- If you have been trying to upgrade to Windows 11 but the download is stuck for a while, read this article to find out how to fix the problem.
- You can try restarting the BITS and Windows Update service, running the built-in troubleshooter, uninstalling problematic applications and drivers, amongst other methods listed below.
- Also, do not hesitate to learn how to install Windows 11 on incompatible PCs.
Windows 11, the latest iteration in the series from Microsoft, is probably the most advanced of all. Subsequently, most of those currently running the previous iteration wanted to upgrade. But, several users have reported that Windows 11 download is stuck.
The download could be stuck at 0%, 99%, or even 100%, or maybe a different value. Though when it’s closer to the last two, users spend hours waiting for it to complete in the hope that it would, but the download doesn’t progress.
Therefore we decided to dedicate this article to helping users facing the Windows 11 download stuck problem when upgrading to the latest iteration.
How long should the Windows 11 update take?
Update times might range from minutes to hours depending on the compatibility of the computer with Windows 11.
A fast system with a high-speed SSD and little data will install feature upgrades quickly in about 15 minutes, but a slower machine with an HDD and a lot of data will take hours. The upgrades, however, have no effect on your data or settings; everything is transferred to Windows 11.
The download size is around 3.5 GB if you are upgrading directly from Windows 10 to Windows 11. However, if you wish to install Windows 11 using an. ISO file, you’ll need at least 5.37 GB of space.
Furthermore, your speed may vary depending on your location and how fast the server to which your PC is connected.
Installation, on the other hand, is significantly reliant on other specifications such as CPU and GPU usage and applicability. This might last anything from 30 minutes to an hour.
Why is the Windows 11 download stuck?
When you are downloading and installing the latest iteration of the OS, it’s imperative that certain background services are running.
Apart from that, you must have a working Internet connection. Most often than not, it’s an issue with the Internet that causes the Windows 11 download to get stuck at 99% or 100%. This is because the download progresses well until the connection is interrupted.
Also, certain peripherals, drivers, and applications are known to conflict with the upgrade process. In the following sections, we have taken each of these issues individually and listed the best solution for it to get your Windows 11 download stuck problem eliminated.
How do I fix a stuck Windows 11 update?
1. Check the Internet connection
One of the primary reasons, and that often goes unnoticed, are problems with the Internet connection. Say, you put Windows 11 update for download and it progresses for a while, but then the Internet is lost.
In this case, it would appear as if the Windows 11 download is stuck while the actual problem lies with the Internet. So, make sure that the connection is up and running.
2. Disconnect non-essential peripherals
If you have several peripherals connected to the computer, disconnect the non-critical ones. Many of these are known to conflict with the update and do not allow it to go through.
Here, all you have to do is remove the printer, speakers, microphones, and other such devices, while only leaving the basic ones, such as the keyboard, mouse, and monitor.
Once done, restart the computer, and check if the Windows 11 download stuck problem is eliminated.
3. Run Windows Update troubleshooter
- Press Windows + I to launch the Settings app, and click on Update & Security.
- Select the Troubleshoot tab from the navigation pane on the left.
- Click on Additional troubleshooters.
- Next, click on the Windows Update entry.
- Finally, click on the Run the troubleshooter button to identify and fix issues with Windows Update.
- Choose the appropriate response and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the troubleshooting process.
Microsoft offers several built-in troubleshooters to automatically diagnose and fix issues with the system. It’s recommended that you run a relevant troubleshooter whenever a problem is encountered. And you have one in this case too, i.e., Windows Update.
After running the troubleshooter, check if the Windows 11 download stuck problem is fixed.
4. Pause the update and then retry
- Press Windows + I to launch the Settings app, and then click on Update & Security from the options listed here.
- Next, click on Pause updates for 7 days on the right.
- Restart the computer, again navigate to the Update & Security settings, and click on Resume updates.
- Once done, click on Check for updates, and see if the Windows 11 download now progresses and is not stuck.
5. Restart the BITS and Windows Update service
- Press Windows + R to launch the Run command, type services.msc in the text field, and either click on OK or hit Enter to launch the Services app.
- Now, locate the Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS), right-click on it, and select Stop from the context menu.
- Similarly, right-click on the Windows Update service, and select Stop from the context menu.
- Once done, press Windows + E to launch the File Explorer, enter the following path in the address bar at the top, and hit Enter:
- Now, press Ctrl + A to select all the files, right-click on them, and select Delete from the context menu. Alternatively, you can select the files and hit the Del key. Choose the approriate response, in case a confirmation prompt pops up.
- After deleting the files, navigate to the Services app, right-click on the Background Intelligent Transfer Service, and select Start from the context menu.
- Finally, right-click on the Windows Update service, and select Start from the context menu.
- Now, check if you can download the latest iteration from Windows Update.
The BITS service downloads files using an idle network bandwidth in the background, and Windows Update depends on it for downloads. If any of the two services have run into a bug, it’s likely that you will face problems while upgrading to Windows 11.
The Software Distribution folder, on the other hand, is where the files critical for updating or upgrading the OS are kept temporarily until the process is complete. If any of the files here are corrupt, you may encounter issues with the update.
After you have re-enabled the BITS (Background Intelligent Transfer Service) and Windows Update service, and cleared the Software Distribution folder, Windows 11 download should not get stuck anymore on the next attempt.
6. Uninstall conflicting drivers
- Press Windows + R to launch the Run command, enter devmgmt.msc in the text field, and click on OK to launch the Device Manager.
- Now, locate the problematic category and double-click on it to view the devices under it.
- Right-click on the device that’s responsible for the Windows 11 upgrade being stuck, and select Uninstall device from the context menu.
- Tick the checkbox for Delete the driver software for this device and click Uninstall.
There are a bunch of devices that are known to conflict with the upgrade process and could lead to the Windows 11 download stuck at 99% problem. After going through several forums, we were able to identify the Conexant audio device.
Check if you have it by following the steps listed above, and uninstall the device along with its driver, software like Revo Uninstaller will get rid of drivers and any leftovers associated with it. Also, if you come across other conflicting devices, uninstall them too.
7. Remove incompatible applications
- Press Windows + R to launch the Run command, type appwiz.cpl in the text field, and either click on OK or hit Enter to launch the Programs and Features window.
- Now, select the conflicting program, and click on Uninstall.
- Click Yes in the UAC (User Account Control) prompt that pops up.
- Similarly, uninstall the other conflicting apps as well.
There are certain programs that are not compatible with Windows 11 and may conflict with the upgrade process, and cause it to get stuck at a certain percentage.
Though most apps that were earlier incompatible have released updates and now work fine on Windows 11, some still show problems. As a result, we can’t list them here, since, by the time you read the article, they could have made changes and might be compatible.
Just check for the apps that are incompatible when you are facing the Windows 11 download stuck at 100%, and uninstall them.
8. Install Windows 11 using a bootable USB
If none of the methods listed above have worked, you can always install Windows 11 using a bootable USB. The process is fairly simple, though it may seem intricate to first-timers.
But, the dedicated guide that we have linked earlier has a step-by-step process that will help those who are not so tech-savvy.
The above fixes should have helped get you past the Windows 11 download stuck stage, and upgraded the system. However, what do you do if the computer isn’t compatible? Check the following sections to find out.
9. Restart Windows in Safe Mode
- Click Start and then select Settings.
- Click Update & Security.
- Select Recovery.
- Under Advanced Startup, click Restart Now.
- After the computer restarts, on the Choose an Option screen, select Troubleshoot.
- After that go to Advanced Options > Startup Settings.
- After the computer restarts, a list of options appears. Select 5 or F5 to start the computer in Safe Mode with Networking, it’s needed for the Windows Update to continue.
Restarting Windows can eliminate underlying issues that may prevent the updates from completing.
Safe Mode only starts Windows essential applications. This can start up your update in case any third-party app was previously interfering.
10. Go to a System Restore Point
- Type Recovery in the taskbar to open the Advanced Recovery Tools in Control Panel.
- Select Open System Restore.
- In the Restore system files and settings panel, click Next.
- Select a Restore point from the resulting list and then click on Scan for affected programs.
- It will display all the data that the restore will remove. Check the list and click Next>Finish.
Many users have been able to run the updates after rolling back to a restore point. If you previously tried to install Windows 11 and failed, there still may be some leftover installation files somewhere on your PC.
These files can interfere with your attempt to install the update and cause errors and crashes. A System Restore will help you get rid of them.
Check your System Restore even if you have not created a Restore point yourself. Some Windows versions automatically create Restore Points, especially in critical situations like this one.
Why is my Windows 11 update stuck on restarting?
So your PC is caught in a reboot cycle during the Windows 11 upgrade, and it takes a long time to get it back on track, and it will state on your screen that the PC may reboot numerous times.
Give it an hour, and if it still hasn’t figured it out, turn it off from the power button. Hold down the power button for 15 seconds, and the screen will go blank, all the lights will go off, and the fans and other noisemakers will stop.
After that, simply wait a few seconds and press the power button; it should boot up normally. Depending on where in the update cycle it was, it may either pick up where it left off and continue updating. It may also roll back to Windows 10 and undo the update and then you can try to install the Windows 11 update once again.
It all relies on your computer’s specifications and how much data you need to move to Windows 11. Maybe you’re getting a bad or delayed update, but because your PC is compatible with Windows 11, be patient and give it time to convert everything you own to the new operating system.
There is also a significant distinction when upgrading and performing a clean install of Windows 11, which should not be overlooked in this case.
What do Updates are underway mean in Windows 11?
While Microsoft is officially preparing Windows 11 22H2 Sun Valley 2 for public release, with an expected arrival date of August/September 2022, preparations for beta testing the next year’s version are already underway.
Meanwhile, you see the error notice while attempting to update to Windows 11 Updates are underway. 100 % Complete. Please keep your computer on, however it is stuck on this screen with no further modifications.
If you have waited at least an hour for the updates to complete without success, you may attempt entering System Restore, which will re-establish the system to a previous recovery point, allowing you to try updating to Windows 11 again.
Windows 11 update stuck at a certain percentage
➞ Wait a few minutes to see whether your download is stuck at a specific point or hasn’t advanced at all, even though your internet connection is good. This usually happens at 8% during the update process.
➞ Windows 11 update downloading to become stuck either at 0% or 100% is when the disk containing your Windows installation runs out of storage capacity.
➞ Incompatible drivers, games, programs, and waste files can cause the Windows 11 update to get stuck at 94%.
➞ If Windows was apparently able to complete the process, but the update is stuck at 100%, then there may be a problem with your software distribution folder.
➞ A broken external hard drive or device attached to your computer might cause Windows 11 installation to become stuck and freeze your computer at 85%.
➞ If your Windows 11 update is stalled at 88 %, the flags may signal a problem with the hard drive or RAM. The patching process changes files in certain locations; this is a pit-stop point where you may need to wait 1 hour for the update to progress further.
Note: One should not shut down the computer during the entire update, but if nothing appears on the screen for 2 hours after setting it for an update, your Windows update is likely stuck.
According to statistics, 2 hours is a suitable amount of time to wait before beginning the troubleshooting process.
How to properly update Windows 11
The first step is, as we already mentioned, to make sure you meet the minimal hardware requirements.
Check the Microsoft website for the following information:
➡️ Compatible PC manufacturers
➡️ Minimal memory requirements
➡️ Minimal/recommended GPU
If your machine doesn’t support the operating system, you will have problems along the way. Chances are that you won’t be able to complete the installation.
If you do, you will encounter frequent performance issues. It’s best you stick with Windows 10 and keep it updated.
If you decide to continue with the installation, it’s important to make sure you have a little bit more free disk space than the exact minimum.
Now that you know that your PC supports the operating system, we move on to some precautions that we recommend you take before starting the actual upgrade.
🟦 Create a backup– normally, an upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11 shouldn’t have any impact on the data you have stored on your PC. However, in case any errors appear along the way, a backup can save you a lot of trouble.
🟦 Setup a Microsoft Account – if you don’t already have an account, you should consider creating one. You will get the benefits of using the Microsoft OneDrive and sync your data
🟦 Make sure you have a stable power source and Internet connection – you don’t want your upgrade to be interrupted by annoying external problems
Consider the previously explained solutions as well. Removing conflicting applications such as third-party antiviruses can also ensure a seamless update.
At this point, you can start updating your operating system. In this article, we focus on the Windows 11 Insider build update. It’s one of the simplest methods that only requires minimal effort on your part.
If you want an alternative or are willing to learn more about Windows 11 updates, check our guide that covers how to download Windows 11 ISO or update from Windows 10.
How do I find out if my PC can run Windows 11?
- Download the Windows PC Health Check app, and then double-click on the file to launch the setup.
- Tick the checkbox for I accept the terms in the License Agreement, and click on Install at the bottom.
- Next, select the Open Windows PC Health Check and click on Finish.
- When the app launches, click on the Check now button.
- After the scan is complete, the results for it will be listed.
If you have been planning to upgrade to the latest iteration but it isn’t listed when you check for updates in Windows 10, it could be that your computer doesn’t meet the system requirements for Windows 11.
Microsoft has released the Windows PC Health Check app, which runs a scan and identifies whether your system is compatible with Windows 11. And if not, it will tell you which requirements are not met.
In the case above, our PC was found compatible with Windows 11 and we were able to download and install it via Windows Update.
But several users have reported that though their system meets the minimum requirements, they are unable to find the option to install Windows 11 in Windows Update.
In case your PC is not compatible, don’t lose hope! You can still install the latest iteration, though it would require making certain changes to the computer. Read the next section to find out.
How do I upgrade to Windows 11 on unsupported computers?
There are various critical requirements, TPM, Secure Boot, and Processor, to name a few, and your computer might not meet either one or several of these.
If you see This processor isn’t currently supported for Windows 11, check how to install Windows 11 on unsupported processors. Also, find out how to bypass Secure Boot or TPM in case your computer doesn’t support either.
But, if your computer does support Secure Boot but the TPM requirement is not met, or the TPM is available but Secure Boot is not enabled, head to the linked article to learn how to install Windows 11 in these cases.
Now, matter what the permutation combination is for the various system requirements, you can always install Windows 11. Also, for those facing the Windows 11 download stuck problem, it would have progressed and you can enjoy the latest iteration in a short while.
Since you are already upgrading, check out our guide that does a comparative study of Windows 11 and Windows 10.
Tell us which fix worked and your first impression of Windows 11 in the comments section below.