Windows 10 update stuck – what to do?


Windows 10 is the Windows that updates every 24 hours

Windows 10 sometimes updates itself day after day. That’s because Microsoft cares about sending security and major updates as soon as they get released. But sometimes, we find ourselves stuck in the middle of an update. The progress freezes and we have nothing we can do to make it resume. But in this guide, we’ll reveal some methods to resume your update without any hiccups.

We have another guide that explains how to stop Windows’ automatic updates completely. If you want to do that later, after you get your Windows unstuck, here it is:

Now let’s fix our Windows Update!

I- Make sure it’s really stuck

Sometimes, you may feel like it’s stuck, but in fact, the update is fixing a few things and you’ll find yourself jumping from 23% to 47% in a second after 30 minutes of waiting. That’s why you have to wait from 2 to 3 hours before assuming that you’re really stuck. If nothing changes on your screen for 3 hours then we can now safely say your update froze and you have to get out of it.

Another way to tell if the update is stuck or not is to check ff there’s activity in your CPU usage, RAM and network. To do so:

  • Press Ctrl+Shift+ESC buttons and the task manager will show up.
  • Click More details if you’re not seeing the big panel (see picture).
  • Go to the performance tab and check the activity of CPU, Memory, Disk and Internet connection too, if there’s a lot of activity that may mean you’re not stuck and some invisible progress is taking place.

II- Found that you’re stuck? Restart your computer

  • Try the normal restart.
  • If you can’t click on the start button, press Ctrl+Alt+Del and then choose the restart from the power option in the bottom right corner.Image result for ctrl alt delete windows 10
  • If it doesn’t work you may press and hold the power button until the computer / laptop is completely shut and then power it on manually.Image result for hold power button
  • After restating it, you may try again to check for Windows updates. Type check for updates in the start menu and then choose Check for updates.

III- Now that your computer isn’t stuck, Use the update troubleshooter to prevent this problem in the future.

  • Type Troubleshoot in start menu and then choose Troubleshoot.
  • Choose Windows Update and click Run the troubleshooter. 
  • If needed, choose Try troubleshooting as an administrator.
  • Choose Apply this fix.
  • Close the troubleshooter.

IV- Then, clear your update cache manually

The troubleshooter actually should do this automatically, but this is how you make sure it’s done.
First of all, start your computer in safe mode:

  • Type system configuration and then choose System Configuration.
  • Open the Boot tab and check the Safe mode checkbox, minimal and click OK.
  • Choose Restart to restart you computer now.

You’re now running Windows 10 in Safe mode.

  • Type cmd in start menu, right click on Command Prompt and then choose Run as administrator
  • Click Yes to give it permission .
  • Type the following commands to stop Windows Update service (Press Enter after each command)
net stop wuauserv
net stop bits
  • Navigate to C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution and delete all the files and folders there. Don’t worry, the next time Windows Update will run, it will recreate all of them from scratch with less probability to get an error.

Now let’s restart Windows Update service using the Command Prompt as administrator

  • Type the following commands to Start Windows Update service (Press Enter after each command)
net start wuauserv
net start bits
  • Restart your computer once again and check for Windows Updates.

V- Updates still getting stuck? Try System Restore

This will bring back your computer to a previous state, this may help avoid any error that happened recently and running the update again cleanly:

  • Open Control Panel and search for recovery.
  • Open System restore.
  • Click Next.
  • Choose a previous restore point and click Next.
  • Click Finish.
  • After the system restore is finished, try check for updates again.

VI- Update still getting stuck?? Restart/recover your PC

If you run out of options then you should recover your system. Fortunately, there’s an option to recover your system without deleting any files but it’s better to have a backup too.

  • Type recovery in start menu and then choose Recovery Options.
  • Click Get Started.
  • Choose either Keep my files or Remove everything.

VII- Re-install Windows 10

If none of the previous steps works, you should re-install your Windows 10. A fresh copy is always a good last solution and it’s important for Windows Update to be working smoothly.

Still stuck? Ask your question in our forum!

About Author

Mina studies communications and electronics engineering and works as a technical support. He keeps himself up to date with the latest developments and news in technology. He loves helping people with their daily tech issues, so he's always ready to go the extra mile.


  1. Pingback: Microphone Not Working in Windows 10? | Win 10 FAQ

  2. Well IDK, …I must be attempting to upgrade a system that is several dozen builds newer than when this post was written, and sadly Microsoft hasn’t eased up with their updates and freezing software any. I don’t have access to anything other than a simple blue screen which says “Working on updates 74% complete Don’t turn off your computer”, so I don’t have any of these recovery options, and since the computer was frozen I did hazard an attempt at pressing the power button and initiating a hard reboot. When rebooted, I get no options of entering the safe mode, or initiating a system restore, the system goes directly back into attempting to work on the updates….and gets caught up and frozen at the exact same spot as what it did before the reboot. 🙁

    • Hello Tara,
      I believe the build is not the problem but I’ll help you launch safe mode without waiting Windows to startup, please follow these steps:
      When you power up your computer/laptop, just after the logo of your device manufacturer the Windows logo will appear. You will have to interrupt the boot process three times in a row, to do so, hold the power button as soon as you see the Windows logo. Repeat this for 3 times. Now power it up, you’ll see a message under the Windows logo saying “Preparing Automatic Repair”, then another message saying “Diagnosing your PC”, then choose Advanced options, then Troubleshoot, follow this path: Troubleshoot -> Advanced options -> Startup Settings -> Restart. After this, press F4 when you see a list of options for restart, F4 will make you restart your computer in safe mode. You can also press F5 to start safe mode with networking. Once you restart and get into safe mode, follow the steps found in the guide to help you remove any old damaged updates and then you’ll be able to start your computer normally and update from scratch. If you have any questions or need any further help, please visit our forum and create a new thread and we’ll be happy to reply:
      Good luck!

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