6 Easy Ways to Fix Windows Update not Downloading Quickly

Meet Windows update not downloading in Windows 10 or 11? This post shows you several ways to fix this issue and covers a way to backup your computer to prevent data loss.


By Jonna Updated on July 12, 2023

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Why are Windows Updates Stuck at Downloading?

Windows updates play a crucial role in safeguarding your system against potentially harmful software and addressing general bugs or issues. Additionally, they introduce new features to enhance the Windows experience. However, it's not uncommon to encounter errors during the Windows update process, such as Windows update not downloading or Windows installation stuck at 99%.

There can be various reasons why you may encounter difficulties during updates, like Windows 11 version 22H2 not downloading. Some of these potential causes include:

  • Stopped Windows update service
  • Outdated drivers
  • Corrupted system files
  • Low hard drive space
  • Third-party antivirus software

Windows Update Not Downloading

How to Fix Windows Update not Downloading in 6 Methods

Luckily, Windows update won't install is not quite a difficult issue to deal with. Here are some tested solutions to help you quickly resolve “can’t update Windows” on your system. Before proceeding, ensure that your computer's network connection is functioning properly and temporarily disable any third-party antivirus programs.

Way 1. Run Windows Update Troubleshooter

On Windows 10 and 11, the operating system provides an in-built troubleshooter called the Windows Update troubleshooter. This tool is specifically designed to diagnose and resolve issues related to Windows Update. If you're unsure about the cause of the problem preventing Windows updates from installing, using the Windows Update troubleshooter can be a useful approach.

Step 1. Open the Settings option on your Windows system by clicking on the Start menu and selecting the gear icon. From there, choose the Update & Security option.

Step 2. Then, select the Troubleshoot option from the left navigation pane, and click on Additional troubleshooters on the right.


Step 3. Scroll down the list of troubleshooters and select Windows Update.

Step 4. Click on the Run the troubleshooter button to initiate the troubleshooter tool.

Run the troubleshooter

Way 2. Free up Disk Space

To ensure successful downloading of Windows updates on your computer, it is essential to have a minimum of 16GB of free storage space. You can check if you have enough storage available on your computer. If you don't have the required disk space, you need to free up space on your computer with the following steps to fix Windows update not installing:

Step 1. Press the Windows key + R to open the Run box.

Step 2. In the Run box, type cleanmgr and then press Enter. This will launch the Disk Cleanup utility.

Step 3. In the Disk Cleanup window, select the drive you want to clean up from the drop-down menu. Typically, this will be the system drive (usually labeled as "C:").

Disk Cleanup Drive Selection

Step 4. Select the file categories you want to delete from the list and then press OK. You can also choose to clean up system files. Then, click on Delete Files to confirm it.

Select Files to Delete

Way 3. Run System File Scan

Running a system file scan helps solve the problem of system file corruption, causing Windows update not downloading. The detailed steps to run a system file scan are as follows:

Step 1. Go to the Start Menu and type Command Prompt in the search bar. Right-click on the Command Prompt app and select Run as Administrator from the context menu.

Step 2. In the Command Prompt window, copy and paste the following commands one by one, and press Enter after each:

>> DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

>> sfc /scannow


Step 3. This process may take a while, and wait for the system file scan to complete.


In the Windows operating system, the SoftwareDistribution folder is a temporary location where Windows stores update files and installation components. If the SoftwareDistribution folder becomes corrupted, it can lead to issues with Windows updates. In some cases, deleting the Software Distribution folder can help resolve the Windows update failed to install problem.

Step 1. Open Windows Explorer by pressing the Windows key + E.

Step 2. Navigate to the following path: This PC > Local Disk (C:) > Windows.

Step 3. Locate the SoftwareDistribution folder. Right-click on it to select Delete.

Delete the Softwaredistribution Folder

Step 4. Then, go to the Windows Update settings and download the latest available updates again to have a try.

Way 5. Restart Windows Update Service

If you are encountering issues with the Windows Update service preventing successful installation of Windows updates, you can follow these steps to restart the Windows Update service:

Step 1. Open the Run Window, type services.msc, and hit OK.

Step 2. In the Services window, scroll down to find the Windows Update service. Right-click it to choose Properties.

Windows Update Properties

Step 3. In the Startup type section, select Automatic from the drop-down menu.

Windows Update Service

Step 4. If the service is currently stopped, click on the Start button to initiate it. Then, click on the Apply button to save the changes.

Way 6. Disconnect External Hardware in Device Manager

Sometimes, external devices such as printers, scanners, headphones, speakers, and external storage devices could potentially interfere with the Windows installation failed error. To troubleshoot this, follow these steps:

Step 1. Type Device Manager in the search box and select the Device Manager app from the search results.

Step 2. In the Device Manager window, look for any devices listed with a yellow exclamation mark next to them. The exclamation mark indicates that there is a problem with the device driver.

Step 3. Right-click on the device, and choose Update Driver or Uninstall Device to fix the Windows update won’t download issue.

Update the USB Driver

Secure Your Computer Data Before Windows Upgrade [Important]

Performing a Windows upgrade carries certain risks as update errors can lead to data loss, system failures, and other issues. To safeguard against potential data loss, it is highly recommended to create a system backup before proceeding with the upgrade. AOMEI Backupper Standard is an excellent tool for this purpose, providing reliable backup solutions.

This tool is a comprehensive backup and recovery tool compatible with Windows 7, 8, 10, and 11, offering a range of backup options, including system backup, disk backup, partition backup, and file backup. It supports you to backup to NAS, network drive, internal/external drives, and cloud storage. Also, it offers automatic backup based on the daily/weekly/monthly/event trigger/USB plug in mode.

Here are steps on how to create a Windows system backup using this tool:

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 1. Launch AOMEI Backupper on your computer. Click Backup and then select System Backup.

System Backup

Tip: To backup specific folders and files on Windows 11, you can choose the File Backup option. Or create a hard drive backup using Disk Backup.

Step 2. By default, the software will select the system and boot partitions as the source for the backup. Choose a destination path where you want to store the backup files.

Select destination

Step 3. Review all your selected operations, then click on the Start Backup button to initiate the system backup process.

Start Backup


⇒ Except for backup, AOMEI Backupper gives you the ability to create bootable media to prevent boot failure after updates.

⇒ It also provides a System Clone feature (available in advanced editions like Professional) to help you transfer system to new hard drive without the need for a lengthy restore process.


We hope that the guide has provided you with a clear understanding of the reasons behind the issue of Windows updates not downloading and the available solutions to fix it. With these methods, you will be able to resolve the problem and enjoy operating the latest version of Windows.

Furthermore, if you are concerned about the risk of data loss or facing difficulties in starting your computer due to a Windows upgrade problem, AOMEI Backupper can provide an easy solution for backing up your computer. With this tool, you can conveniently create backups of your important data and entire Windows system, and restore system quickly when accidents happen.

Jonna · Editor
Jonna joined AOMEI in 2021 and has become a professional in the areas of computer backup and restoration, disk cloning, file synchronization, etc. She maintains a keen eye for the latest technology trends, ensuring that the information provided is always in step with industry developments.