All the computers you own are equipped with the same version of Windows, however you have noticed that one of them has not received operating system updates for a few months. Intending to get over the situation, you opened Windows Update and that’s where the bitter surprise came: the download of updates stops with a strange error code and, despite you, you are unable to continue.
If this is the case, I am happy to let you know that you are in the right place, at the right time. In the course of this guide, in fact, I will explain to you in detail how to restore Windows Update on all major editions of the Microsoft operating system, showing you both how to reset the download of automatic updates, and how to repair any program malfunctions.
If you are therefore really interested in finding out how to proceed, I suggest you get comfortable and concentrate carefully on reading my instructions: I am sure that, in the end, you will be able to tell yourself more than satisfied with the results obtained and that in case of need you will also be ready. to explain everything to your friends in need of a similar “tip”.
- How to reset Windows Update: Windows 10 and later
- Re-enable updates
- Solve problems
- How to reset Windows Update: Windows 8.1
- Re-enable updates
- Solve problems
- How to reset Windows Update: Windows 7
- Re-enable updates
- Solve problems
- How to reset Windows Update in case of errors: emergency procedures
- Wsreset (Windows 10 and later only)
- Manually deleting temporary files (Windows 7 and later)
- Windows Update Reset Tool (Windows 8 and later)
- WSUS Offline Update (Windows 7 and later)
How to reset Windows Update: Windows 10 and later
If you are using Windows 10 or a later edition of Microsoft’s operating system, you will be delighted to find that, in most cases, it is possible to resolve issues related to not downloading available updates directly through the operating system’s Settings panel. Find everything explained below.
Have you paused the automatic download and installation of system updates and would like to restore them now? So do this: first, right-click on the Windows Start button (the flag icon that resides in the lower left part of the taskbar), choose the Settings item from the menu that appears and then click on the icon relating to Update and Security , visible in the panel that opens on the screen.
Now, click on Windows Update and, to restore the automatic download and installation of updates when available, click on the Resume updates button . In addition, you can use the Change active hours option , located on the same screen, to adjust the active hours , which is the period of the day during which the computer does not have to restart automatically following the installation of an update.
Using the Advanced Options item , on the other hand, you can choose whether or not to receive updates for other Microsoft products , whether to download updates with metered connections or whether to automatically restart the device as soon as possible (and in any case outside the operating hours of the computer), when a reboot is required to complete the update installation.
If, on the other hand, you are no longer able to obtain Windows updates because you continue to encounter errors of various kinds, you can try to solve Windows Update problems using the special tool integrated into the operating system.
To use it, right-click on the Start button , select the Settings item from the menu that appears and, once in the new window, click first on the Update and security button and then on the Troubleshooting item .
Now, click on the item Additional troubleshooting tools located at the bottom, click on the Windows Update item and then on the Run the troubleshooter button .
At this point, wait a few minutes for Windows to identify the problem and slavishly follow the instructions that appear on the screen, to try to solve it; generally, you have to click on the Next button several times and choose the solution suggested by Windows , to apply it automatically.
Finally, click on the Close troubleshooter item , restart your computer and try again to download and apply Windows updates: everything should now go smoothly. If the problem does not go away, take a look in the final chapter of this guide, in which I have suggested a couple of more drastic, but almost always decisive, solutions.
How to reset Windows Update: Windows 8.1
To restore the behavior of Windows Update on Windows 8.1 , you must first re-enable the reception of automatic system updates; if you encounter any errors during the download phase, you can deal with it by running the diagnostic tool built into Windows, as you find indicated in the following sections of this chapter.
To reactivate the download of Windows 8.1 automatic updates , press the Win + I key combination , in order to recall the Windows settings charm, then click on the Change PC settings item located at the bottom of the panel that appears.
Then, click on the Update and restore item located in the sidebar of the window that appears on the screen, select the Windows Update item (on the left) and press on the item Choose how to install updates , visible at the bottom.
Now, set the dropdown menu Major updates on the Install updates automatically (recommended) , and also indicates whether or not to download the recommended updates and those of Microsoft Update (dedicated to other Microsoft products), acting on the boxes.
Finally, click on the button Apply , press the left arrow located at the top and start to download any available updates, click on the button Check for updates .
Alternatively, you can get the same result by acting from the Control Panel : you can find out how to do it in one of the following sections of this guide.
If you have any problems downloading Windows 8.1 updates, you can use the “stock” diagnostic tool, available in the Control Panel .
So, open the latter by right clicking on the Windows Start button (the flag icon located in the lower right corner of the screen) and selecting the appropriate item from the context menu that appears.
Once in the Control Panel window, click on the item Find and solve problems , under the heading System and security . If you do not find it, click on the option located next to the View by item (top right) and choose the Category option from the menu that is proposed to you.
Once in the dedicated section, click on the item Solve problems related to Windows Update located at the bottom, immediately under the heading System and security , click on the Next button and wait for Windows to analyze the status of Windows Update.
If everything went well, the operating system should ask you a few questions to identify the exact problem, then detect the error and propose some applicable solutions: all you have to do is answer the questions that are asked and follow them carefully. the instructions you see on screen.
In some cases, Windows may also ask you to examine other solutions , if those proposed do not have the desired effect. Anyway, once the Windows Update diagnostics are complete, close the troubleshooter and restart your computer – with any luck, you should now be able to get Windows updates.
If the problem persists, you can follow one of the more drastic – but effective – solutions that you find reported in the final chapter of this tutorial.
How to reset Windows Update: Windows 7
Even Windows 7 allows you to easily reset the Windows Update behavior, but beware: this edition of the system is no longer supported by Microsoft . This means, in the first place, that it may not be possible to proceed with the download of system updates; furthermore, even if I were to be able to obtain them, Windows would still be exposed to potential privacy and security issues, as it is an outdated operating system.
For this reason, rather than proceeding with the Windows Update reset, I recommend that you update Windows 7 to a newer edition (Windows 8.1 or, better yet, Windows 10). If you really can’t proceed, consult the next sections of this chapter, to understand how to reset the automatic update download and solve (if possible) the problems related to the operation of Windows Update.
To reactivate Windows 7 automatic updates, open the Start menu of the operating system, by clicking on the Windows flag located at the bottom left, type the word Windows Update in the appropriate field and click on the first result received.
Now, to activate the reception of automatic updates again, click on the Activate automatic updates button , located in the center of the screen. To check for new updates available, click instead on Check for updates , located in the left sidebar.
If you wish, you can also change the behavior of Windows Update, specifying whether to download and install important updates automatically, whether to download them only, whether to notify them or whether to install them at a certain time of day; you can also choose whether or not to download, with the same criteria, even the recommended updates . Once you have defined the options you prefer, click on the OK button located at the bottom right, to apply them.
Windows 7 also integrates a “standard” tool capable of solving problems related to Windows Update: to use it, open the Control Panel by clicking on the appropriate item in the Start menu and follow the same instructions already seen for Windows 8.1 : i steps to be taken are almost identical.
How to reset Windows Update in case of errors: emergency procedures
Even though you have followed all the instructions I gave you in the previous chapters of this guide, do you continue to encounter problems of various kinds with Windows Update, or while downloading updates? Do not despair, all is not lost: in fact, there are some fairly drastic emergency procedures that can almost always solve the problems upstream.
My recommendation is to use it only if there are no other viable ways and, above all, in the order in which I suggest them: the less invasive interventions will be performed, the lower the chances of altering the behavior of other Windows components! Having made all the necessary clarifications, let’s see together how to proceed.
Wsreset (Windows 10 and later only)
First of all, if you use Windows 10 or a later edition of the operating system, you can start by clearing the Microsoft Store cache : sometimes, incomplete files inside it can prevent Windows Update from downloading updates correctly.
To do this, press the key combination Win + R on your keyboard, type the command wsreset.exein the panel that appears and click the OK button : within a few moments, an empty Command Prompt window should appear , bearing the title C:\Windows\System32\wsreset.exeand the Microsoft Store icon .
After a few seconds, the Command Prompt will silently close and a new Microsoft Store window will automatically open; when this happens, restart your computer and, at the next login, try to download updates from Windows Update again.
Manually deleting temporary files (Windows 7 and later)
If this solution does not solve the problem, or if you are not using Windows 10 but a previous edition of Microsoft’s operating system, you can try to completely clear the Windows Update cache (and re-register its components) by acting from the Command Prompt .
To proceed, open the Windows Start menu , type the word cmd in it and right-click on the Command Prompt icon , in order to call up its context menu; now, select the item Run as administrator from the menu that appears and click on the Yes button , to open a Prompt window with elevated permissions.
Please, act with caution and only execute the commands that I am about to list : the actions will be performed with administrative privileges and, in the event of incorrect instructions, you could irreparably compromise the functioning of Windows . Then don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Anyway, once the Prompt window is open, type the following commands, one at a time, by pressing the Enter key on your keyboard for each one.
- net stop wuauserv
- cd %systemroot%\SoftwareDistribution
- ren Download Download.old
- regsvr32 /s wuaueng.dll
- regsvr32 /s wuaueng1.dll
- regsvr32 /s atl.dll
- regsvr32 /s wups.dll
- regsvr32 /s wups2.dll
- regsvr32 /s wuweb.dll
- regsvr32 /s wucltui.dll
- net start wuauserv
- net stop bits
- net start bits
- net stop cryptsvc
- cd %systemroot%\system32
- ren catroot2 catroot2old
- net start cryptsvc
Finally, restart your computer and try to start a new search for updates in Windows Update: everything should work correctly.
Windows Update Reset Tool (Windows 8 and later)
Another tool you can rely on to try to solve Windows Update problems is WUReset – or Windows Update Reset Tool , a tool that, in a couple of clicks, allows you to analyze the system for any critical errors and repair them. acting on Windows components (including update manager) and replacing any wrong files and registry keys. The software is compatible with Windows 8 and later editions of Windows.
Generally, running WUReset allows you to restore the functioning of Windows Update by intervening on different parts of the operating system, but be careful: this program can also intervene on other delicate parts of the operating system, returning them to their initial settings.
This does not mean that you will lose your data, but some software, especially those that work closely with Windows components, may temporarily work in an unexpected way: take this into account, please.
In any case, to download WUReset, connected to the official website of the tool, click on the Download button located inside it and then on the Download button corresponding to the version of the software that best suits the architecture of your operating system (eg wuresetXX_setup_winx64.exe , if you are using 64-bit Windows, or wureset_XX_setup_winx86.exe , if you are using 32-bit Windows).
When the download is complete, open the file obtained and click on the Yes and Next buttons , then put the check mark next to the item I agree to the terms of this license agreement and click again on the Next button for four consecutive times and then on Finish , to exit the WUReset installation program.
Now, locate the Reset Windows Update Tool icon in the Windows Start menu , right-click on it, choose the items Other> Run as administrator from the context menu that appears and click on the Yes button , to start the program with the necessary permissions .
If everything went well, a Command Prompt window with a blue background should open on the screen: if you are asked to select the language , press the key corresponding to Italian (it should be 5 ) and press Enter , to go to the next step.
At this point, well aware that the WUReset scripts will modify and restore some components of Windows and the registry, authorize their execution by pressing the S key on the keyboard and giving Enter again .
If everything went well, you should now find yourself in front of the list of tools that can be run: to start one, you have to type the corresponding number and hit Enter . For the purposes of this guide, I recommend that you only run the following scripts one at a time.
- Reset Windows Update Components(2)
- Delete Windows Temporary Files(3)
- Run System File Checker Tool(6)
- Perform self-repair operations(9)
- Clean replaced components(10)
- Eliminate incorrect registry values(11)
- Reset Winsock settings(12)
- Microsoft Windows Store Reset(13)
- Check for Windows Updates(15)
At the end of each script, you will see a message that the commands have been executed and an invitation to press a key to continue. Once the search for Windows updates has started (the system settings panel will open), if the search is successful, quietly close WUReset. If not, try to run all the scripts proposed by the program.
WSUS Offline Update (Windows 7 and later)
As a last resort, you can download Windows updates via another computer and then apply them to the “problematic” one, hoping to fix any problems, using the free WSUS Offline Update program .
It allows, in detail, to download the installation packages of Windows updates locally and to apply them on any other computer, in series. WSUS Offline Update allows you to download updates for all editions of Windows 8.1 or later, both 32-bit and 64-bit.
To obtain the software, connected to its home page , click on the link located under the heading ESR Version and, once the program .zip file has been downloaded , extract the contents in a folder of your choice and start the UpdateGenerator.exe executable file .
Now, open the Windows tab and put the check mark next to the operating system of your interest, making sure to choose the correct architecture ( x64 Global for 64-bit Windows, x86 Global for 32-bit Windows); Download options for older Windows 8.1 operating systems can be found on the Windows Legacy tab .
Once you have chosen the operating system and selected the updates to download, put the check mark next to the items Verify downloaded updates , Include C ++ Runtime Libraries and .NET Frameworks , Include Service Packs and Include Windows Defender definitions , click on the Start button and wait that the download of the selected updates is completed; should you be asked to update the Trusted Root type certificates , answer in the affirmative by clicking on the Yes button .
Once the download is complete (you can check its status using the Command Prompt window that opens), all the installation packages will be copied to the dedicated subfolders of WSUS Offline Update. To install them, copy the program folder on the problematic computer, open it, go to the Client subfolder and start the UpdateInstaller.exe program .
To start the automatic update installation process, click on the Start button ; at the end of the procedure, restart your computer and try again to use Windows Update: if everything went smoothly, you should now be able to download the next updates using the system tool.
How do you say? Is your problem still there? In this case, I can only suggest that you reset Windows to its initial settings – I know, it’s an extremely drastic procedure but, at this point, it might be the only way to solve your problem. To learn more about this topic, I refer you to reading my tutorial on how to restore Windows , in which I have explained everything to you in great detail.