How to Fix Windows 10 Version 1903 Failing to Install Issue

Featured Image Windows 10 Upgrade To 1903

Currently, many of us are on Windows 1803, which is one of the most stable versions of Windows 10. As part of its May 2019 version roll-outs, Microsoft is forcing everyone to switch to its latest update, 1903. The deadline is November 12, 2019, which means you can only delay the inevitable so far.

However, as many have reported, the new version is buggy. The main problems are mysterious error codes such as “0x80242016” and the PC taking forever to reboot during any of its update stages.

If it seems frustrating, do not worry. The following tried-and-tested procedure will help you install Windows 10 Version 1903 updates in your first attempt. You might have to spare between four to eight hours, but the update occurs in the system tray background, which means you can continue to use your laptop for light tasks.

Diagnose Your PC for Update-Related Issues/Troubleshooting

In my experience (after two failed attempts), the biggest challenge with version 1903 lies in the automatic update itself, which is scheduled by Microsoft. You must completely ignore this warning – a cold restart will consume more time, freeze at a moment’s notice and there is no pause button if you have a wonky Internet connection.

Instead, it is better to use the Windows Update Assistant which we shall discuss in the next section. Before that, check for the most common problems, such as lack of disk space and device manager errors.

Once done, download a tiny software called “Windows Update Troubleshooter.” It will automatically detect any update problems in a few minutes.

Pending Update Problem Win10 1903

The troubleshooter will let you know if you must download and install any pending updates. Click “Apply this fix.”

Download Install Pending0updates Apply Fix

The most pressing PC problems will be addressed by the troubleshooter, such as an update of Windows components that need to be repaired. Not all errors are serious. For example, I found a few database errors, which is normal.

Windows Error Found 1903 Updates

You can view the troubleshooting report for more details of the unresolved errors.

Windows Update Error

Download the Updates – It Will Take a While

Go to the Windows Update Assistant Page and download the “Windows 10 May 2019 update.” Before you download the updates, it will let you know if your PC is compatible. If you see the below screen, you will be successful in updating to 1903.

Update Message Windows 10 For 1903

Once you run the program, you will be greeted by a welcome screen. Click “Update now.”

Windows 10 Update Assistant

Ensure that your Internet connection is running smoothly. In case of Internet trouble, do not discontinue the program or shut down your PC. Microsoft recommends that you keep the PC connected via a charging cable at all times. As soon as your Internet resumes, so will the update.

Try to use an unlimited Internet connection.

Windows 10 Update Assistant Percent 1

The first 25 percent of downloading the update will consume a lot of time. Be patient, as there is nothing wrong with the update. You can minimize the window to a system tray.

Once the download has completed, the system will automatically restart.

Verifying the Download and Finishing the Update

In the next stage the update assistant will verify the download and get your computer ready. This phase will not consume much time.

Getting Update Ready 2nd Stage

After the download is verified, your PC will restart again. In the third and final stage, Windows 10 will update itself. Generally, there are no issues, but some people have reported that they were stuck at 51 to 99 percent. It is mostly an Internet issue which you can solve by fixing your connectivity and restarting the update.

Windows 10 Update Assistant Getting Updates Ready 14 Percent Stage3

The third update stage will take a while (two or three hours), and your PC has to restart once again.

After the restart, you can see the new homepage screen for Windows 10, version 1903. In the following screen you’ll notice that Cortana and Search are now separated.

New Homepage Screen 1903 In Win 10

Additionally, there is an enhanced search mode and Windows Sandbox which is a virtual machine feature. The enhanced search option in Version 1903 allows you to search for files that you forgot a long time ago.

Enhanced Search 1903


Windows 10 version 1903 will be the last major update for a very long time. Sure, it is buggy, but it might lead to new functionalities in the near future. Did you face any problems with Windows 10 updates? Please share your experience in the comments.

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  1. If I’m on version 1803 can I go directly to version 1903 or is v1903 expecting that I have version 1809 already installed? i.e., is v1903 cumulative?d

    1. Hi Dan

      You will straightaway move to 1903, totally bypassing 1809. Just use the Windows Update Assistant to be sure.

    2. My Microsoft go did the update and now the video card keeps crashing. My Dell laptop keeps losing ihe internet since the last update about ,3 days ago. Microsoft has been less than helpful. It has s getting very frustrating since the deadline is Nov. 12 and this update is really causing me issues

  2. Windows Update Assistant worked for me, too. I keep Windows Update disabled and have a number of other things disabled in Group Policy (Win 10 Pro 1803). It was far easier to use the Update Assistant than sort out all the changes, then reset them.

  3. It killed my home laptop completely. Couldn’t restore, nothing. End up installing from scratch.
    On office laptop it slowed it down completely that I couldn’t right click on desktop. Luckily there I restored it to an earlier date and postponed updates. I’m done with Ms updates. Wasted so much time on this.

    1. Well i got as far as the final step. At the 2 hour point a message appeared indicating the update had failed. I needed to restart my computer and now the changes are being backed out, not at my request the back out started automatically. I don’t know what to do now. Wait a month and try again? Maybe microsoft will fix the problem??

      1. Carol,

        Is your backout over? Are you able to access the Windows 10 older version? Then, you need to check for problems with Windows Update troubleshooter (see 1st step screenshots). If there are any, apply and fix them.

        DId you perform a cold restart? That might be what is causing those annoying rollbacks. Avoid a restart with update and use the Windows Update Assistant in Step 2 and make sure you see the PC compatible screenshot.

        If you’re making it to the final step, you’re probably getting a 51-99% error. According to Microsoft, it’s only the Windows Troubleshooter that can solve.

        Try these steps once again, and the update should be over. If not, upload a link to a screenshot the exact moment your PC freezes. Will try to help.

  4. The last time that I updated my windows my computer crashed. Now all I have is a d os screen. No Microsoft at all.
    Now my computer is junk.

  5. Great! That was the reply I was hoping for.
    Thanks, Sayak!


  6. I have an HP laptop with 449 GB SSD.
    The automatic update from 1803 to 1903 failed three times. I then found a website which suggested – as above – running the Update Assistant.
    It then said run services.msc; stop Windows Update, BITS and Superfetch and then clear out the folder
    C:/Windows/Software Distribution/Downloads/
    This I did – but the Delete All did not fully work and I had to delete a whole lot of stuff more individually.
    I think the idea was to let the Update process start from scratch.
    There was one more failed update – which was an odd one because it tried quite soon after I had completed the file deletions and I did not think it had had time to upload a full new OS.
    Anyway, the following day it asked to update again – and I was pleasantly surprised to have the option of ‘Shutdown’ as well as ‘Restart and update’. So I did a disc image save (AOMEI backupper) for the third time in three days and then let the update run. It took about 3 hrs – although initial estimates based on time to 12% suggested a lot longer than that.
    Anyway, this time it worked. I wait to see whether other bugs reported above surface.
    I see that a whole load of presumably redundant stuff has been stored in C:/Windows.old/ and it would be interesting to read whether or not there is any downside to deleting it – though I guess it would take quite a lot of work to do.
    How long before a practical alternative to Windows becomes available ? A classic example of misused monopoly power.
    I have have used computers at work since 1970 and at home since Sinclair’s first kit and all the versions of Windows. I have never had so much trouble and extra work to maintain my home computer as with W10. I realise that quite a lot of the problems are to do with being connected to the internet. Those computers disconnected eg for programming PLCs and running presentations seem work away with very little or no maintenance overhead. But much of the problems seem to be to do with the deliberate trapdoors built in to Windows to allow MS to snoop and pry. Hard to stop others from doing that in such a situation.

  7. I have a Lenovo all-in-one desktop PC. The latest update has totally crashed it. It just wont load. It will turn on, start loading, goes to desktop image and that’s where it sits, for hours on end. Nothing happens. Mouse will move around the desktop, but nothing can be selected, typed or anything. No icons on screen, nothing on toolbar. It looks like a very expensive portrait sitting on my desk.

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