This tutorial shows you how to fix problems with Windows Updates in Windows 10. Main issues that cause Windows update to fail are: taking a long time to scan, or error codes while installing updates. This step by step guide can help you in troubleshooting almost all type of Windows Update errors and other issues. For example, here are some common error codes that you see when Windows update fails to install an update: 0x80070002, 0x80070643, 0x80070003, 0x8024200B, 0x80070422, 0x80070020, 0x80073712, 0x800705B4, 0x80004005, 0x8024402F.
This tutorial helps you fix any errors that may occur during the Windows Update process. This tutorial also walks you through a series of troubleshooting steps to get your Windows update issues resolved. Make sure you follow the steps in order they are provided here.
1. Windows Update Troubleshooter
First thing to try when you see Windows Update failure message is Windows Update Troubleshooter. This utility is provided by Microsoft itself to help people troubleshoot Windows update errors. Follow these steps to run Windows Update troubleshooter:
First download Windows update troubleshooter from below given links:
After downloading, run the Windows update troubleshooter and click on Next.
Windows update troubleshooter will look for errors in Windows update components. However, it may ask you to run as Administrator. Click on Try troubleshooting as an Administrator to continue.
Windows update troubleshooter will check your system for various types of errors. After analyzing errors in Windows Update, troubleshooter will ask to to Apply this fix or Skip this fix to continue troubleshooting.
Windows Update troubleshooter will reset Windows update components and clear Windows Update cache and restart the services. If Windows update troubleshooter as successful in resolving the Windows update issue, it will show you details of fixed issues. Now you can close the troubleshooter.
It’s time to check if Windows Update issues were fixed or not. Go to Settings > Update & Security and click on Check for updates. If issues were fixed successfully, you will be able to download and install updates in your Windows PC.
2. Manually Fix/Reset Windows Update Components
In case troubleshooter fails to troubleshoot Windows Updates errors in Windows 10, you can perform those troubleshooting steps manually. You can reset Windows update components using simple commands in command prompt. Just follow these steps carefully:
First we need to stop Windows Update and Cryptographic Services. For stopping these services we need to run Command prompt as Administrator.
Search cmd in Start menu, right click on it and select Run as administrator.
If UAC prompt appears, click on Yes to continue.
Command Prompt with Administrator privileges will start.
Enter following commands and press Enter after each to stop Windows Update & Cryptographic services.
net stop wuauserv net stop cryptsvc
After stopping both the services, rename SoftwareDistribution and catroot2 folders. These folders store Windows Update database. If any of the database file goes corrupt, it causes Windows Update to fail. Usually if you try to rename these folders without stopping Windows update and Cryptographic services, it will give you error.
Enter following commands to rename SoftwareDistribution and catroot2 folders:
ren C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution_old ren C:\Windows\System32\catroot2 catroot2_old
See also: A to Z list of all Windows CMD Commands.
Now, after renaming both the folders, start Windows Update and Cryptographic services again. Type following commands and press Enter after each command.
net start wuauserv net start cryptsvc
It’s time to go to Settings > Update & Security and click on Check for updates to see if problem is fixed or not? If Windows Update problem was fixed, you will see Windows Updates working correctly.
3. Fix Windows file corruption
If Windows Update Error was not fixed even after performing manual Windows Update component reset, you can now move to third method i. e. fix Windows file corruption. In this process, you need to run both DISM and SFC commands and not only DISM. Follow these steps:
Open Command Prompt with Administrator rights. In command prompt run DISM command in following format-
DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth
This command takes some time to execute depending upon configuration of your PC.
After DISM, run SFC command in following format:
This command also takes time to scan and fix system errors in Windows Update components.
Most probably Windows update issue would be resolved by this step and you will be able to Update your Windows to latest version via Windows Update.
Go to Settings > Update & Security and click on Check for updates to see if Windows Update issues has been resolved or not? If you were successful resolving the issue, Windows Update will work correctly.
4. Reset Windows or Perform a clean install
If Windows update issues is not resolved even after trying above 3 methods, you now need to either Reset Windows 10 using Windows Recovery or perform a clean install of Windows on your PC.
Reset Windows 10 using Windows Recovery:
If Windows update issue still persists, you can try resetting your Windows 10 using Windows Recovery. You can perform Factory Reset in Windows 10 just like you do in Android phones.
Go to Settings > Update & Security and click on Recovery in left pane. Following tutorial may help you with step by step process of resetting Windows 10 using Windows Recovery:
Clean Install Windows 10:
If resetting Windows 10 using Windows Recovery doesn’t work, only option left for you is clean installation of Windows 10 on your PC. However, before performing clean install of Windows 10, take full backup of your important data. Clean installation of Windows 10 may erase your Hard disk drive completely.
For performing clean installation of Windows 10, you will require bootable Windows 10 USB or DVD. You can check this tutorial for installing clean copy of Windows 10:
Troubleshoot Windows 10 Update Issues
In most of the cases, your Windows Update issue would be fixed by first and second methods only. There will be hardly 10 percent of cases that will move upto third method. And in 1% cases (worst scenarios), you may require to go through method 4. Hope this guide helps you resolve Windows 10 Update issues. Enjoy, have fun!