and bug fixes. However, you can change the active hours during which updates will not install or schedule updates to occur at a specific time.

Why do Windows updates fail to install? 

Windows updates can fail to install for various reasons, including insufficient disk space, connectivity issues, outdated drivers, corrupted system files, and interference from antivirus software. Therefore, addressing the root cause of the failure to install updates successfully is essential.

How do I fix a failed Windows update? 

To fix a failed Windows update, you can free up disk space by checking for driver updates, disabling antivirus software temporarily, running the Windows Update troubleshooter, or resetting Windows Update components. In some cases, advanced troubleshooting may be required.

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