Troubleshoot Windows Update when updates fail to install or create problems. Explore the Windows Update Troubleshooter feature.
- [Lecturer] So you're working as part of a Help Desk Support team and you get a call from a user saying that their computer won't process any Windows 10 updates. What do you need to do to find the cause and then fix the issue? First you can verify the issue by checking for updates and then viewing the update history to see when the last update was installed. Obviously, if this was within the last few days there's probably not a problem. However, if this was over a month ago then it's certainly worth invoking your troubleshooting skills.
You can use the Windows Update Troubleshooter to check to see if the Windows Update service is running. You can check to see if the folder cache is present and if everything looks in order. If there's still a problem, you can use the Advanced settings of the Troubleshooter to have Windows apply repairs automatically as an Administrator. The tool will perform three actions: first, it will shut down the Windows Update service, which frees up access to the update folder; it then renames the software distribution folder; and then restarts the Windows Update service.
Deleting or renaming the software distribution folder will reset the Windows Update, and this will remove any partially updated or downloaded updates. With this completed, you can use it to check for updates to try the update process again. Another issue that you might encounter is where a particular update is calling issues. Sometimes a single update, perhaps a new device driver, keeps crashing your system and every time you roll it back to uninstall it, the update keeps trying to reinstall.
Microsoft have created an optional download tool called Show or Hide Updates. This is a workaround to allow you to block specific updates. You can find the link to download the Show or Hide Updates tool onscreen. Let's drop onto our demo PC and take a look at how to troubleshoot Windows Update. I'll click Start and then Settings and then choose Update and Security. We can see from the update status that the device is up to date and it was recently checked.
Let's view the installed update history and we can see that there are no installed updates on this machine. If on your machine there's a recent gap in your device receiving updates, you should run the Windows Update Troubleshooter. We can find the troubleshooting tool in the Troubleshoot section and then select the Windows Update Troubleshooter. The tool detects problems and checks for pending updates.
The Troubleshooter has found a problem with the Windows Update Database. Let's apply this fix and allow the Troubleshooter to rebuild the Windows Update Database. The troubleshooting tool has completed, the problems have been resolved and now we can close the Troubleshooter. I'll return to Windows Update and check for updates. The device is up to date which means the problem must have been with the database.
Let's take a look at when a particular update is causing issues. First, we need to use a tool called Show or Hide Updates. We can obtain the tool from this Microsoft Support website. The tool launches and we need to click Next. The tool will now search for updates. We need to select Hide updates. We can then select an update that will be hidden from Windows and therefore will not be applied.
I'll select Hide updates. The only update we've got available is the Intel System. I'll choose the Intel System update. Only choose updates that you want Windows to ignore and then click Next. The Troubleshooter will mark the selected updates as hidden from Windows and therefore not apply further updates. We can now close the Troubleshooter.
- Enterprise desktop support skills and traits
- Remote troubleshooting
- Troubleshooting hardware and device issues
- Using System Restore
- Securing user accounts
- Resolving networking issues
- Managing files and disks
- Troubleshooting sharing and file access issues
- Resolving app compatibility
- System resource issues: RAM, CPU, and more
- Essential Windows 10 maintenance
- Windows 10 startup issues