Fix: Windows 10 Update hangs

Milan Stanojevic avatar. By: Milan Stanojevic
5 minute read

Home » Fix: Windows 10 Update hangs

In order to keep your system stable and protected, Windows 10 automatically performs all the necessary updates in the background. Downloading Windows Updates is rather important, but many users reported that Windows 10 Update hangs for some strange reason. This seems like a big problem, but fortunately, there are several ways to fix it.

Windows 10 Update hangs, how to fix it?

Table of contents:

  1. Stop Windows Update services and delete SoftwareDistribution folder
  2. Be patient and wait for the update to finish
  3. Use Windows Update troubleshooter
  4. Restart your network connection
  5. Run the SFC scan
  6. Run DISM
  7. Disable your antivirus
  8. Delete the update and try again
  9. Restart Windows Update service

Solution 1 – Stop Windows Update services and delete SoftwareDistribution folder

If your Windows Update is stuck, you need to disable Windows Update services by following these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + X and choose Command Prompt (Admin) from the menu.
    command-prompt-admin
  2. Once Command Prompt opens, enter the following lines and press Enter after each line:
    • net stop wuauserv
      cmd-net-stop-wuauserv
    • net stop bits
      cmd-net-stop-bits

Now you need to navigate to C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution folder. After you enter SoftwareDistribution folder, select all files and folders and move them to a safe location, for example to your Desktop. In case some of these files are still in use, just restart your device and repeat all the steps again.

After you’ve managed to move all the files and folder from SoftwareDistribution folder you need to restart your computer once again and problems with Windows Update should be fixed.

Solution 2 – Be patient and wait for the update to finish

Sometimes these updates can take a long time to download, and Windows Update might seem stuck to you, but it’s actually working slowly in the background. If Windows 10 Update hangs, leave your computer running over the night, and if everything is working correctly there should be some progress by the morning. If the issue still persists, you might want to try some of our other solutions.

Solution 3 – Use Windows Update troubleshooter

The next thing we’re going to try is Windows 10 Update troubleshooter. This troubleshooter is a part of Windows 10’s built-in troubleshooting tool, and it can help with various update issues. Here’s how to run it:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Head over to Updates & Security Troubleshoot. 
  3. Select Windows Update, and go to Run the Troubleshooter. 
  4. Follow further on-screen instructions and let the process finish.
  5. Restart your computer.

Solution 4 – Restart your network connection

If Windows Update hangs, you might want to try restarting your computer and/or your network connection. To restart your network connection do the following:

  1. Press Windows Key + S and type Network and Sharing Center. From the list of suggestions choose Network and Sharing Center.
    network-and-sharing-center
  2. Click Change adapter settings on the left.
    connection-network-and-sharing-center
  3. Locate your connection, right click it and choose Disable.
    disable-network-connection
  4. Right click your connection once again and choose Enable from the menu.

After you’ve enabled your network connection again, the issue should be resolved. In addition, you could try unplugging your Ethernet cable or try restarting your computer a few times.

In most cases, Windows Update isn’t actually stuck, it’s just working slowly, so if Windows 10 Update hangs on your computer, maybe it’s best for you to be patient and wait for it to download all the necessary components. If you’re certain that update process is stuck, you could try restarting the Windows Update service and delete its cache files.

Solution 5 – Run the SFC scan

If the aforementioned update troubleshooter didn’t get the job done, we’re going to try with the SFC scan. The SFC scan is a command line tool, and is used for resolving various system issues.

Here’s how to run the SFC scan in Windows 10:

  1. Right-click on the Start Menu button, and open Command Prompt (Admin).
  2. Enter the following line and press Enter: sfc/scannow
  3. Wait until the process is done (it may take a while).
  4. If the solution is found, it will automatically be applied.
  5. Now, close the Command Prompt and restart your computer.

Solution 6 – Run DISM

Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) is another command-line troubleshooter. So, if none of the previous troubleshooting tools did the job, we’re going to try with DISM.

Here’s how to run DISM in Windows 10:

  1. Open the Command Prompt as shown above.
  2. Enter the following command and press Enter:
      • DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth
  3. Wait for the process to finish.
  4. Restart your computer.
  5. In case the DISM can’t obtain files online, try using your installation USB or DVD. Insert media and type following command:
      • DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /Source:C:\RepairSource\Windows /LimitAccess
  6. Make sure to replace ”C:\RepairSource\Windows” path of your DVD or USB.
  7. Follow further on-screen instructions.

Solution 7 – Disable your antivirus

Third-party antivirus programs don’t go along with Windows updates (and other Windows 10 features). So, it’s quite possible that your antivirus is actually blocking the update. To see if that’s indeed the case, disable your antivirus for a couple of minutes. If the update finishes installing, your problem is solved.

Solution 8 – Delete the update and try again 

If the system already included the update in the registry, you can delete it, and try to install it all over again. Here’s how to delete updates in Windows 10:

  1. Go to Settings > Updates & Security > Windows Update.
  2. Go to Update history > Uninstall updates.
  3. Now, find the troublesome update (you can sort updates by date), right-click it, and go to Uninstall.
  4. Restart your computer.

Solution 9 – Restart Windows Update service

And finally, if none of the previous solutions worked, let’s restart the Windows Update service. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Go to Search, type services.msc, and open Services.
  2. Find the Windows Update service. Right-click and open Properties.
  3. Click Restart.
  4. Once the service restarts, go to the General tab, find Startup type and choose Automatic.
  5. If the service is not running, right-click and choose Start.
  6. Confirm selection and close window.

In addition to this problem, many users reported that Windows Update isn’t working on Windows 10, and if you have that problem, you might want to check some of our other articles.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2016 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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