Having A Problem Doing Windows Update? Here is How To Troubleshoot

Keeping Windows up-to-date is the key to run Windows as secure and stable as possible. And Windows Update is the key component to that mission so if you see it fails to get latest updates installed on your Windows system you better get fixed sooner than later in order to have a healthy system down the road.

So what to do if it happens?

First of all, check the error code

Most of the time, if you encounter a window update problem you will be shown an error code with some basic information, such as:

800B0001

Then, do some Google search you will probably find the cause where it went wrong. For example, to fix the error in the screenshot above, follow this post.

Windows Update Troubleshooter

If that doesn’t go well and the Windows Update on your computer is still having difficulty finding and installing newer updates, it’s time to give this Windows Update Troubleshooter from Microsoft a try.

Download and open the tool, then follow the on-screen instructions. The option for Auto-repair is checked by default and is hidden in Advanced area.

Windows Update - 2015-11-27 23_10_49

The troubleshooter will run and scan to find any issues that may cause problems for Windows Update. If auto-repair is checked, any detected issues during the troubleshoot will be repaired automatically.

Windows Update - 2015-11-27 22_07_35

Once it’s done, manually run Windows Update again to see if works.

Reset Windows Update Agent

If the problem persists, there is also a scripted written by Microsoft to reset Windows Update agent to default, to get a fresh restart.

Download the tool from Microsoft website and launch it as Administrator.

Administrator_ Reset Windows Update Agent. - 2015-11-27 23_25_36

Click Y to continue and more options show up:

Administrator_ Reset Windows Update Agent. - 2015-11-27 23_28_58

No. 7 is probably the option to go at this point to reset all Windows Update Component. Once done the process, restart your Windows computer and manually try Windows Update again.

The script is verified and works in Windows XP all the way up to Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.

Final notes

There are many things that can cause Windows Update to go wrong. And each time when it goes wrong the way to get it fixed probably varies too. It’s hard to just pin down a fixed steps to fix all Windows Update related problem. The options listed in this post are solid options that you can definitely include in your troubleshoot routine.

Thanks to The Windows Club for inspiring some of the ideas in this post.

Kent Chen

Microsoft MVP, IT Professional, Developer, Geek, and the co-founder of Next of Windows.

Last updated: 11/27/2015

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