Windows 10 Update Failures can occur in many ways and at different points during the update process. You will typically see the following message:
- Your Windows Update failed. But don’t worry. We can help.
- The updates were not completed. You can undo any changes. Do not turn off your computer.
- Failed to configure Windows updates Reverting changes Don’t turn off your computer.
The message will appear on a blue screen in all the cases mentioned above, and similar cases if you have not changed the Windows 10 color settings. The message may also appear after an attempt to update Windows 10, sometimes several minutes or even hours later.
Windows 10 Update Problems
The most common reasons why Windows 10 updates fail are:
- Multiple updates in queue: Windows that requires more than one update is a common reason for this failure. If this happens, reboot and try again until the update succeeds. Other minor and unpredictable issues can be solved with the same fix.
- Insufficient drive space: A Windows 10 update will fail if your computer does not have enough drive space. Clearing space is usually enough to fix the problem.
- Errors in update files: Usually, this will fix the problem. To clear these files, you may have to enter Safe Mode.
- Hardware conflict: It’s possible that you have a device attached that is interfering with the update process. The update might be completed if you unplug any unnecessary peripherals.
- Driver conflicts – This is a similar problem with an identical solution. Reconnect all peripherals (printers, USB hubs) and then try the update again.
Consider creating a Windows 10 backup before you move on. You can also restore your backup to try again in the worst case.
How to fix Windows 10 Update Failed Errors
Try each of these fixes to fix your Windows 10 update problem and update your operating system successfully. They don’t all have to be tried. After you have successfully updated Windows 10, you can ignore any remaining issues and continue to use your newly upgraded computer.
These instructions are intended to be used with Windows 10 on physical hardware. These instructions might still work if you are trying to update Windows 10 on physical hardware. You may also want to use a more recent Windows image with the most recent security patches and updates.
- Try rerunning Windows Update. Rebooting your computer and running the update should resolve your issue. Windows 10 can fail to install updates if there are multiple in queue. You can normally get the system working again by restarting and re-starting the update process. You may have to restart Windows 10 multiple times if your Windows 10 installation has become outdated.
- Reboot your computer and unplug any peripherals. Rerunning the update may not work. This could be due to a driver or hardware conflict. Before you reboot, unplug all peripherals like webcams and microphones. After you have disconnected the keyboard and mouse, restart Windows Update.
- Check your available drive space. A lack of space is one of the leading causes of Windows 10 updates failing. Windows 10 has a built-in reserve of space for updates. However, there is always the possibility that you might run out of storage space if you don’t have enough. Clear out anything you don’t need or hook up an external drive so files can be moved to. Then, try again.
- The Windows 10 troubleshooting software is available. Windows 10 comes with a troubleshooter application that can assist you in fixing many update issues. Run the troubleshooter to see if the update is possible.
To use the Windows 10 Update Troubleshooter:
- Enter troubleshoot in the taskbar search box and choose troubleshoot.
- Click Additional troubleshooting > Windows update.
- Use the troubleshooter by clicking
- Follow the prompts on-screen.
- Pause Windows 10 Updates. This will temporarily halt updates. It will usually delete any update files from your computer.
- Navigate to Setting > Security > Windows update.
- Click Advanced Options.
- Click the toggle to On.
- Restart your computer.
- Return to Setting > Security > Windows update.
- Click Advanced Options.
- To disable Updates, click the Pause button.
- Try rerunning Windows Update.
- You can manually delete Windows Update files. Your Windows Update files will be deleted automatically by the previous step, which includes any corrupt files or stuck files. If it does not, you will have to manually delete your SoftwareDistribution folder.
- Restart your computer in Safe Mode.
- Navigate to C.Windows in File Explorer.
- Locate the SoftwareDistribution folder and delete it.
- Start your computer and then run Windows Update.
- You can manually download and install the latest version. If Windows 10 is still not updating, go to the official Windows 10 page and click Update Now. After the download finishes, save the file and then run it.
If you are trying to update a major feature, this process won’t work. You can try a security update by going to the Microsoft update catalog and searching for the KB number that failed to install the security update.
- Use System File Checker. This is a sign that Windows 10 may be having problems. To check for and possibly repair any problems, run the System File Checker. Once it is done, reboot your computer to try to update it.
- Fix your Windows 10 installation. The System File Checker may not be able to fix your Windows 10 installation. Next, perform a reset or a complete reinstall. All your files will be retained. This is one step away from a clean installation of Windows. It’s quite drastic.
Before you start, backup your settings and files. Also make sure that the keep all my files option is selected when performing repairs.
Is it OK to skip a Windows Update?
Windows updates should be installed as a rule of thumb. There are exceptions. If an update is particularly problematic, you might have to decide whether to skip it or install Windows 10. Some Windows 10 updates have been notoriously difficult to install, causing problems with specific hardware configurations or making it impossible for others.
You should make every effort to ensure that Windows 10 is up-to-date in order to stay on top of security updates and new features. However, there are times when you might need to wait to get the next update.