Monday, August 8

How to fix a stuck Windows update

Regularly updating windows it is a critical step in keeping your PC running safely and smoothly. It’s a process that you should go through at least every two weeks, if not more often.

However, sometimes while updating Windows 10, you might come across the terrible problem of a stuck update. Don’t panic, it is not as uncommon a problem as you might fear. In fact, with Windows running every aspect of your desktop, it’s not surprising that sometimes an unexpected problem pops up during an update.

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While Microsoft has done an admirable job of making the Windows 10 update as smooth as possible, there is still a chance that it won’t run as well as expected. When a problem occurs during an update, you will need to know how to fix a stuck Windows update.

Luckily you’re in the right place, below is a guide on how to fix a stuck Windows update with multiple fixes that should get the progress bar moving again.

Check that the update is really stuck

This may seem like an obvious step, but some updates can take hours, not minutes. We highly recommend that you give your PC some time to complete the updates on its own before taking action.

On older PCs or laptops, updates can take quite a while. The steps below are largely a last resort and should not be taken lightly. If you’ve only given your device a couple of minutes to update, keep on fire and allow the update to complete on its own.

If after waiting long enough your device still does not progress, please follow the steps below.

Reboot your device

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

If your update is definitely stuck, then your first choice should be the old tech support favorite of “turn it off and on again.” It’s a favorite for a reason, it very often works.

If your update is downloading in the background, this is a fairly simple process and you can reboot normally from the Start menu as you should still have full access to Windows.

However, if your stuck update happened before the operating system actually loaded, you will need to perform a hard reset by holding down the power button on your device. This could cause problems in and of itself, so it is crucial that you have ensured that the update is definitely blocked before taking this action.

Check Windows Update settings

In fact, Windows will inform you of any problems detected during the installation of updates. Sometimes you will get a message telling you to try the update again later, or you may get something more specific.

1. Run Settings. Open the Settings menu by searching for it in the lower left search bar.

2. Select Update & Security. From the Settings menu, select Update & Security. You can use the search bar at the top of the window if you have difficulty locating it.

3. Check if there are any problems. If Windows has encountered a problem installing an update, it will be checked in the Update & Security submenu.

4. (Optional) Click Advanced Options. If you click Advanced Options at the bottom of the Update & Security submenu, you can get more information and even view your update history, which will show you recently installed updates that were successful and allow you to uninstall them if necessary.

Run the Microsoft troubleshooting program

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft knows that sometimes Windows 10 devices can run into problems, which is why they have created a troubleshooting program to make figuring out what is causing the problem a little easier. Here’s to launch it:

1. Open the Control Panel. Open Control Panel from the Start menu, or simply search for it using the lower left search bar.

2. Select Troubleshooting. From the Control Panel, select the Troubleshooting option.

3. Click Fix Windows update problem. In the Troubleshooting submenu, there is an option to Troubleshoot Windows Updates, select this option and your device will try to fix the issues itself.

Start in safe mode

Safe mode is essentially a state where your device only loads the basics to run and all background programs are closed. In this mode, there is little chance that unauthorized files will cause update problems, so trying to run an update in safe mode is a great way to avoid any issues.

If you are not sure how to access Safe Mode then don’t worry we have a complete guide on how to boot into safe mode Windows 10 which breaks down the process into easy steps.

Restore Windows 10 to a previous state

(Image credit: Microsoft)

One of the most effective ways to fix a stuck update is to roll back your device before you’ve tried the update in the first place. Once you’ve done this, you can try reinstalling the update and hopefully this time it will run smoothly.

1. Launch the Control Panel. Open the Control Panel through the Start menu or by searching in the lower left search bar.

2. Select System. From the Control Panel, select the System option or simply search for System Restore in the upper right search bar.

3. Press Create a restore point. You will be given an option that says Create a restore point, from here you can choose a time and date and go back to how Windows was set up at the time, which should hopefully fix your update issues. Don’t worry, this process will not erase your personal files or programs, it will just rewind the operating system clock.

Scan for Viruses

Your Windows 10 update could crash due to a virus or malware that is wreaking havoc on your device.

Malicious viruses are often removed from Windows with the latest updates, so they will often try to prevent you from updating your device so that they can continue to exist on your disk by taking various nefarious actions.

Try running a full virus scan with whatever security software you have installed on your device (and if you don’t have any, read our best antivirus software guide, and then get some) and this should identify any malware that’s causing problems.

Completely reboot your device

If none of the methods described above have worked, there is always the option to completely reset your device.

It is possible to reset your device without losing any personal files (although you can completely erase your device if you want), but a hard reset will remove any third-party apps or programs you have installed.

If you are not sure how to reset your device, we have a guide on how to factory reset in Windows 10 that will show you how to do it in easy to follow steps.

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