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How to reset the Windows Update components on Windows 10

Here are a few techniques to reset the Windows Update components to fix stuck updates trying to download and install on Windows 10.

Reset Windows 10 Update

Windows Update is an essential component on every major release of Windows 10, as it allows the OS to download and install the latest updates with bug fixes, security patches, and drivers. Also, on Windows 10, it’s also the mechanism to obtain new feature updates and preview builds. However, there will times when your device may not be able to download or install updates, because of a specific error message, Windows Update not being able to connect to the Microsoft servers, and many other problems.

Usually, users may come across this type of problems when the Windows Update agent related services stop working, there’s an issue with the update cache, or some components are corrupted. In these situations, you can reset the Windows Update on Windows 10 to fix most problems.

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to reset the Windows Update components using the “Windows Update Troubleshooter” utility and the instructions to use Command Prompt to manually fix Windows Update and get security patches, drivers, and features downloading again on your computer. However, before using the Command Prompt option, make sure to use the instructions to install the most recent update manually, Service Stack Update (SSU), and repairing system files first. 

How to reset Windows Update using Troubleshooter tool

Use these steps to reset the Windows Update components using the automated troubleshooter:

  1. Download the Windows Update Troubleshooter from Microsoft.

  2. Double-click the WindowsUpdateDiagnostic.diagcab file to run the troubleshooter.

  3. Select the Windows Update option.

  4. Click the Next button.

    Reset Windows Update using the 'Windows Update Troubleshooter'

  5. Click the Try troubleshooting as an administrator option (if applicable). Re-select your option and click the Next button again.

  6. Click the Close button.

  7. Open Windows Update Troubleshooter again.

  8. Select the Windows Networking Diagnostics option to resolve any networking issues preventing updates from downloading.

  9. Click the Next button.

  10. Click the Close button.

  11. Restart your computer.

Once your PC restarts try to update Windows 10 one more time and now it should work as expected.

How to fix Windows Update installing latest update manually

Use these steps to install an update manually, which can help to fix problems with Windows Update on Windows 10:

  1. Open the Windows 10 update history website.

  2. In the left pane, browse the latest update for your version of Windows 10 and note the KB number of the update.

    Quick tip: You can check your current version on Settings > System > About, and under the “Windows Specifications” section, see the version information.
  3. Open the Microsoft Update Catalog website.

  4. Search for the knowledge base (KB) number of the update.

  5. Download the update for version of Windows 10 that you’re running (32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64)).

  6. Double-click the file to install the update.

  7. Restart your computer.

Once you complete the steps, the device should have the latest update installed. The update should have also fixed the problem with Windows Update. You can check clicking the Check for updates button in the Windows Update settings page.

How to fix Windows Update installing latest Servicing Stack Update (SSU)

Use these steps to make sure your computer has the most recent Servicing Stack Update to fix Windows Update problems on Windows 10:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on System.

  3. Click on About.

  4. Under the “System type” section, check whether you’re running the 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows 10.

    Windows 10 About settings page displaying version
    Windows 10 About settings page displaying version
  5. Open the Microsoft Update Catalog website.

  6. Download the most recent Servicing Stack Update which is described as KB4090914 for version you’re running (32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64)).

  7. Double-click the file to install the update.

  8. Restart your computer.

After restarting your device, you should now be able to download and install the update using the Settings app.

How to fix Windows Update repairing corrupted system files

Use these steps to repair system files using Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) and System File Checker (SFC) to fix Windows Update problems:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.

  3. Type the following DISM command to repair corrupted system files and press Enter:

    dism.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth
    
  4. Type the following SFC command to repair system files and press Enter:

    sfc /scannow

After completing the steps, Windows Update should have been repaired, and you can check for updates again to verify.

How to reset Windows Update using Command Prompt

Use these steps to reset the Windows Update components manually using Command Prompt on Windows 10:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.

  3. Type the following commands to stop the Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS), Windows Update service, and Cryptographic service, and press Enter on each line:

    net stop bits
    net stop wuauserv
    net stop appidsvc
    net stop cryptsvc
    Quick Tip: You may need to run the command more than ones until you see the message that the service has stopped successfully.

    Net Stop commands to stop Windows Update services

  4. Type the following command to delete all the qmgr*.dat files created by BITS from your PC. and press Enter:

    Del "%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Application Data\Microsoft\Network\Downloader\*.*"
  5. Type Y to confirm the deletion.

  6. Type the following commands to clear the Windows Update cache to allow Windows 10 re-download the updates, instead of using the files already downloaded on your system that might be damaged and press Enter on each line:

    rmdir %systemroot%\SoftwareDistribution /S /Q
    rmdir %systemroot%\system32\catroot2 /S /Q
    Quick Tip: We’re using the remove directory rmdir command with the /S switch to delete the specified directory and all subdirectories within the main folder, and the /Q switch is used to delete directories quietly without confirmation. If you get the message “The process cannot access the file because it is being used by another process.”, then repeat step 1 and try again, as one of the services might have restarted unexpectedly.
  7. Type the following commands reset the BITS and Windows Update services to their default security descriptor, and press Enter on each line:

    sc.exe sdset bits D:(A;;CCLCSWRPWPDTLOCRRC;;;SY)(A;;CCDCLCSWRPWPDTLOCRSDRCWDWO;;;BA)(A;;CCLCSWLOCRRC;;;AU)(A;;CCLCSWRPWPDTLOCRRC;;;PU)
    sc.exe sdset wuauserv D:(A;;CCLCSWRPWPDTLOCRRC;;;SY)(A;;CCDCLCSWRPWPDTLOCRSDRCWDWO;;;BA)(A;;CCLCSWLOCRRC;;;AU)(A;;CCLCSWRPWPDTLOCRRC;;;PU)
  8. Type the following command to move to the System32 folder and press Enter:

    cd /d %windir%\system32
  9. Type the following commands to register all the corresponding BITS and Windows Update DLL files on the Registry, and press Enter on each line:

    regsvr32.exe /s atl.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s urlmon.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s mshtml.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s shdocvw.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s browseui.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s jscript.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s vbscript.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s scrrun.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s msxml.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s msxml3.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s msxml6.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s actxprxy.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s softpub.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s wintrust.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s dssenh.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s rsaenh.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s gpkcsp.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s sccbase.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s slbcsp.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s cryptdlg.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s oleaut32.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s ole32.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s shell32.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s initpki.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s wuapi.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s wuaueng.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s wuaueng1.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s wucltui.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s wups.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s wups2.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s wuweb.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s qmgr.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s qmgrprxy.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s wucltux.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s muweb.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s wuwebv.dll
    Note: regsvr32 is a command-line tool that will help you to register .DLL files as command components in the registry, and we’re using the /S switch to specify the tool to run the command silently without prompting additional messages.
  10. Type the following commands to reset the network configurations that might be part of the problem (but do not restart your computer just yet), and press Enter on each line:

    netsh winsock reset
    netsh winsock reset proxy

    Netsh winsock commands to reset network configuration on Windows 10

  11. Type the following commands to restart the BITS, Windows Update, and Cryptographic services, and press Enter on each line:

    net start bits
    net start wuauserv
    net start appidsvc
    net start cryptsvc
  12. Restart your computer.

Once you have successfully completed the process Windows Update should have reset and it should be working again on your Windows 10 device.

You can also use the above instructions to fix the problem when Surface Pro 6, Surface Book, Surface Laptop, or any other Surface can’t seem to download a new firmware update.

Update May 30, 2019: This guide has been updated to reflect to work with the latest version of Windows 10. (Originally published on February 2016, updated on May 2018.)