The Windows Club

Windows Update fail to install or will not download in Windows 10/8/7

Sometimes, some Windows Update fail to install, and just refuse to get installed on your computer even when you try a couple of times. If you face this problem where Windows Updates will not install, this tutorial will help you identify and troubleshoot the problem. Do create a system restore point first. You may then try any of these, in no particular order.

Windows Update Fail To Install

If Windows Update fail to install, is not working, updates will not download or keep failing, then these suggestions will help you troubleshoot & fix Windows Updates. Go through the entire post and then see which of these may apply to your system.

1. If you are unable to install Windows Updates, first clear up your Temporary Files and Internet Cache, reboot and try again. See if this helps resolve the issue. Best and easy to use the built-in Disk Cleanup utility or CCleaner.

2. Disable your Firewall and Anti-virus software and try again. Here is a list of Windows files and folders you may exclude from Antivirus scans.

3. As mentioned earlier, many times, an update may fail to install in the first instance, but for some inexplicable reason, succeeds in the 2nd or 3rd try. So try a couple of times.

4. Search on Microsoft, for the patch using the Update KB number, and download its stand-alone installer. Now apply the patch manually. Search for just the number; don’t include KB! Also, go here to see the Complete Master List of Windows Update Error Codes.

5. Use the Windows Update Troubleshooter from Microsoft. It resets Windows Updates settings to defaults.

6. Use our Fix WU tool and see if it helps. It re-registers all the dll, ocx and ax files required for the proper functioning of Windows Updates.

7. Fix corrupted Windows Update system files using DISM Tool or CheckSUR. Run System Update Readiness Tool. It can help fix problems that might prevent Windows Updates and Service Packs from installing.

8. Right-click Computer > Manage > Services > Stop the “Cryptographic Service” and rename the Catroot2 folder situated in C:\Windows\System32\Catroot to something else like say Catroot2X.


Now run the update or the installers again. This action will re-generate a new Catroot2 folder and the updates or hotfixes, should hopefully install.

9. If still, you have a problem then, go to C:\Windows\WindowsUpdate.log and look for the most recent entry. This will be present towards the end of the log. Any failed updates will have error code/s written next to them. Note them down. If you find just too many entries too confusing delete this WindowsUpdate.log and try installing the problematic updates again.

Now open the newly re-created WindowsUpdate log file and have a look at its contents.

The warnings will probably appear as -: WARNING: Failed to find updates with error code XXXXXXXX.

Now Right-click Computer > Manage > Event Viewer > Applications and Service Logs > Microsoft > Windows > WindowsUpdateClient > Operational . Check out for any Critical Message or Warning.

Next, refer the Windows Update Error Codes. This will give you the direction in which you may have to look for the solution.

11. Flush the Software Distribution Folder. Run Command Prompt as administrator. In the CMD box that appears on the computer screen, enter the following strings of text, one at a time, and hit Enter.

net stop wuauserv
net stop bits

Now browse to the C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution folder and delete all the files and folders inside.

If the files are in use, restart your device. After rebooting, run the commands above again. Your Windows Store App needs to be closed, by the way, so do not start it.

Now you will be able to delete the files from the mentioned Software Distribution folder. Now in the Command Prompt windows, type the following commands one at a time, and hit Enter:

net start wuauserv
net start bits

Reboot. If you are using Windows Update, try using Microsoft Updates or vice versa.

12. Reset the Catroot folder and see. To reset the catroot2 folder do this:

Open an elevated Command Prompt, type the following command one after the other and hit Enter:

net stop cryptsvc
md %systemroot%\system32\catroot2.old
xcopy %systemroot%\system32\catroot2 %systemroot%\system32\catroot2.old /s

Next, delete all the contents of the catroot2 folder.

Having done this, in the CMD windows, type the following and hit Enter:

net start cryptsvc

Your catroot folder will be reset, once you start Windows Update again.

13. Open an elevated command prompt windows, type the following and hit Enter:

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

This will rename pending.xml file to pending.old. Now try again.

14. Clear the BITS queue of any current jobs. To do this, type the following in an elevated CMD and hit Enter:

bitsadmin.exe /reset /allusers

15. Delete incorrect Registry values.

Open Registry Editor and navigate to the following key:


Right-click COMPONENTS. Now in the right-pane, delete the following if they exist:

Restart your computer and try again.

16. Boot in Clean Boot State and run Windows Update and see if this helps. Ater deleting the contents of SoftwareDistribution folder, try it. It works in most cases.

17. Read this, if Windows Update is not working or the Windows Update page itself is blank. Add the mentioned few websites to the whitelist.

18. This will help you if Windows Update is stuck downloading updates.

19. See this if Windows Update Page Is Blank.

20. Go here if you get error Failure configuring Windows updates. Reverting changes.

21. Use the Reset Windows Update Components Tool and see if it helps you.

22. See this post if you receive Windows 10 Update Error Code 0x8024a105 while downloading updates.

23. See this post if Windows 10 Creators Update is not installing.

24. This post will help you if you receive Potential Windows Update Database error detected error message.

These links may also interest you:

Post ported from, updated and posted here.