What to do if you are unable to update Windows 10?

Windows updates are important to protect your system from virus threats, called Ransomware. By default, the Windows Update service runs in the background, and updates are downloaded from Microsoft servers.

Automatic checking for updates can be turned off and switched on manually. However, the Windows update process may be stuck at some point. “Looking for updates…”, or “downloading updates…”. It then no longer seems possible to install updates.

After a new installation of Windows 10, a large amount of updates may be required to provide your system with the latest standards. Downloading Windows 10 updates over the Internet and installing updates can take hours. Usually, installing service packs is faster than downloading and installing each and every update.

Troubleshooting Windows Update is as simple as running the built-in Windows Update Troubleshooter. However, in some cases it is necessary to Reinstall Windows.

In this instruction, we will check where the problem is possible before reinstalling Windows 10.

What if you can not update Windows 10?

Initially, it’s important to see if updates have indeed stuck in Windows 10.

Go to the search bar at the bottom of windows 10 and type: update, then click on Search for updates. A window will now appear showing the progress of downloading and installing updates for Windows 10.

install windows 10 updates

Identify if there are indeed updates stuck, and if necessary restart the machine if prompted. To identify which updates have succeeded, click on Update History.

windows 10 update history

To date, you can see if the windows 10 updates have been updated recently.

Troubleshooter for Windows Update

If you receive error messages while installing updates for Windows 10, you can identify the issues with the Windows 10 troubleshooter. You can troubleshoot Windows 10 for Windows 10 via download microsoft.

Open the file wu170509.diagcab as administrator. Windows Troubleshooter is now starting up.

windows 10 troubleshooter

Select Windows Update and click Next. Windows 10 is now looking for issues with Windows 10 updates, depending on the issue Windows 10 troubleshooter will advise you what to do.

Remove Windows Update cache in Windows 10

Windows 10 supports clearing update cache without having to start in Windows 10 safe mode. However, you must first stop two Windows services before you can clear the update cache.

The update cache may remain stuck, so it is advisable to clear the cache (temporary files) and have Windows 10 re-check for updates.

Stop Windows 10 services

Right-click on the Windows 10 start button and select Output, type in the Output window: services.msc.

stop windows 10 update services

A window will now open with the Windows services, search the list for: Background Intelligent Transfer Service one Windows update. Select the services with the right mouse button and select stop. Note: both services.

windows 10 services stop updates

Now open the Windows Explorer, and go to: C: Windows SoftwareDistribution. Select and delete all the files and folders in C: Windows SoftwareDistribution. So empty the folder completely.

Empty SoftwareDistribution

Now go back to the Windows services, and start the services Background Intelligent Transfer Service one Windows Update.

start windows update service

Let Windows 10 re-check for updates now!