The main issues that cause Windows updates to fail are – 1) getting stuck on downloading or installing, or 2) error codes while installing updates. This tutorial shows you how to fix Windows Update errors in Windows 10 or Windows 11. In this step-by-step guide, we will help you in troubleshooting almost all types of Windows Update errors and other issues.
Here are some of the most common error codes that you see when a Windows update fails to install an update: 0x80070002, 0x80070643, 0x80070003, 0x8024200B, 0x80070422, 0x80070020, 0x80073712, 0x800705B4, 0x80004005, 0x8024402F. Some of these errors might cause your PC to stuck on “Checking for updates…“, “Downloading updates 0%” or “Installing 0%“. Keep reading to know how to fix these errors.
This tutorial walks you through a series of troubleshooting steps to get your Windows update issues resolved. Make sure you follow the steps in the order they are provided here.
1. Fix Windows Update Errors Using Troubleshooter
The first thing to try when you see a Windows Update failure message is Windows Update Troubleshooter. This utility is provided by Microsoft itself to help people troubleshoot Windows update errors. Follow these steps to run the Windows Update troubleshooter:
Step 1: Start Windows Update Troubleshooter
You can easily launch the Windows Update troubleshooter by going to the following path:
Go to Start > Settings > System > Troubleshoot > Other troubleshooters. Next, under Most frequent, select Windows Update and click Run.
Go to Start > Settings > Update & Security > Troubleshoot > Additional troubleshooters. Here, under Get up and running, select Windows Update > Run the troubleshooter.
Alternatively, you can also download the Windows update troubleshooter for Windows 10 from here.
After launching the Windows update troubleshooter click Next.
Windows update troubleshooter will look for errors in Windows update components. However, it may ask you to run as an Administrator. Click on Try troubleshooting as an Administrator to continue.
After that Troubleshooter will start with administrative privileges. Click on Next again.
Step 2: Apply the Fix to Solve Windows Update Errors
Windows update troubleshooter will check your system for various types of errors. After analyzing errors in Windows Update, the troubleshooter will ask to Apply this fix or Skip this fix to continue troubleshooting.
Windows Update troubleshooter will reset Windows update components and clear the Windows Update cache and restart the services. If the Windows update troubleshooter was successful in resolving the Windows update issue, it would show you details of fixed issues. Now you can close the troubleshooter.
Step 3: Check for Updates Again
It’s time to check if Windows Update issues were fixed or not. Go to Settings > Update & Security and click on Check for updates. If issues were fixed successfully, you will be able to download and install updates on your Windows PC.
2. Manually Fix or Reset Windows Update Components
In case the troubleshooter fails to troubleshoot Windows Updates errors in Windows 10 or Windows 11, you can perform those troubleshooting steps manually. You can reset Windows update components using simple commands in the command prompt. Just follow these steps carefully:
Step 1: Run Command Prompt as Administrator
First, we need to stop Windows Update and Cryptographic Services. To stop these services we need to run the Command prompt as Administrator.
Search cmd in the Start menu, right-click on it and select Run as administrator.
You may see the UAC prompt. Click on Yes to continue. After that Command Prompt will open with administrative privileges.
Step 2: Rename the SoftwareDistribution and Catroot2 Folders
Enter the following commands and press Enter after each to stop Windows Update & Cryptographic services.
net stop wuauserv net stop cryptsvc
After stopping both services, we will rename SoftwareDistribution and catroot2 folders. These folders store the Windows Update database. If any of the database files get corrupted, it causes Windows Update to fail. Usually, if you try to rename these folders without stopping Windows update and Cryptographic services, it will give you an error.
Enter the following commands to rename SoftwareDistribution and catroot2 folders:
ren C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution_old ren C:\Windows\System32\catroot2 catroot2_old
Step 3: Start the Services and Check for Windows Update Again
Now, after renaming both the folders, start Windows Update and Cryptographic services again. Type the following commands and press Enter after each command.
net start wuauserv net start cryptsvc
It’s time to go to Settings > Update & Security and click on Check for updates to see if the problem is fixed or not. If the Windows Update problem was fixed, you will see Windows Updates working correctly.
3. Fix Windows Update File Corruption
If Windows Update Error was not fixed even after performing the manual Windows Update component reset, you can now move to the third method i.e. fix Windows file corruption. In this process, you need to run both DISM and SFC commands and not only DISM. Follow these steps:
Step 1: Scan and Restore Health Using DISM and SFC Tools
Open Command Prompt with Administrator rights. In the command prompt run the DISM command in the following format-
DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth
This command takes some time to execute depending upon the configuration of your PC.
After DISM, run the SFC command in the following format:
This command also takes time to scan and fix system errors in Windows Update components.
Step 2: Run Windows Update
Most probably Windows update issue would be resolved by this step and you will be able to update your Windows to the latest version via Windows Update.
Go to Settings > Update & Security and click on Check for updates to see if Windows Update issues have been resolved or not. If you successfully resolve the issue, Windows Update will work correctly.
4. Reset Windows or Perform a Clean Install
If Windows update issues are not resolved even after trying the above methods, you now need to either Reset Windows 11 or 10 using Windows Recovery or perform a clean install of Windows on your PC.
A) Reset Windows using Windows Recovery
If the Windows update issue still persists, you can try resetting your Windows 10 or 11 using Windows Recovery. You can perform Factory Reset in Windows just like you do on Android phones.
Go to Settings > Update & Security and click on Recovery in the left pane. The following tutorial may help you with step by step process of resetting Windows 10 or 11 using Windows Recovery:
B) Clean Install Windows 10 or 11
If resetting Windows 11 or 10 using Windows Recovery doesn’t work, the only option left for you is a clean installation of Windows 10 or 11 on your PC. However, before performing a clean install of Windows 10, take a full backup of your important data. Clean installation may erase your Hard disk drive completely.
For performing a clean installation of Windows 10 or 11, you will require a bootable Windows USB or DVD. You can check this tutorial for installing a clean copy of Windows:
Troubleshoot and Fix Windows 10 Update Issues
In most cases, your Windows Update issue would be fixed by the first and second methods only. There will be hardly 10 percent of cases that will go up to the third method. And in 1% of cases (worst scenarios), you may require to go through method 4.
Hope this guide helps you resolve Windows Update issues. In case you have any queries and suggestions, feel free to share them in the comment section down below.