Are you getting a “The update is not applicable” error when you attempt to install an update on Windows 10? If so, there are a variety of potential factors and fixes. It could be that you have an incompatible desktop or laptop, that the update is superseded, that an update prerequisite is missing or something else. This is how you can fix Windows updates that aren’t applicable.
Check the Update Package Matches Your Windows Version
First, note that updates are built for more specific platforms. It might be the case that the update you’re trying to install isn’t compatible with Windows 10. So double-check the update is for Windows 10 and not another platform. The Microsoft Update Catalog always includes OS details for updates in the Products column.
Check the Update Package Matches Your Windows Processor Architecture
If the update is for Windows 10, you should also check the other system requirements for it. The updates are also published for more specific CPU architecture, which is usually stated within the title. For example, if the update title includes x86 it’s for x86 CPU architecture and isn’t compatible with x64 Windows systems. You can check your CPU architecture as follows.
- Click the Cortana button on Windows 10 taskbar and enter ‘system’ into the search box.
- Then click System to open the window in the snapshot directly below.
- Your CPU architecture is listed as System type. So System type tells you what the CPU architecture is, and now you can check if that matches the Windows update.
Check the Update History
If you’re sure the update matches both Windows platform and architecture, check that it hasn’t already been installed. Another update might have had the same payload. You can check your update history as follows.
- Enter ‘view installed updates’ in the Cortana search box.
- Select View installed updates listed in Cortana to open the window below.
- This shows you a list of your previous Windows updates. So you can check if the update has already been added to Windows from there.
- Alternatively, you can check update history with the Settings app. Enter ‘update history’ in the Cortana search box and select Check for updates to open the window below.
- Click Update history to open a list of your Windows updates as below.
So you can check if your update is already listed there. Another thing to check there is if a required prerequisite update for a Windows update is missing. If that’s so, install the prerequisite update first and then add the other Windows update.
Run the Windows Update Troubleshooter
Windows has a variety of troubleshooters, and one of those can fix Windows Update. So if an update “is not applicable,” running the Windows Update troubleshooter might fix it. This is how you can fix updates with the troubleshooter.
- Open Cortana and enter ‘troubleshoot’ into its search box.
- Select Troubleshooting to open the window below.
- Click the Fix problems with Windows Update option to open window below.
- Click Advanced and select Apply repairs automatically if it’s not selected.
- Select Run as administrator and then click Next to run the scan and fix Windows Update.
Update Windows 10 With the Most Recent KB Update
- If Windows hasn’t updated with the most recent KB update, consider installing that first. Open this web page that includes a list of most recent Windows 10 updates.
- Then you can find the most recent Windows 10 KB update, which is usually included at the top of the list on that page. Note down the KB number for the update.
- Open the Microsoft Update site, and input the KB number into the search box.
- Then click the update’s title to save it to Windows.
- Click Open to add the KB update to Windows 10.
Run DISM and SFC Tools in Command Prompt
Windows has a couple of file scan tools that could feasibly fix update errors. They are the DISM and SFC tools you can run with the Command Prompt. This is how you can fix Windows Update with SFC and DISM.
- Press the Win key + R to open Run.
- Type ‘cmd’ into the Run text box to launch the Command Prompt.
- Then enter DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /Source:C:\RepairSource\Windows /LimitAccess in Command Prompt and press Return. It might need five to 10 minutes for this scan to finish.
- When DISM is done, enter sfc /scannow into the Command Prompt and press Return.
- Close the Command Prompt and restart Windows when the SFC scan is done.
So those are some potential fixes for “update is not applicable.” First, check the update’s system details beforehand; but if it’s compatible run the Windows Update troubleshooter and Command Prompt file scan tools.