How to Fix and Troubleshoot when Windows update gets stuck!

Windows Update is one of the best features of Windows OS as it let you download and install all the essential Windows updates which include updates for drivers and apps.

How to Fix and Troubleshoot when Windows update gets stuck!

It works in the background silently, but sometimes due to internal bugs and missing files, it refuses to work as expected.

You can experience this Windows Update issue in all the version of Windows but is very common in Windows 10. Sometimes it will show you random update error or sometimes Windows update will stuck “searching for updates” forever and in some cases, Windows update download stuck at 45% or 75%.

Fix and Troubleshoot when Windows update gets stuck

You’re reading this article because you’re also facing the same issue. Here in this article, you will read about some possible ways to fix various Windows Update issues

1. Run Windows Update Troubleshooter – Windows 7 | 8 | 10

One of the best ways to fix Windows Update issues is by running Windows Update Troubleshooter. By keeping the various issues in mind Microsoft has provided different troubleshooters to fix issues of different parts of Windows OS.

The Windows Update troubleshooter follows three steps:

  1. Stop the Windows Update Services.
  2. It renames the folder “C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution” to “C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution.old” as well as clear the cache which Windows Update have downloaded so that it can start again.
  3. Restart the Windows Update Services

The Windows Update troubleshooter is available in the all the versions of Windows i.e. Windows 7 | 8 | 10. And the good thing is that you can find all of them in the same place.

So here is what you need to run the Windows Update Troubleshooter:

Run Windows Update Troubleshooter

To launch, type Troubleshooting in Windows 10 Start menu search bar, when Control panel Troubleshooting setting appears in the search result, click to launch it.

fix problem with windows update in windows 10

Here under System and security title, click on “Fix problems with windows update” link. It will launch the Windows update troubleshooter, click on the “Advanced option“, make sure “Apply repairs automatically” option is checked in it.

windows update troubleshooter

apply repair automatically in windows 10

Run Windows Update Troubleshooter

Click Next to continue and follow the instruction suggested by troubleshooter.

Most of the time, this troubleshooter fix the issue. In case, if it fails to identify the issue, then you can restart your device and follow the process again. You may love to read my previous guide featuring different ways on how run Windows Update troubleshooter in windows 10

Else, try the another workaround.

2. Delete the Windows Update Cache manually – Windows 7 | 8 | 10

For some reasons, if troubleshooter failed to fix the Windows update issue, then you can try another workaround in which you need to delete the Windows Update cache manually. Here is how you can do that:

Start off by booting your Windows PC into Safe mode.

To boot Windows 7 into Safe mode: Simply Restart your computer and press F8 key. In few seconds, boot options menu will appear. Select the Safe mode option.

To boot Windows 8 | 10 into Safe mode: Hold the Shift key and Restart your Windows 8 | 10 PC (Click Start button ->Power button -> Restart).

windows 10 startup settings

Navigate to Troubleshoot -> Advanced options -> Windows Startup Settings -> Restart -> Safe Mode.

When you have successfully booted your Windows 7 | 8 | 10 PC into Safe Mode, The next step is to stop the “Windows Update service

One of the easiest ways to do that is by using Command Prompt. To launch Command Prompt in Windows 7, launch the Windows search and type Command Prompt or CMD in it. When it appear in Search result click to launch.

To launch Command Prompt in Windows 8 | 10 make right click on the Start button or press (WIN + X) hotkeys. From the WIN+X menu click on Command Prompt (admin). When UAC dialog appears, click Yes to continue.

windows 10 winx menu

Note: If Command Prompt option is not available in the WINX menu, then check out our guide on replacing Command Prompt with Windows Powershell in WinX Menu in Windows 10

In Command Prompt terminal type the following command:

net stop wuauserv

Next File Explorer and navigate to the following location:

C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution

Here on this folder, you need to delete all the files and folders in SoftwareDistribution folder.

windows 10 file explorer

The files and folders available in the SoftwareDistribution folder are useless so you can delete them without any risk. Windows Update feature will automatically recreate them when next time you run it.

Now you need to restart the Windows Update service. For that, head over to Command Prompt window and type the following command and hit enter:

net start wuauserv

After restarting the Windows Update service in your system. Just restart your system in normal mode. Now again try to use Windows update feature and see if it working or not.

3. Update the Windows Update Service – Windows 7

If you’re performing a clean installation of Windows 7, then you may have noticed that it consume lots of time to complete the update process. Even if you have installed the Windows 7 using USB drive and Disc with Service Pack 1 integrated.

Microsoft has also provided an official statement about how you can fix this issue. According to Microsoft, this issue happening because Windows Update itself also require an Update. If you have installed the latest update for Windows Update, then it will work fine.

Here is what you need to do that:

1. Launch Windows Update in Windows 7. For that head over to Control Panel -> System and Security -> Windows Update.

2. Here click on the “Change Settings” link available in the Sidebar of the window.

3. Choose “Never Check For Updates (Not Recommended)” using the drop-down and click OK.

4. After that, Reboot your system so that new settings override the previous one.

5. After your PC Restart successfully, you need to download and install two latest updates for Windows 7. Use the following links to download the update files suitable according to your system environment.

windows update standalone installer for windows 7

For Windows 7 (64-bit Edition)

For Windows 7 (32-bit Edition)

First of all, install the update file which reads “KB3020369” and then “KB3172605“.

After that reboot your system. It will take around 10-12 minutes to complete the update process.

Now again head over to Control Panel -> System and Security -> Windows Update. Click on the “Change settings” and using drop-down set it back to Automatic.

Click on the “Check for Updates” option and Windows Update will start looking for the updates available for the system.

windows update in windows 7

That’s it.

4. Install “Convenience rollup” for Windows 7 (Windows 7 Service Pack 2) – Windows 7

Microsoft released Windows 7 Service Pack 2 which includes almost all the updates due to which Windows 7 take lots of time to install normally. This update will also improve the speed and performance of Windows 7 OS. Unfortunately, you can install Convenience rollup update via Windows Update.

You can follow my already written guide on how to install Windows 7 Service Pack 2 (Convenience rollup)

5. Make Quick Batch File to Fix Windows Update – Windows 10

This fix is available on almost all the popular forums related to Windows OS. Lots of users also shared in the comments that this batch file really helps to fix the Windows Update issue. Here is what you need to do:

1. Create a new Notepad. For that, type Notepad in the Start menu search bar. When it appear in the search result make right click on it and “Run as administrator”.

When UAC screen appears, click Yes to Continue.

2. In the notepad blank file, you need to paste the following code:

@ECHO OFF echo This script is intended to stop Windows Update being COMPLETELY and UTTERLY rubbish echo. PAUSE echo. attrib -h -r -s %windir%\system32\catroot2 attrib -h -r -s %windir%\system32\catroot2\*.* net stop wuauserv net stop CryptSvc net stop BITS ren %windir%\system32\catroot2 catroot2.old ren %windir%\SoftwareDistribution sold.old ren "%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\application data\Microsoft\Network\downloader" downloader.old net Start BITS net start CryptSvc net start wuauserv echo. echo Windows Update should now work properly. Thanks Microsoft. echo. PAUSE

3. Click on the File -> Save As. Name the file with .bat extension. For example, you can name it fix.bat extension.

4. Once done, make the right click on the fix.bat file and run as Administrator.

5. Once the batch file completes the process. Restart your PC and run Windows Update again.

This will definitely fix the Windows Update issue.

6. Download Updates Manually (WSUS Offline Update) – Windows 7 | 8 | 10

In case none of the solutions work for your Windows OS, then you can you can try this method that works flawlessly for us in past. It is a freeware tool named as WSUS Offline Update.

It downloads and installs the Windows Update package available for your system from Microsoft. Simply run the tool, download and install the Windows Update and after that Windows Update will start working normally.

1. Download WSUS Offline Update tool and extract the files available in the zip file into a folder.

2. Run the UpdateGenerator.exe application available in the folder.

3. In the application, you need to select Windows Environment. In case, you’re using 64-bit, then select “x64 Global” and for 32-bit, select “x86 Global

4. Click on the Start button available the bottom.

It will download the available update for your system. The application will take time depending on the size of the update.

5. Once the available update is successfully downloaded. Open the “Client” folder available in the WSUS Offline folder and run the UpdateInstalle.exe program.

Once the installation of the update process is completed, the Windows Update will work fine.

That’s it

So these are some of the possible workarounds which helped our reader to fix the Windows Update issues in Windows 7 | 8 | 10. Why don’t you try these methods and let me via comments which workaround helped you?

In case, nothing worked for you, then it is a good idea to install Windows from scratch. I have already covered a detailed guide on how to clean install Windows 10.

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