Top 7 Fixes For Windows 7 Update Failed

Even after Windows 11, some people prefer to use Windows 7 on their PCs and avoid upgrading Windows as they are accustomed to how Windows 7 works.

The common issue that most users have reported on online forums is that Windows often pause updates at 0% downloaded when downloading updates. 

Since Microsoft has stopped providing the support for Windows 7, here is a list of steps when the windows 7 update failed.

windows 7 update failed

Before moving ahead, the internet connection you are using mustn’t be labeled as metered connection. Additionally, ensure that downloading over a metered connection is turned on.

Apart from that, if the system is currently updating, leave it be for one or two hours and then check if the size of the Software Distribution folder has increased or not. If it has, then waits till the updates are completed.

Why Aren’t Windows Updates Getting Installed?

Windows updates need enough disk space to be installed fully. If adequate space is not provided to them, they will be stuck. Try adding more space on your hard disk if the space is running out. Alternatively, you can use disk cleanup software to clean the disks of temporary files and cache.

Another possible reason is corrupted or deleted system files that cause Windows updates to fail. Outdated drivers such as network cards, graphic cards, etc., cause incompatibility issues and cause Windows updates to fail.

Windows 7 Update Failed To Install

While Windows 7 updates have become harder, Microsoft has completely removed its attention from Windows 7 operating system.

But don’t worry. We understand your love for Windows 7 and are here with seven methods to help you download updates on your operating system.

  1. Prepare the Prerequisites for Windows 7 Updates
  2. Manually Download and Install the Updates
  3. Use the Microsoft Update Diagnostic Troubleshooting Tool
  4. Modify the Permissions for the SoftwareDistribution Folder
  5. Run the Update in Clean Boot
  6. Disable Your Windows Firewall
  7. Try and Install Updates Automatically

Fix 1: Arrange the Prerequisites for Windows 7 Updates

There are certain prerequisites for downloading Windows 7 updates, without which the Operating System will be unable to update.

Your system must have Internet Explorer 11 (IE 11) and Microsoft .NET 4.6.1 framework. Sometimes the operating system might update itself without needing the above software. However, this software is necessary to ensure that the update process is completed in the usual way.

You can download the recent version of the Microsoft .NET framework from this link here. Once the file is downloaded, you need to follow the on-screen instructions and install it. Make sure that you have constant internet access.

Install Microsoft .NET

Microsoft .NET Framework should be updated, and the integrity should be verified. Even if you have recently installed the framework or have its latest version, the framework’s integrity doesn’t need to be intact. You might need to repair it.

Microsoft .NET Framework integrity
  • Simultaneously press Windows and R keys and open the Run dialog box to verify the framework’s integrity. 
  • In the Open-label box, type Control Panel and click OK to open the control panel.
  • On the top left corner of the control panel, click on View by category and navigate to the Programs and Features section. Tap Uninstall a program option and click on the Turn Windows features on or off option.
  • Look for .NET Framework 4.6.1 in the list of features and ensure that it is enabled. If it’s not, click on the checkbox next to it to enable it. If the .NET framework checkbox is already enabled, uncheck the checkbox, reboot the system, and re-enable it.
  • Restart the computer to apply the changes.
Set up Internet Explorer 11
  • Navigate to this link to download Internet Explorer 11 and download the browser. Based on your operating system, choose either the 32-bit version or the 64-bit version.
Install Internet Explorer 11
  • Once IE 11 is downloaded, please navigate to the location where it is stored and double-click on it to launch its installation wizard. 
  • Please follow the on-screen specifications to complete the installation.

Once you have authenticated the integrity of your system and downloaded Internet Explorer 11, check if you can update Windows 7.

Fix 2: Manually Download and Install the Windows Updates

Instead of waiting for Microsoft to fix your problem or for Windows to show a solution, you can update Windows 7 manually. 

Manually updating Windows is less error-prone as you can verify which update you want. However, they are a bit complicated as you will have to verify system requirements. 

Don’t worry, as we have provided easy-to-understand steps through which you can end up with an updated Windows 7 in no time.

  • Follow this link to the latest Servicing Stack for Windows 7 updates. The current version will be shown in bold. Download the latest Servicing Stack Update, and then download the latest rollup. Choose x64 or x86 versions depending on your system requirements.
Install Service Stack and Rollup
  • It is mandatory to download these updates as they contain upgraded versions of the Update Agent that will help you skip the endless search for new updates and provide future updates readily.
  • Download the service agent and rollup files on your system and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the update process. Start installing the Servicing Stack file and then move on to the rollup.

Once completed, check to see if the updates are successfully downloaded. 

Fix 3: Apply the Microsoft Update Diagnostic Troubleshooting Tool

Microsoft offers a FixIt tool that allows users to fix Windows 7 update issues. The tool is useful, especially if your update is stuck at 0% downloaded. The FixIt tool is specifically designed to fix any Windows Update errors.

  • Navigate to the link and download the FixIt tool. Since Microsoft has abandoned the tool, you won’t be able to find it on Microsoft’s official website.
Install FixIt
  • After the file is downloaded, please install it following the on-screen instructions.

The FixIt tool will help you automatically identify the problems Windows 7 update and resolve it. Additionally, you can also use the Windows Update Troubleshooter for this purpose.

Install Windows Update Troubleshooter

Fix 4: Change the Permissions for the SoftwareDistribution Folder

Windows contains a SoftwareDistribution folder in which C:\WINDOWS\WindowsUpdate.log writes update information. However, due to no insufficient access, the update file cannot do that and gets stuck.

  • Navigate to and open File Explorer and go to the C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution folder.
  • Right-click on the folder and choose the Properties option from the context menu.
  • Please navigate to the Security tab and click on the Advanced button.
  • Now go to Owner: label and click on the Change button next.
  • Choose your user account in the Select User or Group button by clicking on the Advanced button. Alternatively, enter the user account in the object name to select. Once done, click OK.
  • Right-click on the SoftwareDistribution folder again and go to Properties -> Security tab.
  • Tap the Edit… button, choose the group or user name and check the Full control checkbox.
  • Please click the Apply button. After that, click OK.

Once done, the Windows update will gain edit access to the SoftwareDistribution folder and will be able to install the updates.

Fix 5: Run the Update in Clean Boot

A background service may be interfering with the Windows update process. You can try to clean and boot your system to stop any unnecessary services.

  • Simultaneously press Windows and R keys on your keyboard to open the Run dialog box. 
  • In the Open: label box, type msconfig and hit enter or click OK.
  • In the System Configuration window, please switch to the Services tab, tap the Hide all Microsoft Services checkbox, and select Disable all.
  • Next, please switch to the Startup tab and click on Disable all to disable all startup services.
  • Click OK and restart your computer.

It will restart your computer with a clean boot. Check whether Windows 7 can update or not. Once the update is complete, exit the clean boot mode.

Fix 6: Disable Your Windows Firewall

Often Windows Firewall interrupts the Windows update service and causes Windows 7 update issues. You can turn off your firewall and check if this allows you to install updates.

  • Simultaneously press Windows and R keys and open the Run dialog box. 
  • In the Open-label box, type Control Panel and click OK to open the control panel.
  • On the top left corner of the Control Panel window, click on View by Small Icons and navigate to Windows Firewall.
  • Please click on the Turn Windows Firewall on or off option on the left side.
  • Under Home and private network, click on the Turn off Windows Firewall (not recommended) radio button.
  • Click OK to disable the firewall.

Once disabled, check to see if Windows 7 updates can download or not.

Fix 7: Try and Install Updates Automatically

It isn’t recommended that you install automatic updates without warning users as it can slow down your computer. You can make the following changes to Update settings.

  • Launch the control panel and navigate to the System and Security section. 
  • Navigate to Windows Update and click on the Important updates dropdown.
  • Choose the Never check for updates (not recommended) option and click OK.

Following this, you will be able to download the updates for Windows 7. Hopefully, the methods listed in our guide would have helped you install the Windows 7 updates that were stuck.