Most of the time, Windows 10 updates download and install with no problems. But then there are those times when the update either doesn’t download correctly or the installation messes up. Instead of giving up, there are several ways to troubleshoot Windows 10 update installation problems so that you spend less time updating and more time using your PC.
1. Ensure You Have Free Space
One of the most common Windows 10 update installation problems is also one of the simplest to fix. Most Windows updates are smaller and just add a few features or security fixes. However, major feature updates are much larger, usually several gigabytes.
If your PC doesn’t have enough space, you may get an error during the download or installation phase. Remember, during installation you’ll need more space than the actual download size. Windows will delete the installation files when the process is finished.
Check your hard drive space to ensure you have around 10 GB available. Most updates are around 3 GB, but this gives you ample space for the installation process.
Open File Explorer and click on My PC in the left pane. Look for your hard drive, and you’ll see the currently-used space compared to what’s available.
If you’re low on space, move some files to an external hard drive. This also helps your PC work better.
2. Run Windows Update Troubleshooter
While Windows’s troubleshooting tools aren’t always the most helpful solutions, they can help you pinpoint some issues. Sometimes, the troubleshooter will even fix the issue for you.
Go to “Start -> Settings -> Update & Security.” Choose Troubleshoot from the left pane.
In the right pane, scroll to the “Get up and running” section. Click “Windows Update.”
Click “Run the Troubleshooter” and follow the prompts. You’ll get details on what might be going wrong. Windows will try to fix the issues for you.
3. Check for Known Issues
Usually, if you’re having Windows 10 update installation problems, you’re not alone. In fact, Microsoft keeps a running list of known problems with most updates. These include download, installation, and PC errors.
Visit the Release Health tool and select the version of Windows you’re trying to update to. The version is listed with the update itself in “Start -> Settings -> Update & Security -> Windows Update.”
Look for any installation errors. If you find any, follow Microsoft’s guidance for pushing past the error. We also keep a list of the latest Windows update issues.
4. Ensure Previous Updates Are Installed
Windows updates have to be installed in a certain order. If you notice some updates have downloaded, but aren’t installing, it may be because a previous update hasn’t installed yet.
If you have a series of updates, you’ll likely be prompted to restart your computer a few times to install them. Windows may choose to install five updates together but would need to restart to install another three.
As simple as it may sound, restart your computer and see if any updates install during the reboot process. If so, the next updates in line should begin installing with no problems.
5. Use the Windows Update Assistant
One of the more annoying Windows 10 update installation problems is your installation getting to a certain percentage and then stopping. Stuck installations are frustrating, especially when they make it 99 percent.
Sometimes, the only way to fix this is to download and install the update manually using the Windows Update Assistant. In this case, there could be an issue with the Windows Update tool on your PC. Updating manually can help fix this.
The tool takes you through how to create an installation media and use it. It’s recommended to back up all your files before proceeding just in case something goes wrong.
6. Troubleshoot Error Codes
Sometimes, you get lucky and get an error code during the installation process. If so, it’s much easier to figure out and fix the problem.
Microsoft provides a list of the most common Windows update and installation error codes along with their corresponding fixes. Issues with installed hardware, driver problems, and hard drive corruption are the most common culprits. A popular fix that works surprisingly in many cases is just running Windows Update again and letting the tool try installing your update again.