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, on your Windows 10/8/7 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.
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.
Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP since then. 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.