Windows 10 is an operating system that updates itself almost every single day


Because Microsoft is trying to send us all security and major updates as soon as they get released.

If you want to know more about the latest Windows update and what it contains, make sure to take a look at this article, which we update with every new big release of Windows 10.

Frequent updates are great but installing them so frequently may lead some users sometimes to get stuck during the update. The progress freezes and they have nothing to do to make it resume.

Well, if this just happened to you, follow this guide to help you:

  1. leave the update and get back to normal Windows, and…
  2. resume the update without getting stuck again.

So let’s get right to it and fix our Windows update!

Update – June 12th 2018:

If you’re currently getting your update stuck at 81%, the issue might be compatibility of the newest Windows versions (1803 / 1709) with an old wifi card you have on your computer.

Try the solutions below first, but if all else fails, you might have to physically remove your wifi card from the computer.

The update might then simply go through, but if it doesn’t – that could be because your computer needs to be connected to the internet to download a part of the update.

You will need to connect to the internet either via an ethernet cable to the modem/router, or simply by putting a new wifi card in your computer.

How to fix a stuck Windows 10 update

Situation 1: You’re stuck with the Windows update progress bar

In this case, your download or installation progress bar is frozen at some point and it’s not moving forward. Follow these steps to fix it:

progress bar stuck

1. 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% instantly after 30 minutes of waiting. That’s why you have to wait around 2 to 3 hours before you know that you’re really stuck. If nothing changes on your screen for 3 hours then you can now safely assume that 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 if 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).press on more details
  • 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.task manager to see memory

2. Found that you’re stuck? Restart your computer

  • Try the normal restart.try a normal restart to fix the issue
  • If your computer is frozen and 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
  • Now, jump to the next step by clicking here.

Situation 2: You’re stuck with Windows 10 Update (Blue) Screen

In this case, you will have to force your computer to shut down and then start it again. Make sure to be patient before doing this: only if it has been frozen for more than 3 hours, then you are safe to do this and it won’t damage your computer.

blue screen working on updates

  • Press and hold the power button until the computer / laptop is completely shut and then power it on and hold power button
  • Press the power button one more time to start your computer normally. It may take sometime after being forced to shut down, don’t worry and wait until it’s completely up.

Now that you’ve restarted your computer, let’s go through some checks and fixes to make sure the update works next time!

1. Use the update troubleshooter to fix your update settings.

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

2. Now let’s clear your Update cache manually in safe mode!

The troubleshooter actually should do this automatically, but for some reason, it fails sometimes… This is how you make sure the cache is really cleared. The best way to do this is in safe mode:

Restart your computer in safe mode from System Configuration

  • Type system configuration and then choose System Configuration.system configuration
  • Open the Boot tab and check the Safe mode checkbox, minimal and click mode enable
  • Choose Restart to restart you computer now.restart computer again
  • Jump to the next step by clicking here.

Is your computer completely frozen and you can’t access the system configuration menu?

If it is, follow this method to enter safe mode:

  • 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, right after the computer manufacturer logo. This will turn off your computer. Turn it on again and interrupt the boot process again in the same way. Do this 3 times in total.
  • After the third interruption, power your computer up without interrupting, and you’ll see a message under the Windows logo saying “Preparing Automatic Repair”.prepare automatic repair
  • Now, you will see another message saying “Diagnosing your PC”, keep waiting for a little while.diagnosing your PC
  • Now that you see this screen, choose Advanced options.automatic repair advanced options
  • Go for on troubleshoot
  • Pick Advanced options.advanced option under troubleshoot
  • We are about to finish, choose Startup Settings.startup settings
  • Now, click Restart.restart computer once again
  • After this, press F4 or F5 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 launch safe mode with networking if you’ll need to use the internet to follow this post while fixing in safe mode.remember to enable safe mode

Now that you have successfully launched safe mode, let’s continue our fixing mission:

  • Type cmd in start menu, right click on Command Prompt and then choose Run as administratorcommand prompt
  • Click Yes to give it permission .run as admin again
  • Type the following commands to stop the Windows Update service (Press Enter after each command):
net stop wuauserv
net stop bits
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.C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution

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

  • Type the following commands to Start the Windows Update service (Press Enter after each command):
net start wuauserv
net start bitsnet start bits
  • Restart your computer once again and check for Windows Updates from Settings. Check if things go smoothly this time! We hope they do. If not, read on.

3. 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 run the update again cleanly:

  • Open Control Panel and search for recovery.control panel recovery
  • Open System restore.system restore
  • Click Next.follow instructions
  • Choose a previous restore point and click next next next
  • Click Finish.last step click on finish
  • After the system restore is finished, try checking for updates again.

4. 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 safest to have a backup of your important files before you do this.

  • Type recovery in start menu and then choose Recovery Options.still not working? restart again
  • Click Get Started.recovery option get started
  • Choose either Keep my files or Remove everything.keep my files or remove everything option
  • Check for updates again.

A note before the last solution:

You may be facing some problems because of some Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) bugs, but trying to solve them may lead to a complete breakdown in which your computer won’t be able to boot up. This has happened to us and that’s why we don’t recommend playing with your BIOS and we didn’t put that option into the guide.

If you do choose to mess with your BIOS, make sure you use the correct tools that:

  • you downloaded from your computer manufacturer’s website, and…
  • fit the exact model number of your computer.

A full backup is also recommended if you intend to make any changes to the BIOS.

Situation 3: Re-install Windows 10 – Your PC will Restart Several Times

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.

Note: We have another guide that explains how to stop Windows’ automatic updates completely.

If you just got your computer unstuck but the updates still aren’t working well and you want to just stop them from downloading and installing themselves automatically, go here.

Situation 4 (Bonus!): Windows Update Stuck Upon Restart

Is your update not stuck anymore, but every time you restart and let it run it gets stuck?

If none of these is your problem and your Windows update refuses to work at all because of a metered connection, then you may like to check out this article to tell you everything about it and how to turn that on/off.


There you have it! Hopefully, these methods were able to help you fix your Windows update.

Do you have another method that you use when your Windows 10 update gets stuck? Share it with us in the comments below!

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. 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!

      • I had the same problem with the update freezing, left it frozen over night and was forced to do a hard reboot. Now after it tries to start it says Recovering previous version of windows under the windows logo, flashes a blank box and restarts over and over on its own. I have tried interrupting the power up sequence and was unable to get it to safe mode. It is locked in to recovering previous version of windows.

        • Hello Paul, please try to unplug all USB connections, Ethernet and any other cables/devices connected to your computer, force it to shut down and start it up again. Also try to boot into safe mode using the power up sequence and see if it reachable.

      • I also have a windows 10 update problem, it started to down load the update on sunday and eventually froze on the initial “Lenovo” logo screen (no windows logo), Ive tried your power off 3 times method but as it freezes almost immediatly it does not work, also tried F2 and F8 methods with no joy, Does anyone know how I can regain my system, note:- It was purchased just at the time of W10 release so came with 8.1 and updated straight to 10, I’ve got no windows disc’s, it backed up to a seperate section of the hard disc so I can’t access that, also not got the windows 10 activation code so Help me please, many thanks, Paul.

        • Hello Paul, for you have another small button next to the power button? Some Lenovo laptops got it or maybe a button at one side of it. This button can get you into some BIOS menus and some recovery options, make sure to check it. Also reply with your model number, maybe it’s not F2 or F8, maybe it’s the Delete, Escape button… try them all and I may check it for your if you send me your model number.

          • I have the exact same problem on my Lenovo C50-30. It is a desktop all in one.Cant get into anything other than BIOS Setup Utility

          • Hey Alan, have you tried interrupting the boot screen 3 times using the power button to be able to get into safe mode? I feel this one is the best solution for your way!

  2. Hi, Mina, I have faced this issue lots of times. But, after reading your answer I follow these steps using safe mode, now my problems are being solved. Thanks, for sharing an informative article. Keep updating.

    • Hello, Ross! We’re very glad it helped you and thanks for sharing your experience with us. Follow our website for more guides and feel free to post in our forums for any issued that you might face in the future with regards to Windows 10.

  3. Sebastian Nienajadlo on

    I have an issue where my computer wont boot anymore. I tried the troubleshoot but there’s no option called startup settings. All I have is ‘System Restore’ ‘Command Prompt’ ‘System Image Recovery’ ‘Go back to the previous version’ and ‘Startup Repair’. I want to point out that I cant avoid this screen even when I try to restart my pc. Also startup repair and go to previous version both dont work. Please help.

    • Hello Sebastian,
      have you tried to start your computer in safe mode? Sometimes it can fix this problem. I’m talking about this part of the guide:

      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, right after the computer manufacturer logo. This will turn off your computer. Turn it on again and interrupt the boot process again in the same way. Do this 3 times in total.
      After the third interruption, power your computer up without interrupting, and you’ll see a message under the Windows logo saying “Preparing Automatic Repair”.

      Try to follow all the steps at this part and if it’s still stuck please head to our forums, send us your computer model number and a photo of the screen you want to avoid:
      Good luck!

  4. Thanks for all the fixes and workarounds but it still won’t work for me.
    Reinstalling windows also won’t fix this…
    I had same problem with installing Windows as I have with updating it, it gets stuck on the blue windows logo with the rolling circle of dots, always stuck on 3rd roll of circles when it shows a half circle from the left.
    The OS has always been a problem for my system and always gave me errors to the point where I don’t know if I should go back to win7 or just somehow make windows stop asking me to update as it always just goes back to previous version due to the same error.

    • And also I can’t even enter safe mode nor safe mode with networking / command prompt (option 4-6), so I can’t debug anything with it.

      • Hello Mike,
        since you reinstalled Windows 10 and the problems are still remaining, this means either your computer isn’t compatible with Windows 10 or maybe your Windows 10 setup source has some problems. But anyway we will do our best to help you before switching back to Win 7.
        Please head to our forums, create a thread with you computer model number and we will check other ways for you to enter safe mode as well as its compatibility with Windows 10.
        Also make sure your tried to interrupt the startup 4 times as the guide says, because this one is the most common way.

  5. Mina,
    Not sure if you could assist me with a similar issue. I’ve just opened a new Post’ Windows 10 update Stuck at 82% all the time’
    Hopefully you can assist me?

  6. I have a Lenovo laptop. I have a black screen with the message “Windows could not complete the installation. To install Windows on this computer restart the installation.
    I have tried to restart it – it comes back to this message.
    I have tried to restart it in safe mode – no joy.
    I have tried ctl-alt- delete – no change
    I have tried ctl-shift – esc – no change
    Any ideas?

    • Hello Rosemary,
      I’ve searched for a solution for your problem and I found these steps, please give them a try:
      At the error screen shown above, press SHIFT+F10 (this should bring up a command prompt)
      Type secpol.msc to open the Security Policy console
      Navigate to Account Policies > Password Policy
      Change “Minimum password length” to 0
      Change “Password must meet complexity requirements” to Disabled
      Exit the Security Policy console (File > Exit or just click the X)
      Click OK on the error message
      If you need further help please visit our forums, we are helping lots of people there:
      Good luck!

  7. When you are in “Step II: Now let’s clear your Update cache manually in safe mode!” DO NOT click “Minimal” if you have a password on your computer. You will not be able to follow these steps after restarting your computer.

    • Hello Katelynn,
      Windows doesn’t let you log in using your PIN code because it’s a low-average security method. If you’re using your Microsoft account, then you’ll have to login using your account password in order to have access to the computer in safe mode.

  8. Yannick Hardeveld on

    My pc seems to always get stuck on the newest windows 10 updates lately,
    The download goes fine and the install before the reboot aswell but after it boots again it gets stuck at the
    “Preparing windows, please do not turn of your computer” and it jus wil nog get passed this….
    Reinstalled it couple of time and now i will format the whole thing but it gets on my nerves….

    • Hey! did you ever try to boot your computer in safe mode? This may solve your problem, it’s listed as Step II in the article.

    • Thanks for writing to us!

      Indeed, Mina writes some awesomely helpful content around here. I join your hearts 🙂

  9. My computer is ready to install updates, but can’t because it is unable to restart. I’ve tried every way that I could to get it to restart, but it just won’t. Any thoughts? Thanks!

    • Hey, try to use your Command Prompt (CMD)… Type this command and press enter:
      Shutdown –r –f
      it will force your computer to restart. See if it works and tell us how it went.

  10. This worked for me on two pcs.
    Thank you so much for the fix.
    I needed to go to network administrator
    for the second pc.

  11. For me its not working. Since jan 7 update. i cannot get any new update on my pc. My windows simply not see them. Allways showing up to date, but its not. I can only update it manually. 🙁 Whats the solution?

      • I used the Troubleshooter and also manually deleted the Cache. Did it 1 month ago. Not worked. Still not see updates. and snce deleted cache i not see the last updates list. which was deleted. Strangely its updating the Windows Defender but now my pc. Also im not seeing the installed updates either in the list. Tho my build is 16299.248

  12. Percival Blakeney on

    Latest piece of joy: The update warning is now modal – it takes over the entire screen and can’t be sent to the background or dismissed except with a three-finger-salute or the power button.

    “DOWNLOAD NOW” it screams. “After April 1, Microsoft won’t be able to install its updated vulnerabilities on your computer unless you install the most current version of Windows 10. This also includes 6Gb of critical emojis and so you might as well stare into space until some time next Thursday. Feel free to keep working on the crossword, but if you’re on a metered connection we suggest you use this time to re-mortgage your house so you can pay the next phone bill. ” (OK, I paraphrased that a little).

    Problem is, there’s a hidden dialogue sitting behind this Blue Screen of Urgency, asking “Do you want to allow Windows Update to update your computer [Yes/No]?”. And there’s no way you can get to it …

    Some of us feel it’s a miracle that you can get to a market cap of $700Bn and not hire a single tester in 43 years. Oh wait, you’ve cunningly outsourced that job to your billion-user customer base. Redmond, my sense of humour and my Stockholm Syndrome are wearing thin. Help. Please.

    • Hello Percival,
      we don’t hope that Microsoft will force anyone anymore getting the updates, that what they say in the last couple of statements. And if they will find a way to force people, we will do our best to get you out of it. I know they really miss some testing parts but we hope our feedback will reach them someday!

  13. My Acer laptop is totally stuck after I interrupted a windows 10 update. Now, all it does is show the Acer logo on startup and then the dotted circle starts revolving and then again the logo appears, the system keeps repeating this loop and does not go anywhere. I have tried all the methods of trying to get it to go into the automatic recovery mode or safe mode but nothing happens, it’s been a week since this has been happening, can you please help me?

    • Hello Ainee, did you try to interrupt the boot process three times in a row and boot in safe mode as it says in step II? if you didn’t, please try it and tell me what happened.

      • Hi, Thanks for replying. I did try the three times interrupt process but it never goes into the auto-recovery mode, instead continues the same way as I explained earlier. Is there any other way I can recover it?

        • Ok let’s try this one… unplug all USB connections, Ethernet and any other cables/devices connected to your computer, force it to shut down and start it up again. Some updates are causing this while there’s a connected USB (mouse, keyboard, storage devices) or can be connected to Internet via Ethernet. See if it works and good luck!
          Remember that you can always create a thread in our forums:

  14. Thank you so much for posting the update about the wifi card!

    Here too, the upgrade failed time and again even through a repair install by the media creator tool. I experienced 2 issues: at some point the process would hang, only leaving a black screen after which I had to power down the computer. Upon reboot it would continue up to 81% after which it got stuck completely. Another manual reboot triggered a rollback to the state before.

    I was finally able to resolve the issue following your advice. Physically removing the card was not necessary: uninstalling the driver from the device manager and disabling all extra services and startup items so that the update would be performed under a clean boot did the trick. After the upgrade the wifi adapter had automatically been detected using a new driver from microsoft instead of the one from the official vendor (Ralink corporation, now known as Mediatek).

    For reference: the pc I had issues with is a Packard Bell iMedia s2870 that came pre-installed with windows 7 home premium and had been upgraded to windows 10. The wifi card causing the problem is a Ralink RT3090. Windows shows only the generic name “802.11n Wireless LAN card” in the device manager though.

    Just in case I would advise to download the drivers on beforehand before uninstalling the adapter.

    • Hello Kris, thank you for this amazingly detailed comment, it’s really precious to me and to the website. You’re right, disabling the driver, startup items and services can do it, but you know it’s a little tricky for people to follow all these steps if there is a simpler hardware solution. Also, it may sound crazy, but sometimes people report drivers being automatically re-enabled or reinstalled and that’s why I couldn’t completely trust this although I think some of these cases are impossible. But you did the right thing after all and congratulations for solving the problem! And yes Windows 10 has the ability to identify these kinds of cards without any need for drivers but I’ll advise people to download the driver just in case. Thank you again and it will be amazing hearing from you anytime! Have a nice day!

  15. So I followed your steps but once in Safe Mode I coukdn’t use the search bar to find Command prompt. After hunting around for a bit I found it myself and started as Administrator. Tried stopping wuauserv and bits but neither was started in Safe mode. Deleted the files/folders and tried starting wuauserv and bits but got an error. Rebooted my laptop but now it will only start in safe mode and again I can’t search for System Configuration to turn Safe Mode off

    • Hello Gord, so sorry for your issue. I think this may solve it:
      In the run command windows, type msconfig and then press enter, that will bring you in the system configuration screen.
      In the Boot tab, just uncheck the safe boot box.
      Now restart your computer and see if it works.

  16. I tried everything short of re-installing windows and nothing worked. Then I physically removed the wireless network card like this article suggests and ran the update with no problems! Thank you so much! My desktop was manufactured in 2011. I use a wired connection so I don’t need the wireless card but it could be a problem for some people. Seems like Microsoft screwed up.

  17. Hi! I am windows 10 user … lately there is always popping up that i need to download the windows 10 update and I did using the windows 10 update assistant so here is my problem it is always stuck on 94% or sometimes 99% …it cannot be completed ,, I tried it again and again wait for it to be completed and I even download the windows trouble shooter but still nothing work and I am worried cause every time I open my laptop there is always popping up that I should update it unless my laptop will not be supported of Microsoft anymore ..especially after April 10 and that is tomorrow …pls help me..Thank you

    • Hello Kate, sorry for the late reply. If you have any antivirus third party app, I would recommend that you disable it temporarily and try to update your Windows again. If you’re not sure how to disable it, you can uninstall it just for one day and run the update again. I hope this helps, but if it doesn’t please don’t hesitate to post it on our forums:
      Good luck!

  18. Going back to Windows 7…enough of this madness. All my other PC’s are Macs and this one may soon follow. Microsoft is a joke. How are we supposed to get anything done with this OS?

    • Hello Bill, I really do understand how you feel, no hard feelings I’m not working for Microsoft anyway 😀 It’s just some people need a Windows computer for running some apps and games. And yes Windows 7 has more stability and less issues than Windows 10 unfortunately but I hope things will change in the next few months in order to keep the competition.

  19. Still stuck with screen-wide blue screen giving me three choices: Not now (no response), Begin Download Now (no response), or I need help (no response). I tried to interrupt boot three times and boot on fourth, and even threw in a couple more just to be safe when that didn’t work. I have a Lenovo mini desktop running Deep Freeze. Deep Freeze was supposed to be running updates every week, but evidently it has been having trouble since the update message I got was dated 2017. Evidently I have a lot of updates that need to happen, and soon. Maybe this is Windows’s way of saying I need to update NOW. Nothing else will happen until I do. Any ideas?

    • Hello Jackie, we all know that Microsoft is doing their best to force people update their computers. Despite the way they do it, I really recommend to be up-to-date because of the security flaws. Deep Freeze may be interrupting some major updates but I’m not sure (will be looking at it for you) but I would recommend that you disable it for a while, run all kind of updates (major and minor ones) and then re-enable it again. You can also boot in safe mode using the mscongif command in the Run app, then go to the boot tab and select Safe boot.
      If you have more details about the problems you face please don’t hesitate to post it (with screenshots if you want) on our forums:

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