Most of the time, Windows Update does its job with little if any attention from us. While we might check and install updates manually from time to time, most Windows 10 computers are configured to apply important updates automatically, while older versions like Windows 7 and Windows 8 usually apply these fixes the night of Patch Tuesday.
Sometimes, however, when the patch, or maybe even service pack is being installed during shutdown or startup, the update installation gets stuck during downloading or restoring as it either stocks, freezes, locks up, stops, hangs, clocks, or whatever you want to call it.
Windows Update is taking forever and it’s clear something needs to be done. Here’s how to fix it.
How to Fix a Stuck Windows Update Installation
- Press Ctrl-Alt-Del.
2. Restart your computer, using either the reset button or by powering it off and then back on using the power button. Windows will start normally and finish installing the updates.
3. Start Windows in Safe Mode.
4. Complete a System Restore to undo the changes made so far by the incomplete installation of Windows updates.
5. Try System Restore from Advanced Startup Options (Windows 10 & 8) or System Recovery Options (Windows 7 & Vista) if you’re not able to access Safe Mode or if the restore failed from Safe Mode.
6. Start your computer’s “automatic” repair process.
7. Test your computer’s memory.
8. Update BIOS. Though an outdated BIOS isn’t a common cause for this problem, it’s possible.
9. Clean install Windows. A clean install involves completely erasing the hard drive that Windows is installed on and then installing Windows again from scratch on that same hard drive. Obviously you don’t want to do this if you don’t have to, but it’s a very likely fix if the steps prior to this one were unsuccessful.