The Ultimate Guide to Windows 10 Updates – Easy to Hard and Errors

Learn all you need to know about Windows 10 Updates. I will show you how to update windows 10. The guide starts from easy and progresses to advanced methods, and ends with error fixes. There are 4 methods shown here and 5 error fixes. For a video tutorial scroll to the bottom of the post.

Method 1 – Using the Windows 10 Update GUI – EASY

1. From your desktop select your start menu. You can do this by clicking on the start menu icon or by pressing the windows key on the keyboard.

Clicking the start menu to do windows 10 update

2. From the start menu, you will see the settings icon (which looks like a cog wheel) click on that to open the settings/control panel

Clicking settings option to do windows 10 update

3. Once inside the settings/control panel you only need to scroll down or look toward the bottom of the window for “Updates & Security”, click on that to open the Windows Update screen

settings control panel update & security

* you may see a message that reads “You’re up to date”, “Last checked: [insert date]” I recommend always continuing to check for updates even if updates were checked for recently. Taking us to our next step!

4. Click on the “Check for updates” button and let it search for updates. Sometimes this can take a while, I have seen it take more than an hour on some machines. So just leave the window open while it checks.

"Check for Updates" button inside the Windows 10 Update screen

* While Windows is for updates checking you will see the little ‘loading balls’ scroll across the screen this indicates that Windows is still in the process of checking and we still need to wait for the results

5. This next step depends on the results. Some updates Windows will install without waiting for you to do anything if this is the case you can skip ahead to step 6. Other times you may need to click, “Install Now”, or “Download” to initiate the updating procedure.

(screen) (screen)

6. Now Windows should be downloading and installing updates. Sometimes this is rather quick other times it seems to take forever. The key is to wait and if further action is required Windows will ask you to “Restart”. However, sometimes nothing further is required and Windows will download and install the update completing the process without further action.

The windows 10 update screen giving us a restart option
(screen – process)
(screen – done)

What if you have an error?

If you get an error such as a download error you should be given an option to “retry” I would typically do this a few times noting the error number you get each time. If the error number is the same 2 times in a row it is time to try something more drastic. If the error number keeps changing then you are actually making progress and you should keep trying until it repeats. Once you get the repeating errors head down to the bottom of this article for further instructions.

What if it says something about a metered connection?

If Windows 10 thinks you are tethered to a cell phone or connected to an internet provider that limits data usage. Windows 10 will try to save you from data overage charges by only downloading updates on unlimited connections or limiting the amount of data it will download during each month. You can actually tell it to ignore these limits or set the limits yourself in another article I will write and videos I will produce. Otherwise, my might be giving the option to “Download” and a small warning about how you could go over your limit. If you know your limits or are okay with paying for the overage click on the “Download” to proceed. WARNING: Some data providers are experts at charging very high rates for extra data usage. BE CAREFUL as some windows updates can be huge!

Other issues!!!

Please head to the bottom of this article by clicking here.

Method 2 (actually) Online Tool Update – Easy

1. Open up your favorite web browser and head over to:

2. Click on the “Update Now”

3. Run the downloaded software and follow the guided update process

Method 3 – Using the Command Line – INTERMEDIATE

*Note before getting started: This method is very similar to the third method I will show you, however. This is a simplified version so I could call it INTERMEDIATE. We are going to use PowerShell to install the updates for us. There are a few steps you will want to do to make things easier moving forward, but I want you to take note of these and how to undo them.

1. Click on Cortana Search bar and type in “Powershell”

2. Right click on the Powershell option and select “run as administrator”

3. ** Now we are going to enable scripts on our machine. The method I am showing you here allows all scripts even from remote sources and could potentially be dangerous. So if you are unsure about what you are doing but want to try this out anyhow move forward with the commands but when you are done click here to see how to return the scripts setting back to default.

Type in: set-executionpolicy remotesigned
Press enter
You will be asked if your sure say “yes”

4. Install the PowerShell PSWindowsUpdate module by typing the following into the command line:

Install-Module PSWindowsUpdate

5. Now we are going to check for the available updates for our machine this can take some time and for me, I saw little output but did see a few things happen. You can watch the YouTube video to get an idea to click here to see.

Type into the command line: Get-WindowsUpdate

Once this is done you will get a list of updates that can be installed. The next step assumes you want to install all of the updates.

6. Install the updates that are available for your Windows 10 machine by typing the following into the command line:


You will be greeted with a few prompts asking you if you are sure you want to do that. Just say yes to proceed.

Now just wait for it to finish! You have installed Windows Updates via Command line!

Method 4 – Via Boxstarter – ADVANCED

***Note this method is the most involved as it will have you installing extra tools and jumping through different hoops. It is also the method I use the most and for the longest. I use this method with the Better PC Health system to manage several hundred computers updates at once with a single command. If you are interested in having your computer or computers security and updates managed I would urge you to check out our service. However, if you just want to do something cool. Let’s proceed!

We need to install Boxstarter. There are a couple of ways to do this but we are going to do it via chocolatey. So we will start there.

1. Install chocolatey Windows package manager by visiting

On this page, you will find several options for installing Chocolatey. I recommend just using the command line option. You will need to open an administrator’s command line prompt. Then you will copy and paste the command from the “Install with cmd.exe” section into the prompt. It should look like this:


Press enter and wait for the command to finish.

2. Now you need to reload the command prompt to close the window and open a new Administrator’s Command prompt.

(screen – close me)

(screen – fresh window)

3. We are going to install your first chocolatey package and it is a pretty powerful one. This is called boxstarter and you can use it to update windows or set other configuration options. Type the following command into the prompt:

choco install boxstarter -y


4. A new icon for boxstarter was placed on your desktop open that up.


5. Here you will be greeted with the boxstarter command shell and a few examples of commands. One of these is the Install-WindowsUpdate. However, we are not going to use that just like it is. Instead we will add a few options, but first an explanation of each:

Enable-MicrosoftUpdates – if you have MS Office or other Microsoft products installed running this command will ensure they get updates as well. I recommend doing this before we actually run any update commands. This didn’t work the 1 time I tried it during writing this tutorial, I will test it on other machines and report back.


-AcceptEula – this option accepts any license agreements that might be attached to updates

-getUpdatesFromMS – this will bypass WSUS servers and get the updates from Microsoft Servers

-SuppressReboots – This option tells the machine not to reboot when it is done installing the updates

-criteria="IsHidden=0 and IsInstalled=0 and Type='Software' and BrowseOnly=0" – I have to admit I have only used this once and still am not sure what it does or doesn’t do …. (sorry)

Typically when I have to look these up I just head to the source (literally) –

So my typically update command looks like this:

Install-WindowsUpdate -AcceptEula -getUpdatesFromMS


Boxstarter will reboot and continue installs if needed. This typically happens in cases where you are installing a new system from an old install media and it needs a lot updates or service packs. Windows 10 seems to be coming at us in anniversary updates and milestone updates instead of service packs. It will be interesting to see how things unfold in the long term with regard to this.

ERRORS Section

I will update this with specific errors as I note them. But I am going to give you my best tips for fixing 90% of update problems.

Fix #1

System Repairs

Let’s start with an internal check of all of the system files.

1. Open the administrator command prompt

2. Run the command:

sfc /scannow


If it comes back with any errors. Run it 3-4 more times. Each run of the SFC will fix some problems. You could hit a wall and in that case, you might need to move on to the next check.

3. Run the command:

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth

4. Run the Command:

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth

5. Run the Command:

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

If you come across any issues or special warnings you may need an external source of the Windows 10 media so that you can have a clean copy for the system to pull from and replace files. In this case, you need a little extra help and until I can get the article written I need to direct you somewhere else. Search on google for DISM Windows 10 repair using Media Creation Tool
This should give you the help you need until I can get the next section written.

If these repairs have come back successful it is time to try your chosen update method again. If you get another error move on to the next part

Fix #2

Sometimes network errors cause issues with Windows updates to use these commands to try and clear any network errors. You will need to reboot after running several of them so I typically take a Kitchen sink approach and run all the commands then reboot the computer before trying again.

1. Open up the administrators command prompt

2. Run each command in the following list 1 by 1 waiting for the previous to finish before typing in the next:

ipconfig /flushdns
nbstat -R
nbstat -RR
netsh int reset all
netsh int ip reset
netsh winsock reset
ipconfig /registerdns
ipconfig /release
ipconfig /renew

3. Run this command (I know we have repeated it from above that is why I put it on its own)

netsh winsock reset

4. Reboot the computer

Try your updates again before moving on to the next fix.

Fix #3

This method resets the update components by “moving” the download folder for the updates and should work on most machines. By the time I have gotten here in my repair sequence I am frustrated!

1. Open up the administrators command prompt

2. Run each command line by line be careful about what you are typing or use copy and past to ensure correctness

net stop wuauserv
cd %systemroot%\SoftwareDistribution
ren Download Download.old
net start wuauserv

3. Typically I will try the updates right away after this without rebooting, but I have found on occasion it helps to reboot. So I am going to recommend rebooting here and you can tell me in the comments below about your experience.

Fix #4 Nuclear Option

Now we are onto the most extreme fix I use on occasion. I have not run into a machine this did not work on however I have only had to use it a dozen or so times. We are going to completely reset all update components and re-register each DLL 1 by 1 so that the system has a completely fresh start. Due to the length of the solution, I am going to show you how to make a batch file to use. I don’t remember where this came from but I just know it works!

1. start a new text document using “notepad”

2. Paste the following into the notepad

net stop bits
net stop wuauserv
net stop appidsvc
net stop cryptsvc
Del "%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Application Data\Microsoft\Network\Downloader\qmgr*.dat"
Ren %systemroot%\SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.bak
Ren %systemroot%\system32\catroot2 catroot2.bak
cd /d %windir%\system32
regsvr32.exe atl.dll
regsvr32.exe urlmon.dll
regsvr32.exe mshtml.dll
regsvr32.exe shdocvw.dll
regsvr32.exe browseui.dll
regsvr32.exe jscript.dll
regsvr32.exe vbscript.dll
regsvr32.exe scrrun.dll
regsvr32.exe msxml.dll
regsvr32.exe msxml3.dll
regsvr32.exe msxml6.dll
regsvr32.exe actxprxy.dll
regsvr32.exe softpub.dll
regsvr32.exe wintrust.dll
regsvr32.exe dssenh.dll
regsvr32.exe rsaenh.dll
regsvr32.exe gpkcsp.dll
regsvr32.exe sccbase.dll
regsvr32.exe slbcsp.dll
regsvr32.exe cryptdlg.dll
regsvr32.exe oleaut32.dll
regsvr32.exe ole32.dll
regsvr32.exe shell32.dll
regsvr32.exe initpki.dll
regsvr32.exe wuapi.dll
regsvr32.exe wuaueng.dll
regsvr32.exe wuaueng1.dll
regsvr32.exe wucltui.dll
regsvr32.exe wups.dll
regsvr32.exe wups2.dll
regsvr32.exe wuweb.dll
regsvr32.exe qmgr.dll
regsvr32.exe qmgrprxy.dll
regsvr32.exe wucltux.dll
regsvr32.exe muweb.dll
regsvr32.exe wuwebv.dll
netsh winsock reset
netsh winhttp reset proxy
net start bits
net start wuauserv
net start appidsvc
net start cryptsvc
bitsadmin.exe /reset /allusers

3. Goto File > Save As

4. call the file something you will remember and select a location such as the desktop where it will be easy to find. Don’t click save yet!

5. Under “save as type” make sure you select “All Files”

6. Go back to your “File Name” and add .bat to the end of the file name you chose earlier

7. Now Save the file

8. Right click on the file and select “run as administrator”

For this one, I like to reboot

9. Reboot

Now try your updates again. If they are still not working we have 1 last option that I really love about Windows 10

Fix #5 Media Creation Update

This will update your Windows 10 installation as an “in place upgrade” all of your files and programs will still be in their working order when this is finished. This takes a little longer but is more thorough of a process and I have used it to clear out some malware in the past and fix what seemed to be hardware issues but turned out to be either firmware or software issues since the update fixed the problems. I will also do this if I feel like my computer is running a little slower than normal as sometimes it will cause a dramatic improvement. This could be a sign that I picked up malware somewhere along the way but there is no telling these days.

1. Open up your favorite web browser and head over to:

2. Skip the “Update Now” option and instead click on “Download tool now”

3. Run the tool

Video Tutorial of Method 1


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