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Windows Update is not working? Here's how to fix it

Windows Update is sometimes underestimated as a cornerstone for the integrity and security of your system. Microsoft also provides the most important operating system updates from Windows Update, including the latest Windows 10 update from October 2018. You must therefore ensure that it is operational. The update process has been heavily optimized for Windows 10, but that does not mean that it's always easy, especially when it comes to compatibility and patches.

Here we show you how Windows Update works again if it fails and what to do if it looks like an update causes problems.

Manage Automatic Updates to Restart Your Computer

You can not permanently disable automatic updates in Windows 1

0, but you can restart your computer after you install an update. At least this way you can make sure that your computer will not be restarted during your working day or at a later date. So goes:

Step 1: Go to or search for "Settings." Then select "Update & Security".

Step 2: Select "Windows Update" tab at the top of the list on the left. Then click "Change Active Hours" at the bottom of the window.

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Step 3: This will open a window called "Active Hours", which will allow you to set a start and end time for restarts. Note that this does not change with the installation of updates, but only if your computer restarts automatically – and only if you do not actively use it. Choose your preferred times and click "Save".

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Step 4: If an update has already been scheduled, you can select "Restart Options" in the main Windows Update settings page to select a custom restart time. Just activate the setting and choose your preferred time and day.

Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

Step 5: Finally, you can postpone system upgrades for a period of time, if you so desire, or temporarily pause them. Note that there are separate settings available for critical updates such as the October 2018 update and quality updates such as security updates.

To postpone updates, go to the Windows Update main page and select Advanced Options. Use the drop-down lists to set how many days you want to move.

  Windows Update Does Not Work Windows UpdateProblems03

You can also use this menu to make other customizations to the way updates are applied. Automatically or manually triggered and even the option to stop them completely.

Run the Windows Update troubleshooter

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Microsoft knows that sometimes things like the Windows 10 October 2018 update may bring a few unwanted problems, which is why the company is running the Windows Update Problem Solver has created. This tool goes through the basic operating system parameters and looks for obvious issues that may cause Windows Update to malfunction. If this is possible, the Troubleshooter will fix it automatically or at least inform you about the problem.

Try this analysis early if you have problems with the update. Go to the Microsoft Support page and click "Download Troubleshooter for Windows 10" The tool should take care of the rest. It may ask you for administrative rights to do a deeper review, but you do not need to do anything else except to be allowed to do so.

It will not solve every problem, but it's a great starting point and usually provides helpful information even if no correction is possible.

Check the Installation Error Code

If the general fix or the update that is being introduced for the update for Windows 10 April or October 2018 fails or causes problems, this will often result in an installation error code. The codes do not tell much about themselves, but they contain a lot of useful information when you go online and consult the Microsoft Guide on the subject. Below is a table that highlights some of the common mistakes.

0x80073712 A file required by Windows Update is likely damaged or missing.
0x800F0923 This could be an indication of a driver or other software on your PC is not compatible with the upgrade to Windows 10. For information about how to resolve this issue, contact Microsoft Support.
0x80200056 This could mean that the update process was interrupted because you accidentally restarted your PC or logged out of your PC. Try again and make sure your PC is plugged in and turned on.

This error could mean that your PC was unable to connect to the Windows Update servers. If you use a VPN connection to connect to a work network, disconnect the network and disable the VPN software (if applicable) and try upgrading again. The error could also mean that there is not enough free space in the reserved system partition. You may be able to resolve this issue by using third-party software to increase the size of the reserved system partition.

0xC1900208 – 0x4000C This may indicate that an incompatible application installed on your PC is blocking the completion of the upgrade process. Make sure all incompatible apps are uninstalled, and then try to upgrade again.
This may mean that your PC does not meet the minimum requirements for downloading or installing the upgrade to Windows 10.
This indicates that your PC does not have enough disk space to install the upgrade. Free up hard drive space and try again.

Note that this guide was developed specifically for Windows 10 and the latest releases, such as the October 2018 update. Error codes may not mean the same thing in other versions of Windows.

If all else fails, these quick fixes can fix the problem

  Windows 10 October Update

Have you failed all automatic checks and codes? It's time to return to the best practices, the tricks that have fixed update bugs since the first development of the update. Here are a few options that may work for you.

Start Your Computer

This is a surprisingly effective method that will solve a variety of computer problems – and it often works for Windows Update. If you get an error message, restart your computer and try to run the updates again. If you have not run Windows Update for a long time, you may need to repeat this process several times before installing any updates.

Do you have enough space?

A scenario where updates may fail is when the system drive runs out of disk space. Make sure you have at least 10 GB of free space. If this could be the culprit, perform a disk cleanup to remove files. Enter "Disk Cleanup" in the Cortana search box, click Disk Cleanup to start the utility, and select your system drive (usually C 🙂 as needed. Next, specify the file type you want to remove and choose OK. Try to stay away from important system files.

Alternatively, the third-party software such as CCleaner can provide more storage space on your computer system. For more information on this topic, see our larger manual on managing Windows 10 storage space.

Malware causes the problem

Malware can change important system files and break Windows services, which means it's a good idea Malware scanners to make sure your system is not compromised. If you do not have antivirus software, read some of our personal favorites for Windows-based computers. After all, sorting heaps and heaps is not fun – it's not worth it either.

Contact Microsoft Support

If you've done everything, you can contact Microsoft support to determine the problem. Go to the company's contact page where you can start a chat, request a callback, or schedule a call. There's also a way to ask the community what can be a little more time-consuming, but useful if others already know and fix the update issue.

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