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FIX: Windows 10 update stuck at 32%

Microsoft released Windows 10 Technical Preview in the year 2014. It was not officially announced at that time. Microsoft took a year to build the Final Version of Windows 10 and it was released on July 29, 2015.

While upgrading the Operating System to Windows 10, a majority of people are getting an unpleasing issue where up-gradation process hangs on 32%. According to Microsoft, at first 30% of Windows installation setup, updates are being downloaded to the PC and after that, PC starts installing those updates. This issue doesn’t arise while installing a clean copy of Windows 10 using a Removable Media like USB. It only arises while upgrading the previous version of Windows to Windows 10.

windows 10 update stuck at 32

This issue doesn’t let the users to upgrade their Windows and when users try to restart their PCs, they are reverted back to their previous version of Windows. This is really annoying and time wasting process.

Method # 1: Windows Update Troubleshoot

1) At first, you should run a Windows application called Windows Update Troubleshooter. You can find this on the following URL. After downloading the file, run it as an administrator with the default program and select Windows Update from the list. Click Next and it would start troubleshooting.

windows update troubleshoot

2) After the troubleshooting process, disable the network whether it is WiFi or LAN. Every connection should be shut down before proceeding to the next step. You can do this by holding win key and press r; then typing ncpa.cpl and right click your network connections and choose Disable. Same procedure will be used to re-enable them; if you find it complicated; turn off your WiFi or Router and that will automatically disconnect you from the internet.

3) Create a Windows 10 bootable USB again using free softwares like RUFUS or Windows 7 USB/DVD Tool. Make sure that all the files are written properly otherwise, you would end up with the same issue.

4) Now, open the Command Prompt (Admin) by right clicking over the start menu icon and selecting the Command Prompt. Type the below mentioned code inside command prompt and press Enter

rundll32.exe pnpclean.dll,RunDLL_PnpClean /DRIVERS /MAXCLEAN

upgrade stuck at 32 cmd

This code will clean up the driver packages inside Windows in order to help you move forward towards installing Windows 10.

Now everything is good to go. Restart your PC and boot your PC through the bootable USB drive you created before. Run the installation by following the instructions and you would be stunned to see that it works.

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

Method # 2: Check External Drives

The first and the most anticipated method of solving this issue is to unplug any external device connected to the PC through USB. A number of times, these external USB devices create a conflict inside Windows. During the up-gradation of Windows to Windows 10, this conflict restricts the process to move forward and it sticks at 32%.

After removing the USB devices, restart your PC to upgrade Windows again. If this issue was due to the conflict between Windows and USB devices, then this time, it won’t restrict the process. As a result, you get your new Windows 10 on the PC.

Method # 3: Restart Services

The second method would look quite interesting but it also works most of the time if you are trying to update using Windows Update. In this case, all you need to do is to disable your internet connection whether it is WiFi or LAN when the download reaches 100%. Disabling the internet would restrict the setup to download further files including language packs. Windows would upgrade to the latest version without being stuck at 32%.

Use the following method if you are upgrading the Windows using Windows update.

1. Open the Command Prompt (Admin) window by right clicking on the start menu icon or you can press Win + X as a shortcut key to open it.

cmd admin

2. Now, you need to stop some services by typing the following code inside Command Prompt. Hit Enter after typing each line of code.

net stop wuauserv
net stop cryptSvc
net stop bits
net stop msiserver

cmd admin commands

3. After typing and hitting the Enter after each line of code, you have to rename two folders called SoftwareDistribution and Cartroot2. Just type the code below for this purpose. Also remember to Hit Enter after each line of code.

ren C:WindowsSoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.old
ren C:WindowsSystem32catroot2 Catroot2.old

4. After renaming the folders, restart the services again which you stopped by writing a few line of code at the second step. Type the following code.

net start wuauserv
net start cryptSvc
net start bits
net start msiserver

cmd admin 6
Now, all the difficult stuff is gone. Just type Exit in the Command Prompt and hit Enter. Restart your PC and try updating again.

I would appreciate if you let us know which method has worked if any; and if nothing worked for you so we can improve our guide.

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

About 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.
  • DP

    Do you have any suggestions that will work with Windows 7? Suggestions above seem more geared towards windows 8 (even things like pnpclean.dll only exist in 8). I have a HP dv5t-1000, no usb devices plugged and window update itself has no problems, yet no matter what I have tried such as the suggestions above and even manually updating every possible driver in advance of the upgrade – nothing has worked.

    • They work on Windows 7 too.

    • SurfaceUnits

      I was having the same 32% issue on a self built gaming system with an
      SSD drive whilst trying the Anniversary upgrade. Did everything
      recommended at various forums with no results. Replaced the SSD drive
      with a spinner and the upgrade went without error.
      Have no problems with the SSD drive on a daily basis. Only Windows
      upgrades where the problems show up.

      ASRock 970 Performance AM3+
      AMD FX
      MSI AMD R9
      PNY 120GB SSD

      So I have to create a system image of the SSD drive, restore it
      to a spinner, do the upgrade, create an image and restore to SSD drive.
      Use SSD drive until another Windows 10 upgrade and then repeat.

  • Ar

    I cannot find any pnpclean.dll in Windows7. Is there a way to clean the driver packages from my Windows 7 system before I start the installation?

    • There is from hdwwiz.cpl but do not uninstall/delete them. They are supposed to be automatically upgraded. However, try disabling wi-fi, ethernet and perform method 2/3.

  • atat

    How can I create a windows 10 usb media since windows 10 is not yet installed?

    • You will need to use another computer to do this. Windows 10 iso can be downloaded using Windows Media Creation tool; and Windows 10 USB can be created by writing the downloaded iso to usb using Rufus. If you have an advanced option on screen, you can go to the troubleshoot menu to reset.

  • Angela Alvarado

    Every time I entered a command it would say “access denied”

    • run command prompt as admin

      • Angela Alvarado

        After it restarts do I turn the internet back on ?

  • What external devices are connected and which anti virus are you using?

  • for how long have you the system running during install?

    • Several hours each time, one started before going to bed at night, still at 32% in the morning, another before I left for work so I was gone for over 9 hours. So on average I would say between 5 – 9 hours each time.

      • What is your systems make and model?

        • HP Pavilion dv5, Win7 x64 P7350 GeForce 9600M GT

          • Does it boots fine into the existing installation?

          • Yes

          • Please login to your existing install, and uninstall all third party programs.

  • If you format and do a fresh 10 install, you wont be able to avail the free upgrade. If you upgrade first, and then do a clean install (the license will be retained).

    • You can still use the windows 7 key.

      “Previously, Microsoft forced users to upgrade to Windows 10 before they could start fresh and do a clean install–which was annoyingly complicated and time-consuming. Now, things are much easier, since you can activate Windows 10 with a Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 key.Jan 13, 2016”

      • I am not aware of this. BUT if this information came from the MS site, then you can go ahead and do it. You’ll need to create the bootable media (which you can do using Media Tool to burn the iso onto a usb.

        • This will be a last resort, I’m still not finished with trying to upgrade. With the exception of the software that came with the laptop the only 3rd party software installed on this laptop is office 365 and Norton (which I disable when running the ISO from USB). I just flashed the BIOS. I’m not done yet.

          • I would suggest you try doing a clean boot and disabling all start-up programs before trying this.

          • Still no dice. Updated the BIOS, have at one point or another done everything recommended from various articles online. Removed all third party applications and used MSCONFIG to do a clean boot with only MS services running, choose to do the updates later on the upgrade, this was using a new USB ISO. 9 pm last night stuck at 32 percent, 5% drivers and features, 9am this morning no change what so ever. Can’t get past the 32 percent mark.

          • I would now suggest that you a do a factory reinstall of your existing operating system, and then upgrade to Windows 10 using the media tool (without running windows updates).

          • I don’t think so. I’m not going to factory restore a machine back to vista, install windows 7 and then try to upgrade to windows 10 with no guarantee I’m not going to have the same issue. I put off the upgrade until now, I’m not putting any more effort into it. Windows 7 is fine, when it hits end of life I’ll buy a mac.

  • thanks

  • rational32

    I was having this issue on my HP laptop. The only thing that fixed it was to disable the video/display adapters and revert to VGA mode. Afterwards I was able to install the latest AMD drivers. I wasted days trying to resolve this update issue. None of the solutions provided allowed things to finish Win10 update.