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In theory, Windows Update is a convenient way for users to keep their PCs up-to-date This Is Why We Hate Windows Update This Is Why We Hate Windows Update The way Windows Update currently forces Windows 10 upgrades and updates on you is bad. Gavin examines what makes all of us hate Windows Update and what you can do against it. Read More with the latest patches from Microsoft. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work as intended.

There are countless ways in which Windows Update can cease to function, from hanging while it checks for new updates to failing to complete the installation of a particular package. As a result, it’s sometimes difficult to determine the best course of action to pursue.

Here are a variety of different methods that you can use to get Windows Update un-stuck.

1. Use the Windows Update Troubleshooter

Microsoft’s official Windows Update Troubleshooter isn’t guaranteed to fix your problems with the utility, but it’s a good place to start. Even if it can’t deal with your situation outright, it might give you an idea of what needs to be done.

You can download the tool here and see if it offers any help before you delve into the solutions listed below.

2. Clear the Cache

If your update installation fails repeatedly, there’s a good chance that the files your system has downloaded were corrupted at some point in the process. The best way to rectify this is to clear the Windows Update cache.

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To get started, type Command Prompt 7 Quick Tips to Improve the Windows Command Prompt 7 Quick Tips to Improve the Windows Command Prompt You should learn more about the Command Prompt. It's a more valuable resource than most people realize. These tips will improve your command line experience, even if you're a seasoned user. Read More into the search bar (Windows key + Q), right-click the appropriate result, and select Run as administrator.

Run Command Prompt as Admin Screenshot

Enter the following text into the Command Prompt window:

net stop wuauserv

This will stop the Windows Update service 5 Ways to Temporarily Turn Off Windows Update in Windows 10 5 Ways to Temporarily Turn Off Windows Update in Windows 10 Windows Update keeps your system patched and safe. In Windows 10 you're at the mercy of Microsoft's schedule, unless you know hidden settings and tweaks. We'll help you keep Windows Update under control. Read More from running on your computer. Next, open up a File Explorer window, head to the drive that Windows is installed on, and navigate to Windows > Software Distribution > Download. Click on the View tab and make sure that the box labelled Hidden Items is ticked.

Windows File Explorer Hidden Items Checkbox

Select all the items in the folder and delete them — at this point, you can uncheck the Hidden Items box if you wish. Open up a new Command Prompt and enter the following text:

net start wuauserv

This will start up the Windows Update process once again. Hopefully, since we removed any files that could be interfering with the process, it will now be working as expected.

3. Use the Services Console

If Windows Update slows to a halt while checking for new updates, you might be able to take advantage of the services console to jump-start the process. To access it, search for “services” on your computer, and select the desktop app that appears.

Windows Local Services Console

Find the Windows Update service, right-click it and select Restart. This action should bump the process onto the next step, or add to the completed portion of a progress bar — you may have to repeat this step several times before the check is completed.

4. Turn Off Automatic Updates

If your issues stem from an update failing the installation process, it might be worth turning off automatic updates Automatic Updates in Microsoft Office 2016 Explained Automatic Updates in Microsoft Office 2016 Explained Microsoft Office 2016 will be running an auto-update feature and a number of different servicing branches similar to Windows 10. Let’s explore what that means for your Office 2016 installation. Read More to ensure that the process doesn’t cause more problems. Left to its own devices, Windows will repeatedly attempt to download the installation package, reversing updates in the event that it finds an error.

Open the Settings app and head to Update & security.

Windows Update and Security

Head to the Windows Update section and select Advanced options, then click Choose how updates are delivered.

Windows Choose How Updates Are Delivered

You should find an option that allows you to opt out of automatic installs, and instead force your computer to notify you before it begins the installation process.

Since the system has to notify you before installation gets underway, it’s easier to keep track of which individual updates are causing problems. This might not fix the issue outright, but it can certainly make diagnosis easier.

5. Manually Apply a Windows 7 Patch

Windows Update can be particularly problematic for users who are still working with Windows 7 3 Ways to Downgrade Windows 10 & Rollback to Windows 7 or 8.1 Indefinitely 3 Ways to Downgrade Windows 10 & Rollback to Windows 7 or 8.1 Indefinitely You've either upgraded to Windows 10 to secure a free copy or were upgraded forcefully. We share three tricks that will help you downgrade now or later and save you if your upgrade failed. Read More . Fresh installs and systems that haven’t been updated in some time can take several hours to check for new updates, but thankfully there’s a simple fix.

Manually patching the operating system can be an exercise in futility, unless you know exactly what you’re looking for. Download this patch, which contains improvements for Windows Update, and install it on your PC. Windows Update should work normally once again.

6. Use AutoPatcher

AutoPatcher is a third-party alternative to Windows Update that allows for a higher level of control over which updates are applied, and how they are installed. It offers a host of advantages over Microsoft’s solution, like the ability to download files ahead of an offline installation, and schedule updates for the future The Easy Way to Cancel Your Scheduled Windows 10 Update The Easy Way to Cancel Your Scheduled Windows 10 Update Maybe you were once excited about upgrading to Windows 10 but have decided against it. If that's the case, here's the easy way to cancel the upgrade before it's too late! Read More .

Windows AutoPatcher Screenshot

The software downloads all installation packages directly from Microsoft’s servers, ensuring that their contents are legitimate and won’t cause any harm to your computer. However, since it’s not an officially sanctioned Windows product, users have to be aware that AutoPatcher carries risks that Windows Update does not.

AutoPatcher is available for Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8 — a Windows 10 version is apparently feasible, but hasn’t been created as of the time of writing. For more information, consult the software’s official forum.

7. Check the News

If you’re experiencing Windows Update problems — especially on Windows 10 — it’s a good idea to perform a Google search and see whether anyone else is having similar issues.

The fact is that Windows Update difficulties can arise very suddenly. Even if Microsoft is yet to release a patch, a targeted search This Cool Website Will Teach You Hundreds of Google Search Tips This Cool Website Will Teach You Hundreds of Google Search Tips Anyone can use Google search to a satisfactory degree, but if you really want to get fast and accurate results, you'll want to learn these simple but amazing tips. Read More of terms like “Windows update problems” or “Windows 10 update” may yield reports on widespread issues.

Depending on what you find, the solution might simply be to wait until Microsoft distributes a patch — or one of the methods listed above might work. Windows Update distributes new updates and patches, so the problems affecting it change on a regular basis. Here are some more simple fixes that are worth trying out if all else fails:

Windows Update Now

Windows Update isn’t a perfect piece of software, but it’s clearly a big part of Microsoft’s plans for Windows 10, which means that many of us are simply going to have to live with it.

Do you have a tip on how to make Windows Update work as intended? Or are you experiencing issues and in need of assistance? Whether you’re asking for help or offering it, head to the comments section below.

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