Ultimate Windows 10 | 11 Update Troubleshooting Guide

“Damn it, why won’t my Windows update – again!” – almost all users of Windows operating systems have encountered a similar situation. For some inexplicable reason, Microsoft OSs – including, of course, Windows 10 – can suddenly stop automatically installing fresh updates, instead giving the user numerous errors with all kinds of codes. Some users panic when these errors occur and take their computer to the nearest service center, others start looking for the Windows installation media with a heavy sigh to do a complete re-installation. When you’re having trouble upgrading Windows, the main thing is not to rush.

Fortunately, there are a number of methods that can save you from Windows 10 | 11 upgrade problems. In today’s article, we’ll just take a look at these methods.

Note: The guide was written on the latest version of Windows 10. Nevertheless, it is safe to use it for Windows 11 as well. After all, the operating systems are very similar. The only difference will be in the layout of some options in the system settings.


Windows Won’t Update – How to Fix It?

Method #1 PC reboot

The most simple solution is to reboot your computer. The thing is some Windows components sometimes start working incorrectly, which leads to a number of not very pleasant outcomes. To return the OS to its normal state, you just need to restart your computer. We would like to remind you once again that emergency restart (the button on the case of the PC or laptop) should be used only in extreme cases, because it may cause some issues.

Method #2 Troubleshooting tool

It is true that restarting your PC can solve many system problems, but not always. In that case, the first thing to do is to use a troubleshooter. This tool is already built into your operating system, so you don’t have to wander around the Internet trying to find it. There is no guarantee that it will fix your Windows update problems, but there have been documented cases where it has worked for users of various builds. So in order to use the troubleshooter, you need to do the following steps:

  • Open system Settings in any known way, such as Win+I.
  • Go to Update and SecurityTroubleshooting.
  • Next, find the Windows Update in the list and click on it with the left mouse button.
  • A Run button will appear at the bottom – click on it.
  • Follow the further instructions on your screen to try to fix your OS update issues.
  • Reboot your PC as soon as you’re done with the tool.

Go to the Windows Update and see if you can update the OS normally.

Method #3 Verify and start the Windows Update service

In some cases, the Windows Update service may stop functioning normally. You need to go to the properties of this service, set the required parameters in it, and run it if it is deactivated. Do the following:

  • Bring up the system search box.
  • Type the Services query and select the result found.
  • Find the Windows Update service in the list and double-click it.
  • Under Startup type, select Automatic, then click the Run button if the service is still disabled.

Reboot your PC and repeat the OS upgrade.

Method #4 Check your network connection

Of course, installing fresh updates requires a stable network connection. You won’t be able to download updates from Microsoft’s servers if your PC can’t access the Internet. It’s easy to check if your Internet connection is OK: just take a look at the corresponding page in your system Settings.

  • Open your computer’s Settings.
  • Go to Internet and Network→Status.
  • Click on the Network Troubleshooter item.
  • Follow the instructions on the screen to identify potential (!) network problems.
  • Restart your PC after working with the tool.
  • Repeat the Windows 10 OS update to check if the problem exists.
  • If nothing has changed, go back to Status and click on Reset Network (at the very bottom of the window).
  • Next, click the Reset Now button.

If the problem was caused by incorrect network connection settings, resetting the latter should have fixed everything. Try to update the system again.

Method #5 Restore Windows system files and image

Ok, something in your OS is really not working properly. Maybe some of the Windows system files/components have been corrupted. In this case, you can try the services of extra useful utilities like SFC and DISM. The first utility will search for and restore corrupted system files, the second will restore the system component repository.

  • Open a command line with administrator account privileges (Win+R→cmd→Enter+Shift+Enter).
  • Type the command sfc/scannow and press Enter.
  • Wait for the SFC to finish and restart your PC.
  • Open the command line again and run the following three commands:
    • DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth
    • DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
    • DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

Reboot the PC again and check if the problems with the update have been resolved.

Method #6 Fix file system errors

Failure to update Windows 10 | 11 could be the result of errors in the file system of the operating system. You can fix such errors by using the CHKDSK utility. To run this utility, you can use the same command line. Try the following:

  • Open the Command Prompt (administrator).
  • Type in the command chkdsk C: /f and press Enter.
  • Press the Y key on your keyboard to reboot your PC and run the disk check.
  • Wait for the utility to finish and then log in.

Method #7 Clean HDD/SSD to ensure the necessary space

It is important to remember that in order to download and install new Windows updates, you need to have a certain amount of free space on your drive. You need to go through the contents of your drive properly and remove all unnecessary data from it, like movies, games, music, temporary files, and more. As soon as you have finished, so to speak, cleaning up, restart your computer and repeat the Windows update.

Method #8 Disable/remove antivirus

Usually, antivirus does not cause problems when you update your system. However, in some cases, antivirus may start blocking certain update files by mistake. You need to deactivate the installed antivirus and see if everything goes back to normal. To deactivate the Windows System Defender, you need to do the following:

  • Open your system Settings, as already shown above.
  • Go to Update and Security→Windows Security.
  • Click on the Open Windows Security service button.
  • Next, click on the Virus and Threat Protection tab and the Manage Settings button in the new window.
  • Deactivate the Real-time Protection option.
  • Go to the Windows Update and repeat the system update.

If you have a third-party antivirus installed on your computer, you will unfortunately have to deal with its deactivation yourself. However, it often comes down to clicking on the antivirus icon in the system tray and selecting the appropriate option.

Method #9 Update Windows in safe mode

Okay, let’s move on to something more complicated. Perhaps some third-party service or software is preventing Windows from updating properly. What to do in that case? The answer is to try to update Windows, but only in safe mode, where there will be no obstacles. Of course, safe mode must be run with support for network drivers, otherwise it will not work. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Go to Settings→Update and security→Restore.
  • Under special boot options, click the Reboot Now button.
  • In the OS recovery environment, go to Troubleshooting→Advanced
  • Options→Boot Options.
  • Click the Reboot button.
  • Press the F5 button to start the PC in Safe Mode with the network drivers loaded.

Once in the OS, try to update Windows 10 again and see if the problem has been resolved.

Method #10 Use a restore point and refresh

This solution is probably only worth pursuing if none of the above has had the desired effect. It is quite simple: restore the system to an earlier state, when it was working properly, and then update it. Of course, the user must have the restore point feature activated beforehand, but it is usually active by default, so there should be no problem at all.

To use a restore point, you need to do the following:

  • Call the system search box (Win+S) and type Restore.
  • Select the result found, and then select Run System Restore.
  • Next, select the recommended restore or manually select the desired restore point and click Next→Done.
  • Wait for the Windows 10 restore process to complete.
  • Enter the Windows Update and repeat the system update.

Is Windows still not updating? Well, it’s time to take on, so to speak, the heavy guns…

Method #11 Reset WU components

At this point, it should be clear that something is clearly wrong with your Windows Update. In that case, you need to do a complete reset of WU components. There are two ways to do it: manually from the command line or using a home-made batch file with a special script. We advise you not to bother and use the second method.

  • Create a text file somewhere on your computer (RMB→Create→Text File).
  • Insert the following script into the text file (do not change anything!):

:: Run the reset Windows Update components.
:: void components();
:: /*************************************************************************************/
:: —— Stopping the Windows Update services ——
call :print Stopping the Windows Update services.
net stop bitscall :print Stopping the Windows Update services.
net stop wuauservcall :print Stopping the Windows Update services.
net stop appidsvccall :print Stopping the Windows Update services.
net stop cryptsvccall :print Canceling the Windows Update process.
taskkill /im wuauclt.exe /f
:: —— Checking the services status ——
call :print Checking the services status.sc query bits | findstr /I /C:»STOPPED»
if %errorlevel% NEQ 0 (
echo. Failed to stop the BITS service.
echo.Press any key to continue . . .
goto :eof
)call :print Checking the services status.sc query wuauserv | findstr /I /C:»STOPPED»
if %errorlevel% NEQ 0 (
echo. Failed to stop the Windows Update service.
echo.Press any key to continue . . .
goto :eof
)call :print Checking the services status.sc query appidsvc | findstr /I /C:»STOPPED»
if %errorlevel% NEQ 0 (
sc query appidsvc | findstr /I /C:»OpenService FAILED 1060″
if %errorlevel% NEQ 0 (
echo. Failed to stop the Application Identity service.
echo.Press any key to continue . . .
if %family% NEQ 6 goto :eof
call :print Checking the services status.

sc query cryptsvc | findstr /I /C:»STOPPED»
if %errorlevel% NEQ 0 (
echo. Failed to stop the Cryptographic Services service.
echo.Press any key to continue . . .
goto :eof

:: —— Delete the qmgr*.dat files ——
call :print Deleting the qmgr*.dat files.

del /s /q /f «%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Application Data\Microsoft\Network\Downloader\qmgr*.dat»
del /s /q /f «%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Network\Downloader\qmgr*.dat»

:: —— Renaming the software distribution folders backup copies ——
call :print Deleting the old software distribution backup copies.


if exist «%SYSTEMROOT%\winsxs\pending.xml.bak» (
del /s /q /f «%SYSTEMROOT%\winsxs\pending.xml.bak»
if exist «%SYSTEMROOT%\SoftwareDistribution.bak» (
rmdir /s /q «%SYSTEMROOT%\SoftwareDistribution.bak»
if exist «%SYSTEMROOT%\system32\Catroot2.bak» (
rmdir /s /q «%SYSTEMROOT%\system32\Catroot2.bak»
if exist «%SYSTEMROOT%\WindowsUpdate.log.bak» (
del /s /q /f «%SYSTEMROOT%\WindowsUpdate.log.bak»

call :print Renaming the software distribution folders.

if exist «%SYSTEMROOT%\winsxs\pending.xml» (
takeown /f «%SYSTEMROOT%\winsxs\pending.xml»
attrib -r -s -h /s /d «%SYSTEMROOT%\winsxs\pending.xml»
ren «%SYSTEMROOT%\winsxs\pending.xml» pending.xml.bak
if exist «%SYSTEMROOT%\SoftwareDistribution» (
attrib -r -s -h /s /d «%SYSTEMROOT%\SoftwareDistribution»
ren «%SYSTEMROOT%\SoftwareDistribution» SoftwareDistribution.bak
if exist «%SYSTEMROOT%\SoftwareDistribution» (
echo. Failed to rename the SoftwareDistribution folder.
echo.Press any key to continue . . .
goto :eof
if exist «%SYSTEMROOT%\system32\Catroot2» (
attrib -r -s -h /s /d «%SYSTEMROOT%\system32\Catroot2»
ren «%SYSTEMROOT%\system32\Catroot2» Catroot2.bak
if exist «%SYSTEMROOT%\WindowsUpdate.log» (
attrib -r -s -h /s /d «%SYSTEMROOT%\WindowsUpdate.log»
ren «%SYSTEMROOT%\WindowsUpdate.log» WindowsUpdate.log.bak

:: —— Reset the BITS service and the Windows Update service to the default security descriptor ——
call :print Reset the BITS service and the Windows Update service to the default security descriptor.


:: —— Reregister the BITS files and the Windows Update files ——
call :print Reregister the BITS files and the Windows Update files.

cd /d %SYSTEMROOT%\system32
regsvr32.exe /s atl.dll
regsvr32.exe /s urlmon.dll
regsvr32.exe /s mshtml.dll
regsvr32.exe /s shdocvw.dll
regsvr32.exe /s browseui.dll
regsvr32.exe /s jscript.dll
regsvr32.exe /s vbscript.dll
regsvr32.exe /s scrrun.dll
regsvr32.exe /s msxml.dll
regsvr32.exe /s msxml3.dll
regsvr32.exe /s msxml6.dll
regsvr32.exe /s actxprxy.dll
regsvr32.exe /s softpub.dll
regsvr32.exe /s wintrust.dll
regsvr32.exe /s dssenh.dll
regsvr32.exe /s rsaenh.dll
regsvr32.exe /s gpkcsp.dll
regsvr32.exe /s sccbase.dll
regsvr32.exe /s slbcsp.dll
regsvr32.exe /s cryptdlg.dll
regsvr32.exe /s oleaut32.dll
regsvr32.exe /s ole32.dll
regsvr32.exe /s shell32.dll
regsvr32.exe /s initpki.dll
regsvr32.exe /s wuapi.dll
regsvr32.exe /s wuaueng.dll
regsvr32.exe /s wuaueng1.dll
regsvr32.exe /s wucltui.dll
regsvr32.exe /s wups.dll
regsvr32.exe /s wups2.dll
regsvr32.exe /s wuweb.dll
regsvr32.exe /s qmgr.dll
regsvr32.exe /s qmgrprxy.dll
regsvr32.exe /s wucltux.dll
regsvr32.exe /s muweb.dll
regsvr32.exe /s wuwebv.dll

:: —— Resetting Winsock ——
call :print Resetting Winsock.
netsh winsock reset

:: —— Resetting WinHTTP Proxy ——
call :print Resetting WinHTTP Proxy.

if %family% EQU 5 (
proxycfg.exe -d
) else (
netsh winhttp reset proxy

:: —— Set the startup type as automatic ——
call :print Resetting the services as automatics.
sc.exe config wuauserv start= auto
sc.exe config bits start= delayed-auto
sc.exe config cryptsvc start= auto
sc.exe config TrustedInstaller start= demand
sc.exe config DcomLaunch start= auto

:: —— Starting the Windows Update services ——
call :print Starting the Windows Update services.
net start bits

call :print Starting the Windows Update services.
net start wuauserv

call :print Starting the Windows Update services.
net start appidsvc

call :print Starting the Windows Update services.
net start cryptsvc

call :print Starting the Windows Update services.
net start DcomLaunch

:: —— End process ——
call :print The operation completed successfully.

echo.Press any key to continue . . .
goto :eof
:: /*************************************************************************************/

  • Save the changes you made to the text document and close it.
  • Click on Text Document.txt and select Rename.
  • Name the file WU Reset and change its extension from .txt to .bat.

Note: If you don’t see the file extensions, you must enable this feature yourself. To do this, open Explorer, go to the View tab on the menu bar and check the box next to File Name Extensions.

  • Click on the WUReset.bat script and select Run as administrator.
  • Wait for the Windows Update reset process to finish, then press any key on your keyboard to close the Command Prompt.
  • Reboot your PC.

Well, if this procedure doesn’t help you restore the WU either…

Method #12 Install updates manually

Still nothing? Windows won’t update? We recommend you to give up on automatic tools and install the required update yourself. Go to the official Microsoft Update Catalog site, find the problematic update, download and install it. That’s right, the process is that simple. Having downloaded the update file, just double-click on it with the left mouse button and follow the instructions on the screen.

Method #13 Reset your computer

The last thing you can do is to reset your computer to its original state. This procedure is essentially a reinstallation of Windows, but with your personal files and settings intact (if you want to keep them, of course).

  • Open your Windows Settings.
  • Go to Update and Security→Restore.
  • Click the Start button in the appropriate section.
  • Next, select the Save my files option and click the Reset button.
  • Wait for the procedure to complete to return the PC to its original state.

It is worth noting that during this procedure, your computer will restart several times on its own, so don’t worry about it. Once you are in Windows, open the Windows Update and run the system update. You shouldn’t experience any more problems with the update.

We would like to believe that our article was useful to you. Best of luck!

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments