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How to Fix Windows Updates Taking Forever to Install

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Microsoft releases a lot of Windows updates to fix problems or to add new features to the Windows. Although these Windows updates are very useful in keeping the system updated but it might become a headache as well. Some of these Windows updates, especially on Windows 10, might take a really long time to complete. The time it takes for an update depends on a lot of factors including the age of your machine and the speed of your internet connection. Even though it might take a couple of hours for some users, but for a lot of users it takes more than 24 hours despite having a good internet connection and a high end machine. Even after 24 hours, it might seem like the update is stuck around 90% or 80%. You might continue to see a loading screen for 3-4 hours without any progress even at this stage. Since the computer might start updating automatically, it will be a huge annoyance because you will have to wait so many hours just for an update.

The reason behind the long wait of Windows update aren’t clear. As mentioned earlier, some of the users do get the update fairly quickly while others have to go through a 24 hours or even longer update periods. In most of these cases, the update seems to be stuck at a certain percentage but it actually isn’t. This is the time required for majority of these updates and there is not a lot you can do to reduce this time. Fortunately, there are some cases where the update seems stuck and restarting the machine resolves that issue. In minority of the cases, the update might actually be stuck or frozen because of an antivirus or some other program conflicting with the update.

But, whatever may be the reason, there are a couple of things that you can do to check whether the update is actually stuck or the update is simply taking a lot of time.

Tip

Make sure you have enough space available for the update to install. If there isn’t enough space for the Windows update to install, it might get stuck at a certain percentage

Method 1: Restart the Computer

Before you follow the instructions in this method, keep in mind that this can go either way. For some people, restarting solved the Windows update stuck issue while the Windows reverted back to its original state for other users. So, if you have waited 20+ hours for the update to get to 90% and it seems stuck, reboot the system at your own risk. You might lose all the progress. You might have to reinitiate the update and go through the 20+ hour wait all over again.

But, if you are willing to take the risk or if you are sure that the update is stuck i.e. you are seeing the loading icon for 4-5 hours, then reboot. Once the system is rebooted, the installation will finish without any issues.

Method 2: Hard Reboot

If you believe the update really is stuck and you want to try something else then hard reboot is your option. Once you have performed a hard reboot, retrying the Windows Update might work for you. You might be skeptical about this method because Windows explicitly tells you not to restart the PC and wait for the Windows to update. But, if the Windows really is stuck or hung at the stage then you really have no other option than to restart the PC. However, it still is your choice and you can choose not to reboot. You can wait an hour or 2 more to confirm.

Note: Performing the steps given below will make you lose all the update progress. You will have to start the Windows update again and you will have to wait lots of hours again. So, try this if you are willing to wait or if you are sure your Windows update is stuck

Here are the steps for performing the hard reboot

  1. Press and hold the power button until your PC turns off. You can do this from the Windows update screen (where the update is stuck)
  2. Wait for 45 seconds
  3. Disconnect the power supply If you have a laptop, take out the battery as well
  4. Press and hold the power button for at least 15 seconds.
  5. Wait 5 minutes
  6. Put the battery back in the laptop and connect the power supply in case of a desktop computer
  7. Turn on your computer

Once you login, try to update the Windows and see if it works.

Note: Once you have done the reboot, you might see the Advanced Boot Options screen instead of the regular log in screen. There are also cases where you might see the Startup Settings screen. If you see one of these screens, simply select the Safe Mode with Networking and try to update the Windows again.

Method 3: Windows Update in Clean Boot

Note: Performing the steps given below will make you lose all the update progress. You will have to start the Windows update again and you will have to wait lots of hours again. So, try this if you are willing to wait or if you are sure your Windows update is stuck

If the problem is caused by a conflict with another application or program then starting your computer in a Clean Boot state will solve the issue. Even if it doesn’t solve the issue, it most certainly will rule out the possibility of a third party application conflicting with the update.

  1. Press the power button and hold it until your PC turns off
  2. Press the power button again to start your PC
  3. Once you are logged in the Windows successfully, Hold Windows key and press R
  4. Type msconfig and press Enter

PRO TIP: If the issue is with your computer or a laptop/notebook you should try using the Reimage Plus Software which can scan the repositories and replace corrupt and missing files. This works in most cases, where the issue is originated due to a system corruption. You can download Reimage Plus by Clicking Here
  1. Click the Services tab
  2. Check the option Hide All Microsoft Services
  3. Click the button Disable All

  1. Click the Startup tab
  2. Click Open Task Manager

  1. Make sure the Startup tab is selected
  2. Select the first service in the list and click Disable

  1. Repeat the step 11 for all the items in the list
  2. Once done, close the Task Manager
  3. Click Apply then select Ok
  4. Reboot

Retry Windows Update once the system is rebooted.

Method 4: Reset Windows Update Components

Note: Performing the steps given below will make you lose all the update progress. You will have to start the Windows update again and you will have to wait lots of hours again. So, try this if you are willing to wait or if you are sure your Windows update is stuck

If nothing else worked, try to reset the Windows Update Components manually and try to install the Windows Update again.

Here are the steps for resetting the Windows Update Components

  1. Press the power button and hold it until your PC turns off
  2. Press the power button again to start your PC
  3. Once you are logged in the Windows successfully, press Windows key once
  4. Type cmd in the Start Search
  5. Right click the command prompt from the search results and select run as administrator

  1. Type net stop wuauserv and press Enter
  2. Type net stop cryptSvc and press Enter
  3. Type net stop bits and press Enter
  4. Type net stop msiserver and press Enter

  1. Type ren C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.old and press Enter
  2. Type ren C:\Windows\System32\catroot2 Catroot2.old and press Enter
  3. Type net start wuauserv and press Enter
  4. Type net start cryptSvc and press Enter
  5. Type net start bits and press Enter
  6. Type net start msiserver and press Enter

Close the command prompt and reboot. Retry Windows update once the system is successfully rebooted.

PRO TIP: If the issue is with your computer or a laptop/notebook you should try using the Reimage Plus Software which can scan the repositories and replace corrupt and missing files. This works in most cases, where the issue is originated due to a system corruption. You can download Reimage Plus by Clicking Here

RECOMMENDED: Click here to fix Windows errors and optimize system performance

Kevin Arrows

Hi! I'm Kevin. Thank you for reading the article above. I am a certified MCTS (Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist) with over 10 years of experience. I love to address tech issues, and write tech how-to's in a way that it can be followed by everyone.

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How to Fix Windows Updates Taking Forever to Install

If the issue is with your Computer or a Laptop you should try using the Reimage Plus Software which can scan the repositories and replace corrupt and missing files. This works in most cases, where the issue is originated due to a system corruption. You can download Reimage Plus by clicking the Download button below.

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