Windows Update status Pending install or download, Initializing, Downloading, Installing, Awaiting install

Sometimes you may find that your Windows 10 is stuck with Windows Update status being displayed as Pending install, Pending download, Initializing, Downloading, Installing or Awaiting install. This post explains what these terms mean. If you face this issue, here’s what you can do to resolve the issue.

windows update status pedning install

All Windows Update stages have a status. While they may get displayed under normal circumstances, they do get displayed when the update process is stuck. It can be because of the settings on the computer, or it could be because of the users choice. These are the types of Windows Update status you may see:

  1. Pending Download
  2. Downloading
  3. Pending install
  4. Awaiting install
  5. Initializing
  6. Installing.

1] Windows Update status Pending download

Windows Update status Pending download

What it means:

Windows 10 now offers to notify the user that there is an update available for your computer. Unless it’s a critical security update, it will not download the update.

How to fix the issue:

You should manually click on the download button to start downloading updates.

However, If you want to change this to automatic download, and want Windows to do any of the following, then you can configure your Group Policy settings:

Configure Windows Update Download Notification

Choose the second option so that download can happen in the background, and you get notified about its installation.

The setting also offers you to schedule install day, and time to complete the installation. You can also choose to install on a particular day, allowing you to update on certain days when you do not have work.

There is an additional reason which could cause this — Metered connection. If you are connected to broadband which is marked as metered connection, then it will not download the update. However, it will have a clear mention of Metered connection issue. Here is how to change the metered connection status.

2] Windows Update Status Downloading

Windows Update Stuck on Downloading

What it means:

While it means that it’s connected with Windows Update servers and initiating the download, but if it’s stuck for long on any percentage, then we have a problem. Usually, updates don’t take long to download but can get stuck if there is an issue with the Software Update folders in your computer or Windows Update service.

How to fix the issue:

We have written a complete guide on how to resolve this downloading status issues. Please read it. You will have to restart the Windows Update Service, BITS service, and also clear the contents of the Software Distribution folder. You will also have to correctly configure the TrustedInstaller service.

3] Windows Update status Pending install

What it means: 

Windows has completed downloading the update and is waiting for it to install. There can be multiple reasons why an update gets into the pending stage.

  • A manual restart is required
  • Active Hours
  • Group Policy Settings

How to fix the issue:

It is easy to fix this issue. The first option is where you go ahead and install the update manually. Simply restart your computer to do this.

The second is a classic scenario. If you shut down your computer within Active Hours, it will never install the updates. So either you change Active Hours or install it manually.

The third is using Group Policy Setting — Allow Automatic Updates immediate installation.

Allow Automatic Updates immediate installation

  • Type gpedit.msc to open Group Policy Editor.
  • Navigate to Computer Configuration > Policies> Administrative Templates > Windows components > Windows Update
  • Locate policy Allow Automatic Updates immediate installation.
  • Double click to open, and then enable it.

When the status is set to Enabled, Automatic Updates will immediately install these updates once they are downloaded and ready to install.

You will have to make sure to Configure Automatic Updates policy and keep it enabled. We talked about it at the above point.

4] Windows Update status Awaiting install

Windows Update Awaiting Install

What it means:

It means it’s waiting for a specific condition to full fill. It can be because there is a previous update pending, or the computer is Active Hours, or a restart is required.

How to fix the issue:

If the update stays in that place for days, then it needs a fix. Try the following-

  • Check if there is another update pending, If yes, then install it first.
  • Check if the status remains the same by disabling Active Hours
  • Restart the Windows Update Service. In the command prompt, type
    • net stop wuauserv
    • regsvr32 %windir%\system32\wups2.dll
    • net start wuauserv
  • Run Windows Update Troubleshooter.

5] Windows Update Status Initializing

What it means:

It means that Windows Update process is getting ready to install the update, and preparing for any pre-requisites. It can including checking on storage space, dependent files, and more.

How to fix the issue:

If the update status stays on Initializing for a couple of days, follow these tips to resolve the error.

  • Restart Windows and then restart Windows Update service as explained above.
  • Open Windows Settings and go to Update & Security> Troubleshoot > Windows Update. Run it
  • Run SFC and DISM command to fix any corruption.
  • Clear the SoftwareDistribution and Catroot2 folder. The download will start again when you do so.

6] Windows Update Status Installing

What it means:

It means, all preparations had been done, and the Windows Update system is now installing the update. You should see a progress bar, with percentage.

How to fix the issue:

If the status is installing for long, there is not much you can do except for the following:

  • Clear the SoftwareDistribution and Catroot2 folder. Restart the computer, and it will start downloading the update again.
  • Restart Windows Update, BITS, and CryptSvc services, by executing the following commands in the same sequence.
    • net stop wuauserv
    • net stop cryptSvc
    • net stop bits
    • net stop msiserver
    • net start wuauserv
    • net start cryptSvc
    • net start bits
    • net start msiserver
  • Manually reset Windows Update components.

We hope this post clarified what the terms mean. If you face a specific error, simply search for the error message or code here on this site.

Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.

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