Windows Update Pending Install? 4 Ways to Fix It

Everything you need to complete the installation of your updates

by Madalina Dinita
Madalina Dinita
Madalina Dinita
Windows & Software Expert
Madalina has been a Windows fan ever since she got her hands on her first Windows XP computer. She is interested in all things technology, especially emerging technologies... read more
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  • When you see the Windows update pending install message, the updates don't install.
  • A solution to this issue is to run the Windows Update troubleshooter and restart your PC.
  • Another approach is to make system changes using a dedicated command-line app.
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Windows updates are automatically downloaded when available and are usually installed automatically. However, some users reported the downloaded updates’ status to be pending on installation.

It seems that the updates stay idle and never actually install. This leads to users missing some important features and security updates. To fix the Windows Update pending install issue, we came up with a few solutions you should try.

Why is my Windows update stuck on pending?

Below are some of the factors that can cause the pending install Windows Update issue:

  • Metered connection: Using a metered connection is one of the ways to stop automatic Windows updates. Hence, your updates will be pending until you allow them.
  • Issues with the update process: Sometimes, the status of your Windows update might read: pending install. This can happen if the process runs into some glitches. You can fix this quickly by running the Windows update troubleshooter.

What can I do if Windows Update is pending install?

In this article

Listed below are some troubleshooting steps you should try before moving to the sophisticated fixes in this section:

If you can’t install your updates after these preliminary fixes, you can move to the solutions below.

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1. Run the Windows update troubleshooter

  1. Press the Windows key + I to open the Settings app and select Update & Security.
    update and windows update pending install
  2. Select Troubleshoot in the left pane and select Additional troubleshooters.
  3. Choose the Windows Update option and click Run the troubleshooter.
    run windows update pending install
  4. Finally, apply any recommendations and restart your PC.

In some cases, your Windows update might be stuck on pending install, because of minor glitches. Running the built-in troubleshooter should clear this up.

2. Reset the required components

  1. Press the Windows key, type cmd, and click Run as administrator under Command Prompt.
  2. Now, type the commands below and hit 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

Sometimes, the Windows update pending install issue might be because the needed components run into problems. Running the commands above will help reset everything.

Some users reported that they were able to fix the issue by running only the first command. So, you can also check if you can install the update after running it.

Alternatively, you can automate this process and make it much faster by using the Windows Update reset script.

3. Enable the update over metered connection

  1. Press the Windows key + I and select the Update & Security option.
    update and windows update pending install
  2. Click Advanced options.
    advanced options
  3. Now, toggle the switch for Download updates over metered connections (extra charges may apply).
    download over
  4. Finally, wait a few minutes and try to download the updates again.

One of the ways to stop the automatic download and installation of updates is to set your internet as a metered connection. However, this can also be the reason for the Windows update pending install issue.

Hence, you should allow the update over your metered connection temporarily. Also, you can toggle the switch backwards and forward if you are not on a metered connection. This has fixed the issue for some users.

4. Delete the Windows update cache

  1. Press the Windows key + R, type services.msc in the Run box, and click OK.
    services windows update pending install
  2. Right-click Windows Update and select Stop.
    stop option
  3. Now, right-click Background Intelligent Transfer Service and select Stop.
    stop background
  4. Close the Services window and press the Windows key + E to launch File Explorer.
  5. Navigate to the path below: C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Downloadfolder
  6. Delete the contents of the Download folder. If it shows can’t delete prompt, check the box for Always do the Selected Action and click OK.
  7. Finally, restart your PC.

One of the things that causes the Windows update pending install issue is a faulty cache. You need to stop the Windows Update service and clear the cache before you can get past this issue, as it can also cause issues like KB5029263 not installing.

After doing this, you can now try to download and install your updates again.

We have come to the end of this detailed guide. We hope that our solutions can help you with the Windows update pending install issue.

If Windows update is not showing, check this excellent guide to bring them back.

In the comments below, let us know the solution that helped you fix this issue.

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