Windows 10 updates pending install? Fix them now [QUICK GUIDE]

Madalina Dinita
by Madalina Dinita
Former Managing Editor
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  • When Windows updates are pending, they stay idle and never actually install.
  • The first solution is to enable the Automatic Updates immediate installation feature.
  • Another good solution is to make some system changes by using Command Prompt.
  • A last resort measure is to run the Windows Update reset script.
windows 10 update pending install
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Windows 10 updates are automatically downloaded when available and are usually installed automatically. However, some users reported the downloaded updates‘ status to be pending. It seems that the updates simply stay idle and never actually install.

One user on Microsoft Answers described the issue as follows:

Hi,
I did a Check for Updates and there are several available. There is no Install Now button or anything like that. How can I force the update program to download and install these pending updates?
Thanks!

In order to fix this issue, we managed to come up with a few solutions that you should try.

How do I fix a Windows 10 pending install error?

1. Enable Automatic Updates immediate installation

  1. Press the Windows logo key + R on your keyboard, type services.msc in the Run box, and hit Enter to open the Services window.
    services.msc run window windows 10 update pending install
  2. Right-click Windows Update and select Proprieties.
    properties windows update service windows 10 update pending install
  3. Set the Startup type to Automatic from the drop-down menu and click OK.
    startup type automatic windows 10 update pending install
  4. Right-click Background Intelligent Transfer Service and select Proprieties.
  5. Set the Startup type to Automatic from the drop-down menu and click OK.
  6. Right-click the Cryptographic Service option and select Proprieties.
  7. Set the Startup type to Automatic from the drop-down menu and click OK.
  8. Restart your PC and see if it fixed the issue.

Can’t install Windows updates? You won’t believe how easy is to fix that


2. Make system changes using Command Prompt

  1. Type cmd in the search box, then click on Run as administrator under Command Prompt to run it with elevated privileges.
  2. Now you have to input the following commands in the Command Prompt, pressing Enter after each:
    • net stop wuauserv
    • net stop cryptSvc
    • net stop bits
    • net stop msiserver
    • ren C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.old
    • ren C:\Windows\System32\catroot2 catroot2.old
    • net start wuauserv
    • net start cryptSvc
    • net start bits
    • net start msiserver
  3. You can also automate this process and make it a lot faster by using the Windows Update reset script.

We hope that our solutions could help you the Windows updates pending issue. If you liked this article, leave a comment in the comment section below.

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Editor's Note: This article was originally published in June 2019 and was revamped and updated in January 2021 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
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