How to Fix Windows Update Failure

Posted by Arch on October 24, 2019
how to fix windows update failure

When Windows updates, it fixes reported glitches and bugs and adds new features that should improve performance. These updates don’t happen too frequently, but when they do you mustn’t interrupt the process.

If something happens during the update, it may cause an error that will prevent the system from completing the process itself. However, there’s no need to worry. Windows update errors happen more often than you think, and there are ways to fix them.

This article will list several methods that may solve this problem.

Option 1: Get the Windows Update Troubleshooter

Since update fails are frequent with Windows, Microsoft released the Windows Update Troubleshooter. This is an official tool that checks the update-related components and tries to resolve the issue.

If there are no serious issues with the system, this tool should fix the corrupted files and the update process should run smoothly.

This is an official Microsoft tool that you may download on the Microsoft website, so the software is safe and there’s nothing to worry about. Follow these instructions to download it:

  1. Go to the Microsoft Update Troubleshooter web page.
  2. Choose the software depending on your Windows version (you can select between Windows 10, or 7 and 8).
  3. Wait for the download to finish.
  4. Launch the file. There’s no installation required.
  5. Follow the on-screen steps to perform the troubleshooting process.
    windows update

After the troubleshooting is done, the tool should notify you to restart and update the system. If troubleshooting went well, the Windows should update without any issues.

Option 2: Disable Your Antivirus

Usually, your antivirus software doesn’t react to the system updates and downloads that come from the official source (such as Microsoft). However, on rare occasions, it can interfere with the downloaded files and prevent Windows from installing them on your computer.

The only way to check if the Antivirus is hampering your Windows update is to temporarily disable it. If you don’t know how to disable the Antivirus, you should check the instructions online. All active antivirus software has a small icon at the bottom right of the taskbar. Usually, you can right-click on that icon and click either ‘Exit’ or ‘Disable’ button.


When you disable the antivirus tool, just turn off or restart your computer to start the update again. If everything goes well, it means that the antivirus was the problem. If not, you should move on to other solutions.

Note: Be extra careful when you disable your antivirus software. Try to browse the internet as little as possible without any security measures. Visit only reliable websites, don’t click on any ads, and never download files, especially executable ones (.exe). Otherwise, your computer may get infected with malware, Trojan, or other malicious data which can cause further issues to your PC.

Option 3: Update Your Drivers

Your Windows drivers should update automatically, but sometimes you’ll have to do it yourself. When certain drivers are lacking, there’s a possibility that the Windows update can’t complete the installing process.

You should check if your system requires certain drivers and try to update them. Instead of manually going over all your devices, you can download a tool that will do that for you. Follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Driver Easy website and click ‘Download’.
  2. Run the Setup and follow the on-screen instructions to install it.
  3. Launch the tool.
  4. Press the ‘Scan’ tab at the menu to the left.
  5. Click the ‘Update’ button beside each driver that needs an update.

Now that you’ve solved all your missing driver issues, try to initiate the Windows Update again and see if it works.

Option 4: Use the System Restore Option

Your update might fail due to certain system modifications that happened before. This can occur when system files are corrupted, certain drivers didn’t install properly, or a wide range of other issues.

Luckily, a built-in ‘System Restore’ tool can fix this. This tool creates occasional ‘restore points’ you can use to return the system to the Settings as they were previously. Everything you’ve modified, installed or erased from that point onward will be wiped out.

Here’s how to ‘go back in time’:

  1. Click the ‘Start’ button at the bottom-left of the screen.
  2. Start typing ‘restore’ in the search bar until the tool appears.
  3. Select ‘Create a restore point’.
  4. Click the ‘System Restore’ button under the section with the same name.
    system restore
  5. Follow the steps to restore the windows to the desired restore point.
  6. Wait for the process.

Once the system is restored, you should initiate the update process again and see if everything runs smoothly.

Note: You should pay attention to two important things.

First, there’s no way to know exactly when the system data malfunctioned, so even if you choose a certain restore point, it doesn’t mean it will be before this happened. You’re essentially playing a guessing game.

Second, you should back up all important files to other devices before you perform this action, as it will erase all the data between the restore point and the present moment. Valuable files, therefore, may disappear forever.

What If Nothing Helps?

If you can’t update your Windows even after you’ve tested all the above options, there’s a chance that you’ll have to reinstall the system. There might be some corrupted files that go way back from the previous update, which may be too far to make the restore point.

In this situation, you should just back everything important up to external storage and reinstall your system from scratch. It will erase the entire Windows partition, but it will refresh the system and probably run smoother.

Can you think of any other solution to the Windows update issue? If you can, share your ideas in the comments section below.

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