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Have issues installing Windows updates? Start here.


Your device may not be able to update to the latest version of Windows 10 for a few reasons. The following tips can help you pinpoint the issue affecting your device.

Before you begin, make sure your device is plugged into a power source and connected to the internet. Then, try the steps listed below to get your PC to update.

Some updates require administrator access. If your account doesn't have administrator access, see Create a local user or administrator account in Windows 10. Or if someone else at home or in your office has an administrator account on your device, try asking them to install the updates.

Important

Before trying any of the solutions below, make sure you back up your personal files. You can use File History to back up your files to another drive, or insert a USB drive and use File Explorer to drag and copy important files to the USB drive. If you’re signing into Windows with a Microsoft account, your system settings will be automatically restored after updating, once you’re connected to the internet.

You can also back up your files with OneDrive. For more info, go to Back up your Documents, Pictures, and Desktop folders with OneDrive.

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Free up some drive space so you can run updates

Make sure that your device has enough space. Your device requires at least 16 GB of free space to upgrade a 32-bit OS, or 20 GB for a 64-bit OS. If your device has a small hard drive, you may need to insert a USB drive to update it.

If your PC is running low on storage, try the techniques at Free up drive space in Windows 10.

Restart to apply installed updates 

Many updates require you to restart your device. Save your work and close all open applications. Then, select Start  > Power  , and select either Update and restart or Update and shut down.

Run Windows Update again

Even if you have downloaded some updates, there may be more available. After trying the preceding steps, run Windows Update again by selecting Start  > Settings  > Update & Security  > Windows Update  > Check for updates. Download and install any new updates.

Check for updates in Settings

Disconnect external hardware

Remove any external storage devices and drives, docks, and other hardware plugged into your device that aren't needed for basic functionality. Then try to run updates again and see if this resolved your issue. If it didn't, continue to the next tip.

Update third-party drivers

If you've added hardware to your device, check for third-party driver updates and installation instructions on the hardware manufacturer’s website. Update any drivers, then try to run updates again and see if this resolved your issue. If it didn't, continue to the next tip.

Check Device Manager for errors
  1. In the search box on the taskbar, type device manager, then select Device Manager from the list of results.
  2. In the window that appears, look for any device with a yellow exclamation mark next to it. (You may have to select each category to view the list of devices.) Select the device name.
  3. Select Action, and then choose either Update driver or Uninstall to correct the errors.

Common troubleshooting questions


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I received an error code while updating.

If you are receiving an error message with a specific error code, try running the Windows Update Troubleshooter. If that doesn't resolve the issue, see Fix Windows Update errors and follow the instructions to help resolve common update issues.

My update got to 51-99% and won’t complete installation. What’s wrong?

The time required to download and install updates depends on connection speed, network settings, and the size of the update. If the installation remains stuck at the same percentage, try checking for updates again or running the Windows Update Troubleshooter.

To check for updates, select Start  > Settings  > Update & Security  > Windows Update  > Check for updates. 

To get help, in the search box on the task bar, type Get help, then select Get Help from the list of results. To leave feedback if you run into further problems, in the search box on the taskbar, type Feedback hub, then select Feedback Hub from the list of results. 

How can I stop my computer from updating?

Windows 10 is the most secure Windows ever, and we recommend you stay updated to protect your PC from security risks and to keep it running smoothly. However, you can temporarily pause updates as well as schedule a restart to install updates at a time that's convenient for you. Learn how to temporarily pause updatesFind out how to schedule a restart to install updates at a convenient time

How do I turn off update notifications?

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

Tip

If you need to know where you left off in your work after an update, use Timeline to jump back in.

To get started with Timeline, select Task View on the taskbar, or press the Windows logo key +Tab and select the activity you want to resume.

Do updates affect my data usage?

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

If you’re on a metered connection, some updates for Windows won’t be installed automatically. Learn more in Metered connections in Windows 10.

How do I fix a slow computer?

Your computer might be slow for a number of reasons, but updating to the latest version of Windows 10 can improve its performance. For help with a slow computer, see Tips to improve PC performance in Windows 10.

The update finished, but now I can’t find my files.

If you're having trouble finding your files after an upgrade, see Find lost files after the upgrade to Windows 10 for other things to try.

Advanced


Warning

Microsoft only recommends trying the procedures in this section if you're comfortable working in the command line. These procedures require administrator permissions on your device. 

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Temporarily remove third-party security software

In some instances, third-party antivirus or security software can cause errors when you try to update to the latest version of Windows 10. You can temporarily uninstall this software, update your PC, and then reinstall the software after your device is up to date. We recommend using third-party antivirus or security software that’s compatible with the latest version of Windows 10. You can check compatibility by visiting the software manufacturer’s website.

Note

Before uninstalling software, make sure you know how to reinstall your programs and that you have any necessary product keys.

Repair hard drive errors

In the search box on the taskbar, type command prompt, then select Command Prompt from the list of results. In the window that appears, type chkdsk/f C: and select the Enter key. Repairs automatically start on your hard drive, and you’ll be asked to restart your device.

Perform a clean boot into Windows

A clean boot starts Windows with a minimal set of drivers and startup programs. This helps eliminate software conflicts that occur when you install a program or an update that may cause issues updating your PC. Learn how to do a clean restart. 

Restore and repair system files

In the search box on the taskbar, type command prompt, then select Command Prompt from the list of results. In the window that appears, type DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth and select the Enter key. Learn how to repair a Windows image.

Perform a clean installation of Windows 10

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