SOLVED: Windows 10 Won’t Install or Download Updates

While Windows 10 is the latest and greatest iteration of the Windows Operating System in existence, it is far from perfect. That being the case, Microsoft periodically rolls out tons of updates for both Windows 10 and the programs and applications that it contains. Unlike with older versions of Windows, however, all updates rolled out to Windows 10 computers via Windows Update are mandatory and are automatically downloaded and installed at one time or another. Regardless of the important status of an update and regardless of whether or not you want to install it, it will eventually be downloaded and installed, although you do have the power to delay the occurrence slightly.

Some Windows 10 users, unfortunately, have been and continue to be affected by an issue where their computers accumulate tons of pending updates, some of which are marked as waiting to be downloaded, some marked as waiting to be installed, but none actually being downloaded or installed no matter how many times affected users try to download and install them. When users affected by this issue go into Windows Update, they see a list of all of the updates available for their computer but are unable to download and/or install any of them even though some are marked as waiting to be downloaded and some waiting to be installed.

Thankfully, though, this problem is not a dead-end problem and can be fixed by pretty simple means. The following are the three most effective solutions that you can use to try and fix this problem:

Repair Corrupt System Files

Download and run Restoro to scan for corrupt files from here, if files are found to be corrupt and missing repair them and then check if it fixes the issue, if not then proceed with Solutions listed below.

Before you Proceed: Make sure to leave the process for at least an hour or two to make sure that Windows isn’t just initializing updates.

Solution 1: Run the Windows Update Troubleshooter

If a Windows 10 component is not working or behaving the way it is supposed to, what you need to do is simply run Windows 10’s built-in Troubleshooting utility, but run it specifically for the component that is malfunctioning. The same applies to Windows Update – since Windows Update is behaving strangely, the first solution you should try out is running the Windows Update Troubleshooter. To do so, you need to:

  1. Open the Control Panel.
  2. Switch to Icons
  3. Click on Troubleshooting.
  4. Click on View all in the left pane.
  5. Click on Windows Update.
  6. Click on Next, and then proceed with the troubleshooter all the way through to the end, following the on-screen instructions along the way.

windows updates wont install 10

The Troubleshooter will try to identify any and all problems with Windows Update and fix any problems that it finds. Once you have successfully run the Troubleshooter, you should restart your computer and try downloading and installing Windows Updates once it boots up to see whether or not the issue still persists.

Solution 2: Ensure that all services related to Windows Update are running

You may be facing this Windows Update issue if one or more of the services pertaining to Windows Update is either not enabled or are not running on your computer. If that is the case, this issue can be easily remedied by making sure that all Windows Update-related services are enabled and running.

  1. Hold down the Windows Logo key, and while doing so, press R to open a Run
  2. Type services.msc into the Run dialog and press Enter.
  3. Locate and right-click on the Windows Update service, and click on Properties.
  4. Set the service’s Startup type to Automatic, if the service is stopped, click on Start to start it, click on Apply and then click on OK.
  5. Locate and right-click on the Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS), and click on Properties.
  6. Repeat step 4.
  7. Locate and right-click on the Cryptographic Service, and click on Properties.
  8. Repeat step 4.

windows 10 wont install updates

Close the utility, restart your computer and check to see whether or not the problem has been fixed once it boots up.

Solution 3: Fix the issue via an elevated Command Prompt

If none of the solutions listed and described above have worked for you, you may just be able to fix this issue through an elevated Command Prompt. In order to do so, you need to:

  1. Right-click on the Start Menu button to open the WinX Menu.
  2. Click on Command Prompt (Admin).
  3. One by one, type the following commands into the elevated Command Prompt, pressing Enter after typing in each one and waiting for one command to be executed fully before typing in the next:
net stop wuauserv
net stop cryptSvc
net stop bits
net stop msiserver
ren C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.old
ren C:\Windows\System32\catroot2 catroot2.old
net start wuauserv
net start cryptSvc
net start bits
net start msiserver
net localgroup administrators 
networkservice /add
net localgroup administrators localservice /add

Once all of the commands listed above have been fully executed, close the Command Prompt and restart your computer.

windows 10 not downloading updates

Check whether or not you are now able to download and install updates via Windows Update once your computer boots up.

Solution 4: Deleting Update Files

In some cases, it is possible that the Windows’ registration files have gotten corrupt while being downloaded from their servers. Often a disconnection during the downloading process or packet loss can result in this issue and the Windows Update files can be corrupted. Therefore, in this step, we will be deleting these update files. For that:

  1. Press “Windows” + “R’ to open the Run prompt.
  2. Type in “Services.MSC” to open the service manager window.
    Opening services by typing “services.msc” in the RUN command.
  3. In the service management window, scroll down and look for the “Windows Update” and the “Background Intelligent Service”.
  4. Doubleclick on each one by one and change their startup type to “Disabled”.
    Setting the Startup Type of  Update Service to Disabled
  5. Click on “Stop” to turn them off and then save your changes.
  6. After this, navigate to the following folder in your root drive.
    C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution
  7. Open the folder, press “Ctrl” + “A” to select all files, and then press “Shift” + “Delete” to remove them from your computer.
  8. After the files are deleted, go back to the service management window and enable both the services that we disabled in the first steps.
  9. Press “Windows’ + “I” to open settings and click on “Update and Security”.
    Update & Security.in Windows Settings
  10. Select “Windows Update” from the left pane and select the “Check for Updates” button.
  11. Check to see if the issue still persists.

Solution 5: Turn OFF Metered Connection

In some cases, the internet connection that you are using might be setup as a metered connection due to which the download restriction might be implemented on it. Therefore, in this step, we will be turning this metered connection OFF and then check to see if the issue still persists. For that:

  1. Press “Windows” + “I” to open settings.
  2. Click on the “Network and Internet” option.
    Selecting “Network and Internet” Options
  3. Click on the “Wifi” option on the left pane and select “Manage known Networks” in the next window.
    Accessing the Manage known networks menu
  4. Click on the Wifi name in the next window and select “Properties”.
  5. Click on the “Toggle” for “Set as Metered Connection” to turn it off.
  6. Check to see if the issue persists.

More Solutions:

  1. Try Changing your DNS Servers and check for updates.
  2. Download this tool and run it, go to the repairs section, and uncheck all options except the “Repair Windows Updates” one.
  3. Try to rollback a system update and then again check for the update.
  4. Make sure to perform a complete system virus scan.
  5. Perform a DISM, SFC, and Chkdsk Scan.
  6. Perform a Clean Install of Windows after downloading the latest ISO from Microsoft’s Website.

Kevin Arrows


Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

Expert Tip

SOLVED: Windows 10 Won’t Install or Download Updates

If the issue is with your Computer or a Laptop you should try using Restoro 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 Restoro by clicking the Download button below.

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