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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It could be that you have an incompatible desktop or laptop, that the update is superseded, that an update prerequisite is missing or something else.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.
This update is not applicable to your computer error message can prevent you from keeping your system up to date. Speaking of this error, here are some similar issues that users reported:
- This update is not applicable to your computer – This error can appear on almost any version of Windows. Although our solutions are optimized for Windows 10, most of them can be applied to older versions of Windows.
- This update is not applicable to your system – This is just a variation of this error, and if you encounter it, be sure that you have all the prerequisite updates installed. In addition, be sure to check if you’re trying to install the update that matches your system architecture.
How do I fix this update is not applicable to your computer?
1. 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.
2. 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.
If you’re interested in the differences between 32-bit and 64-bit apps, take a quick look on this article.
3. 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.
If you’re having trouble opening the Setting app, take a look at this article to solve the issue.
4. 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 the 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.
5. 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.
6. 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 Windows Key + X to open Win + X menu. Now choose Command Prompt (Admin) from the list. If Command Prompt isn’t available, you can also use PowerShell (Admin).
- Then enter DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /Source:C:RepairSourceWindows /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.
7. Change your system locale
According to users, if you’re unable to install certain updates due to This update is not applicable to your computer message, you might want to consider changing your system locale. Sometimes certain updates can encounter issues if the system locale isn’t set to English.
However, you can always fix this issue simply by changing your locale manually. To do that, you just need to follow these simple steps:
- Press Windows Key + S and enter control. Now select Control Panel from the list.
- When Control Panel opens, navigate to Region.
- Make sure that Format is set to English (United States).
- Now navigate to Administrative tab and click on Change system locale.
- Set Current system locale to English (United States) and save changes.
After changing the locale to English, try to install the update again. After the update is installed, you can revert locale settings to the desired values.
8. Use System Restore
If you can’t install an update due to This update is not applicable to your computer message, you might be able to solve the issue by using the System Restore.
In case you’re not familiar, System Restore is a useful feature that allows you to restore your PC to an earlier state. To do that, just follow these steps:
- Press Windows Key + S and enter system restore. Choose Create a restore point from the list of results.
- Now click the System Restore button.
- System Restore will now start. Click Next to proceed.
- If available, choose Show more restore points option. Now select the desired restore point from the list and click Next.
- Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the restoration process.
Once your system is restored, be sure to install the necessary updates and then try to install the desired update.
If you want to know how to create a restore point and what are the benefits of having one, take a look at this dedicated guide.
9. Perform an in-place upgrade
If you can’t install the desired update due to This update is not applicable to your computer error, you might be able to circumvent the issue by performing an in-place upgrade.
This method will force Windows 10 to upgrade using the Windows 10 installation media. However, all your files and registry entries should remain intact. To perform an in-place upgrade, do the following:
- Download and run Media Creation Tool.
- When Media Creation Tool opens, select Upgrade this PC now.
- Setup will start preparing. This can take a bit so be patient.
- Now you’ll be asked to download important updates. This option isn’t mandatory, but it’s recommended to perform it. If you’re in a hurry, you can always skip the updates and install them later.
- Now you’ll see Ready to install screen. Make sure to click on Change what to keep option.
- Select Keep personal files and apps and click Next.
- The installation will now start. Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the installation.
Once the upgrade process is finished, you’ll have a fresh copy of Windows 10, and all your files and applications will be preserved. Keep in mind that in some cases you won’t have Change what to keep option in Step 5.
If that happens, you won’t be able to keep your personal files and applications, and you’ll perform a clean install using this method.
So those are some potential fixes for the update is not applicable message. First, check the update’s system details beforehand; but if it’s compatible run the Windows Update troubleshooter and Command Prompt file scan tools.
If you have any other questions, feel free to leave them in the comments section below and we’ll be sure to take a look.
FAQ: Learn more about system updates
- What are the biggest downsides of not updating your computer?
Updates can include optimizations to make the Windows operating system and other Microsoft software run faster. If you don’t perform these updates, you’re missing out on any potential performance improvements for your software, as well as any new features that Microsoft introduces.
- How to make your computer not restart for updates?
Hit Winkey+R and type gpedit. msc in the Run window. Expand Local Computer Policy / Computer Configuration / Administrative Templates / Windows Components / Windows Update. Double-click No auto-restart for scheduled Automatic Updates installations, select Enabled, and click OK.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in September 2016 and it has been since revamped and updated in March 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.