Windows 10 regularly updates itself and you really don’t have a choice about that. There are however way to delay updates for a while and there are ways to fix problems with Windows Updates.

At PC Support Midlands, one of the recurring events we occasionally see is that updates have stuck part way through. A recent case involved a business client coming to a computer each morning with Windows updates stuck at 91%. Windows never goes further and the computer has to be switched off and on again before the user can log in. Windows logged an error in the update log.

Fixing this can be an onerous task, there are quite a few things that can cause the problem and until the problem stops presenting, we don’t know if its fixed. We’ll tackle them in order from the simplest to the most likely to fix most update problems.

  1. Try a temporary disable of antivirus. This almost never works but its worth a go.
  2. Try running the windows update troubleshooter
  3. Clean the Windows image and replace drivers
  4. Manually delete the Windows update cache

I’ll run through how to do these below but remember that when you do this you may have to wait for the download to reapply so you might be doing this over several hours:

1. Temporarily disabling antivirus may work, personally I have never had success with this one but some people have. Antivirus may block updates from applying successfully and stopping the AV until the update is completed is a very simple step. Usually, you can do this by finding your antivirus program in the bottom right corner of your screen. A lot of antivirus programs give the option to disable for an hour or until restart. You need to select by time, you don’t want it to come back on during the restart.

2. The windows update troubleshooter will reset some parts of the update process. Again, it’s worth a try and it is easy to do.

Click on the windows button, go to settings, troubleshoot and under the Get up and running section select Windows Update.

Here we go into the techy part and a little more likely to resolve the problem. The DISM & SFC commands clean up the Windows image which in turn may fix the problem. Click the windows key, type ‘CMD’. On the menu, right click Command Prompt and select Run As Administrator.

At the command prompt, enter the command: ‘DISM.exe /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth’ and press the return key.

Sit back and wait!

Once complete, type the command SFC /scannow and press the return key.

Sit back and wait (again).

Still no good? Lets really lift the hood and get dirty! Manually cleaning the update cache down is the most successful method but the most long winded.

Click the Windows key, type ‘services’ and select Services App. Scroll down the list, almost to the bottom and click on Windows Update. Select Stop the service.

Now, open the windows explorer,

Browse to c:\windows\softwaredistribution\download. Press Ctrl+A to select all the files. Press the delete key and all the files will be removed.

Now go to the folder c:\windows\system32. Rename the catroot2 folder to catroot-old.

Go back to services and click Start the service.

Now restart Windows and wait for the updates to download again. Hopefully your system will upgrade now.

If you have reached this point and you are still having an issue, don’t fret, you can contact us via live chat in the bottom right of your screen on our home page.

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