Windows 10 – Updates Failing

Background : You run the windows updates and it keeps failing or you end up rebooting and the updates shows up on the start button again.

Reasoning : The last bunch of updates ran into issues due to previous pending updates or the cache isn’t cleared of the earlier broken updates.

Fixes: I suggest the following that you clear the cache following the steps below
Note : For some of the steps below, is best you login to the safe mode, if you cannot access the following folders or service access is denied.

Step 1: STOP the Windows Update Service.

1. Open Windows Services control panel: To do that:

  • Press Windows  + R keys to open the run command box.
  • In the Search box, type: services.msc  & click OK.

2. In Services control panel locate the “Windows Update” service.
3. Right-click on Windows Update service and select “Stop“.

stop windows update service

Step 2: Delete the SoftwareDistribution folder.

1. Open Windows Explorer and navigate to: C:\Windows folder.
2. Find and Delete the “SoftwareDistribution” folder (or rename it. e.g. to “SoftwareDistributionOLD”) . *

* Note: If you cannot delete or rename the folder, start Windows in Safe Mode.


Step 3: START the Windows Update Service.

1. Open Windows Services control panel.
2. Right-click on Windows Update service and select “Start“.

start windows update service

Step 4. Run the System File checker.

Go to Start >Type CMD, select run as administrator

Run the “SFC /Scannow” as shown below and hit enter for it to finish.

Process can take sometime to complete :

Reboot your windows 10 device on completion.
Windows Resource Protection(WRP) will give you a message for any errors found or a confirmation, it did not find any integrity violations.

Step 5. Check & Install Updates.

1. Go to Settings -> Update and Security -> and click Check for Updates.

In most cases, the above fixes all your most update issues.