What are the most common installation problems

Troubleshoot Windows 10 upgrade issues

Windows 10 lets you choose when and how to get the latest updates so you can keep working seamlessly and securely. This article is designed to help answer questions and troubleshoot common issues with your Windows 10 update.

For more information about activating Windows 10 or how to make sure your installation of Windows 10 is activated, see Activation in Windows 10.

Are you having problems installing Windows updates? Start here.

There are several reasons why your device may not be able to update to the latest version of Windows 10. The following tips can help you identify the problem that is affecting your device.

Before doing this, make sure that your device is plugged in and connected to the internet. Then try the steps below to update your PC.

Administrator access is required for some updates. If your account doesn't have administrator rights, see Create a local user or administrator account in Windows 10. Or if someone else at home or work has an administrator account on your device, ask them to install the updates.


  • Before doing any of the solutions below, it is a good idea to back up your personal files. You can use File History to back up your files to another drive or you can connect a USB drive to the device first and then use File Explorer to drag and copy important files to the USB drive. If you sign in to Windows with a Microsoft account, the system settings will be automatically restored after the update once you are connected to the Internet.

  • You can also back up your files with OneDrive. For more information, see Back up documents, pictures, and desktop folders with OneDrive.

Free some space so you can run updates.

Make sure your device has enough storage space. The device requires at least 16 GB of free space to upgrade a 32-bit operating system and at least 20 GB of free space to upgrade a 64-bit operating system. If your device has a small hard drive, you may need to connect a USB drive for the update.

If your PC is running out of space, try the steps in the How to free up space in Windows 10 article.

Restart to apply installed updates

Many updates require your device to be restarted. Save your work and close all applications. Then choose begin > On offand select either Update and restart or Update and shutdown out.

Run Windows Update again.

Even after you've downloaded some updates, there may be more available. After completing the above steps, run Windows Update again. To do this, choose begin > Settings  > Update and security > Windows Update  > Looking for updates out. Download and install any new updates.

Check for updates in settings

Remove all external storage devices and drives, docking stations, and other hardware components attached to the device but not required for basic operation. Then try running updates again and see if that solves the problem. If it doesn't, skip to the next tip.

Third party driver update

You can find third-party drivers and installation instructions for any hardware you've added to your device on the manufacturer's website. Update all drivers, then try running updates again and see if that solves the problem. If it doesn't, skip to the next tip.

Check Device Manager for errors

  1. Type in the search box on the taskbar Device manager and then select Device manager from the list of results.

  2. In the window that appears, look for each device with a yellow exclamation mark next to it. (You may need to select each category to see the list of devices.) Select the device name.

  3. Choose action and then either Update driver or Uninstall out to correct the errors.

Common troubleshooting questions

An error code was displayed during the update.

My update ends at 51-99% and the installation won't complete. Why is that?

The time it takes to download and install updates mainly depends on the connection speed, network settings, and the size of the update. If the installation stops proceeding beyond a certain percentage, you should check for updates again or run the Windows Update troubleshooter.

To check for updates, select begin > Settings > Update and security > Windows Update > Looking for updates out.

To get help, type in the search box on the taskbarHelp and then select Help from the list of results. If you have further problems and you want to provide feedback, type in the search box on the taskbar Feedback hub and then select Feedback hub from the list of results.

How can I prevent my computer from being updated?

How do I turn off the update notifications?

You will only receive a notification when it is time to restart your computer to apply the installed updates.


  • If you want to pick up where you left off after an update, use the timeline.

  • To use the timeline, choose Active applications on the taskbar, or press the Windows logo key + TAB and select the activity you want to continue.

Will updates affect my data quota?

Monthly quality updates for Windows 10 are very small and have minimal impact on data usage. Feature updates typically happen twice a year and you can control when to install them. They need more data, but they are less frequent.

If you're using a metered connection, some updates for Windows won't install automatically. Metered connections in Windows 10

How can I speed up a slow computer?

The update is complete, but I cannot find my files now.


Warning:Microsoft recommends that you use the procedures in this section only if you are familiar with working with command lines. To do this, you need administrator rights on your device.

Renaming the software distribution folders

  1. Type in the search box on the taskbar command prompt then select from the list of options as an administrator run off. Choose Yes. Next, in the window that appears, enter the following commands one at a time, including the spaces as shown. After each command, press the Enter key. Then let each command finish before entering the next command.

    net stop bits

    net stop wuauserv

    ren% systemroot% \ softwaredistribution softwaredistribution.bak

    ren% systemroot% \ system32 \ catroot2 catroot2.bak

    net start bits

    net start wuauserv

  2. After all of these commands are complete, close the Command Prompt window and restart the computer.

Temporarily remove the third-party security software

There are times when third-party antivirus or security programs may cause errors while you are updating to the latest version of Windows 10. You can temporarily uninstall this software, update your PC, and reinstall the software after the device is up to date. We recommend using only third-party antivirus or security software that is compatible with the latest version of Windows 10. For compatibility information, see the software manufacturer's website.

Note:Before uninstalling the software, make sure that you know how to reinstall the programs and that you have any required product keys.

Repair hard drive errors

Type in the search box on the taskbar command prompt and then select from the list of options as an administrator run off. Choose Yes. In the window that appears, enter the following command, including the space:
chkdsk / f C:
and then press the Enter key. The repairs will automatically start on the hard drive and you will be prompted to restart the device.

Perform a clean restart in Windows

A clean restart starts Windows with the minimum required drivers and startup programs. This will avoid software conflicts that arise when you install a program or update that can cause problems on your PC.
Here's how to do a clean boot

Recover and repair system files

  1. Type in the search box on the taskbar command prompt then select from the list of options as an administrator run off.

  2. In the window that appears, enter this command including spaces as shown:
    DISM. exe / Online / Cleanup-Image / Restorehealth

  3. Press the Enter key. If the command completes successfully, you will see a confirmation message from the prompt that says "The restore operation completed successfully" or "Completed successfully".
    Note: If you don't see a confirmation message, retype the command, and then try again.

  4. Next, enter this command including the space as shown:
    sfc / scannow

  5. Press the Enter key. Wait for the verification of the sfc- Verification has reached 100% completion, and then close the command prompt.

  6. Try running Windows Update again.

Learn how to repair a Windows image.

Do a clean installation of Windows 10

Go to the software download page and select Download the tool now to download the reinstallation tool. Make sure to carefully read the notes on the software updates page before using the tool.

Are you still having problems?

Contact Microsoft Support if you continue to have problems with Windows Updates.