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22 Solutions To Fix Windows Update Keeps Failing

windows update keeps failing

We are all well acquainted with the frustration of a failed update. But sadly, this issue persists with many software products, and Windows is no exception. 

Do you find yourself in a situation where you are trying again and again to download the latest Windows update, but you fail despite all your efforts? 

If you face this issue, you have come to the right place! Keep reading this article to know exactly how to get that latest update if the Windows update keeps failing.

Contents show

How do I get the latest Windows Updates?

We have listed all the possible solutions for you to get Windows Update in your Windows 11/10/8/7 systems. Troubleshoot your system by following the methods listed below and be free from any installation errors you might be facing while trying to download new Windows updates.

  1. Keep Trying Till You Succeed
  2. Uninstall Temporary Files And Delete Web Browser Cache
  3. Deactivate Any Running Anti-virus And Firewalls
  4. Execute SFC And DISM Tools
  5. Operate Windows Update Troubleshooter
  6. Alter Windows Update Component To Default Option
  7. Employ FixWU
  8. Flush The SoftwareDistribution Folder In Your System
  9. Try To Reset The Catroot Folder
  10. Review The Status Through Windows Update Services
  11. Inspect The Windows Updates Log File
  12. Rename The pending.xml File
  13. Empty The BITS Queue
  14. Clear Any Erroneous Values In The Registry Editor
  15. Execute Windows Module Installer
  16. Execute The Background Intelligent Transfer Service Troubleshooter
  17. Download The Stand-Alone Installer
  18. Utilize Validated Proxy Servers
  19. Perform Clean Boot On Your System Execute Windows Update
  20. Take Assistance of Microsoft Virtual Agent
  21. Ensure That Important URLs Are Not Blocked
  22. Reach Out To The Microsoft Support Team

Let us now explore these solutions further to give you a better understanding of how to sort this issue out. Make sure first to set up a system restore point in your system. 

Now you are ready to try out any of the below-listed methods and choose whichever works best. Keep reading!

Correcting Errors Related to Windows Update Keeps Failing

1. Keep Trying Till You Succeed

We are all aware of the quote, “If at first, you don’t succeed. Try, try, try again”. This philosophy works well, especially when you are trying to install updates. 

In most cases, if you keep trying to install the update despite the first few times resulting in failures, you will end up succeeding at one point. Just don’t give up and keep at it.

2. Uninstall Temporary Files And Delete Web Browser Cache

If you are still not getting the update, you can try to uninstall any temporary files in your systems. You can also try to delete the cache memory of your web browser. 

Once you have done this, ensure to reboot your system. You can take the assistance of tools such as Disk Cleanup utility or CCleaner to make your job easier.

3. Deactivate Any Running Anti-Virus And Firewalls

One more method you can try is to deactivate any running Anti-Virus in your System. Ensure you have also deactivated any firewalls, as they could hinder your updates from getting downloaded.  

Virus and Threat Protection settings in the Security tab on windows

4. Execute SFC And DISM Tools

SFC stands for System File Checker. It helps you to get rid of system files that are corrupted. Corrupted system files can stand in the way of any upcoming updates getting downloaded properly.  

Command Prompt open on Windows

One more tool in our arsenal to help get rid of harmful system files is DISM. Although the Dism.exe tool has many applications, it comes in handy to help us identify and remove any corrupted Windows Updates files. 

Please keep in mind that you will have to execute a different command in case your goal is to repair any corrupted Windows Update files. The standard /RestoreHealth command will not be of much use here.

DISM performs the task of replacing any corrupt or absent system files with proper ones. If your Windows Update Client is unusable, you will be provoked to utilize a running Windows installation as a repair source.

Execute the following DISM command:

DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /Source:C:\RepairSource\Windows /LimitAccess

You are now required to replace the C:\RepairSource\Windows placeholder with the location of your repair source.

After completing the above step, a log file will be created by DISM in %windir%/Logs/CBS/CBS.log. Any issues found will be taken care of by the tool itself.

This is another solution to help you to install Windows Updates in your system.

Command Prompt on Windows with a command under process

5. Operate Windows Update Troubleshooter

Utilize the Windows Update Troubleshooter provided by Microsoft. It will automatically reset the Windows Updates settings to the default options. Another option is to execute the Online Windows Troubleshooter from Microsoft.

Windows Control Panel with System and Security option

6. Alter Windows Update Component To Default Option

Utilize the Reset Windows Update Agent Tool (a Microsoft tool). You can also utilize the Reset Windows Update Tool (a 3rd-party tool). 

This PowerShell script will enable you to Reset the Windows Update Client. Hopefully, these tools will prove useful to help you install updates into your system.

7. Employ FixWU

You can also use our  FixWU tool to help you in this matter. It performs the function of re-registering all the system’s dll, ocx, and ax files. This is a very important step to ensure the smooth installation of Windows Updates.

8. Flush The SoftwareDistribution Folder In Your System

You can also try to flush the SoftwareDistribution Folder in your system. To do this, you are required to Run Command Prompt as the administrator. 

A CMD prompt box will be displayed on your monitor. Now you must enter the given strings of text, one after the other, and press Enter:

net stop wuauserv

net stop bits

Now head over to the C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution folder and remove all the files and folders.

In case some files are under execution, you must restart your device. After the booting procedure is completed, execute these commands again. Ensure that your Windows Store App is closed.

Now you can remove the files from the Software Distribution folder. Execute the below listed commands in the Command Prompt box, ensure to type them one after the other, and press Enter:

net start wuauserv

net start bits

Windows Command Prompt with a successfully completed Command

Now reboot your system and try installing Windows Updates.

9. Try To Reset The Catroot Folder

Follow the below steps to reset the cataroot2 folder:

  • Open the Command Prompt window in your system, type the given command, and press Enter:
  • net stop cryptsvc
    md %systemroot%\system32\catroot2.old
    xcopy %systemroot%\system32\catroot2 %systemroot%\system32\catroot2.old /s
  • Now you must remove all the files and folders in the catroot2 folder.
  • Now, again open the Command Prompt box in your system. Type the following command and hit Enter:
  • net start cryptsvc
  • Restart Windows Updates again to reset the catroot2 folder.

10. Review The Status Through Windows Update Services

To do this, you must open Windows Services Manager and ensure that the services related to Windows Updates, such as Windows Update, Windows Update Medic, Update Orchestrator Services, etc., are enabled.

The standard configuration of a Windows 11/10 PC is as given below:

  • Windows Update Service – Manual (Triggered)
  • Windows Update Medic Services – Manual
  • Cryptographic Services – Automatic
  • Background Intelligent Transfer Service – Manual
  • DCOM Server Process Launcher – Automatic
  • RPC Endpoint Mapper –  Automatic
  • Windows Installer – Manual.

This will guarantee that the required Services are present.

You must also ensure that the dependencies of Windows Update services run along with the direct services.

Firstly you are required to search for “services” in the search box present in the TaskBar. Click on the displayed search result. Once the Services window is displayed on your screen, search for Windows Update, DCOM Server Process Launcher, and RPC Endpoint Mapper. 

Ensure that they are running. In case they are not running, you are required to run each one of them manually.

Services list in Windows Services tab

11. Inspect The Windows Updates Log File

If the problem persists, go to C:\Windows\WindowsUpdate.log and search for the newest entry. This will be found as the last entry in the log. If any update fails, it will have an error code/s written next to them. 

Please make a note of them. If you have many entries and find them confusing, delete this WindowsUpdate.log and try installing the updates causing the problem again.

Now you can open the windows update log file you have re-created and go through its contents.

Now you must follow these steps: Right-click Computer > Manage > Event Viewer > Applications and Service Logs > Microsoft > Windows > WindowsUpdateClient > Operational . Keep an eye out for any Critical Message or Warning.

Now have a look at the Windows Update Error Codes. This will give you an idea of how to proceed to find a solution that works. You can also try searching for the error code of the Windows Update and see if a solution is found.

12. Rename The pending.xml File

For this method, you are required to open a command prompt box and type the following. Press Enter:

Ren c:\windows\winsxs\pending.xml pending.old

The pending.xml file will now be renamed to pending. Old. Now try installing Windows Updates again.

13. Empty The BITS Queue

Empty the BITS queue of any jobs present in it. To do this, type the following in the CMD prompt and hit Enter:

bitsadmin.exe /reset /allusers

14. Clear Any Erroneous Values In The Registry Editor

Head over to the Registry Editor and go to the following key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\COMPONENTS

Click on COMPONENTS. Now look for the following in the right pane. If they are present, then delete them:

  • PendingXmlIdentifier
  • NextQueueEntryIndex
  • AdvancedInstallersNeedResolving

Now restart your computer and try installing Windows Updates again.

15. Execute Windows Module Installer

Windows Module Installer is a built-in service of the Windows 10 systems. It helps you when you are facing trouble with Windows updates.

To utilize this, you must open a cmd prompt as the admin.

Enter the following:

SC config trustedinstaller start=auto

Once you have run the above command, the message  [SC] ChangeServiceConfig SUCCESS will be displayed on the console.

Close the cmd prompt and ensure that the buttons are back to normal.

16. Execute The Background Intelligent Transfer Service Troubleshooter

Execute the Background Intelligent Transfer Service Troubleshooter. Background Intelligent Transfer Service, also known as BITS, aids in transferring, downloading, or uploading files between a client and server. 

It also displays all progress information related to the transfers. It also helps us to download files from another system. This Windows Service plays a major role in ensuring that Windows Updates works properly.

17. Download The Stand-Alone Installer

So for the Windows Update patch on the Microsoft Update Catalog website using the Update KB number. Once you have located it, download the stand-alone installer. 

The next step is to apply the patch manually. Look for the number individually without including KB.

18. Utilize Validated Proxy Servers

You can also utilize authenticated and validated Proxy Servers to fix any issues you face with Windows Updates and any Microsoft Store app Installation problems.

19. Perform Clean Boot On Your System Execute Windows Update

Now you must boot your system in Clean Boot State. Once this has been done, you are required to run Windows Update. This solution has worked well for many users.

General Tab on Windows with an option selected

20. Take Assistance of Microsoft Virtual Agent

If the problem persists after you have tried all the methods mentioned above, you can use Microsoft Virtual Agent’s assistance to guide you.

21. Ensure That Important URLs Are Not Blocked

Ensure that the URLs listed below are not blocked as they are important for Windows Updates to be installed smoothly:

  • http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com
  • http://*.windowsupdate.microsoft.com
  • https://*.windowsupdate.microsoft.com
  • http://*.update.microsoft.com
  • https://*.update.microsoft.com
  • http://*.windowsupdate.com
  • http://download.windowsupdate.com
  • https://download.microsoft.com
  • http://*.download.windowsupdate.com
  • http://wustat.windows.com
  • http://ntservicepack.microsoft.com
  • http://go.microsoft.com
  • http://dl.delivery.mp.microsoft.com
  • https://dl.delivery.mp.microsoft.com
  • https://stats.microsoft.com

22. Reach Out To The Microsoft Support Team

If none of the above solutions have worked for you, then it is best to leave the issue in the hands of the Microsoft Support Team. You can always count on them to help you out.

Conclusion:

This article covers the majority of available solutions to get Windows Updates to install smoothly again in your Windows systems. We hope that one of these methods has proved helpful to you and has resolved your issue. 

If the problem persists, get in touch with an experienced professional, and they will help you out.

Can the Solutions to Fix Driver Power State Failure on Windows Also Help with Windows Update Failures?

Yes, the solutions for driver power state failure can also help with Windows update failures. Often, issues with driver power can lead to problems with Windows updates. By fixing the driver power state failure, you may also resolve the issues causing Windows update failures.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How Much Is Time Required To Install Windows Updates?

To get the latest updates in the shortest possible time, we must ensure that the following conditions are satisfied. The rate at which updates can be installed in our system is directly proportional to these factors:
– Network Connection Speed
– Network Settings
– Update Size
Ensure your system receives a good internet signal to guarantee faster Windows update downloads.

What If The Update Size Is Larger Than The Disk Space Available In My System?

If the size of the update being installed exceeds the disk space available in your system, you will be required to uninstall some unnecessary files. 
If you do not want to remove those files, you can consider moving them into a USB drive or OneDrive. Updates are important as they help keep your system safe and secure, so installing them is necessary.

Updates Drain A Lot Of Battery Life. How Can I Avoid This?

Updates can sometimes be very taxing on your system and drain most of your battery life. One countermeasure you can take is to ensure that your systems are plugged in when they are not under active usage. 
Thus, even if an update is installed on your system, it will not drain too much battery life.

How Can I View The Installed Updates In My System?

You can view the updates installed in your system by referring to the update history log. It also displays the time at which every update was installed in your system. 
This list can also be utilized to delete any specific update, although it is better if this is not done as you could cause harm to your system if you do not know what you are doing. 
Follow these steps to view the update history:
Start  > Settings  > Windows Update  > Update history.