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Windows 10 update hanged: How to fix it?

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Windows 10 users periodically encounter problems when updating their devices. one of the common problems is that the update installation hangs after the first restart

Windows 10 shows the progress of the installation process: the value is in the range from 0% to 100%, and this value does not change for a long time.

You may receive the following messages:

  • Configure Windows updates. Completed 0%. Do not turn off the computer.
  • Prepare to configure Windows. Do not turn off the computer.
  • We were unable to complete the updates. Undo changes. Do not turn off the computer.

Some users, in this case, prefer to wait, hoping that the update process continues.

A similar problem occurs for users even when upgrading to the latest release of the May 2021 Update (version 21H1). What is the best way to act in this situation?

Thing to keep in mind prior to Updating Windows 10

You need to prepare for the upgrade process correctly. You should be ready for any scenario, including failures and errors.

The most crucial step is to back up your system before installing updates. Windows offers its repair tools, but they can be corrupted. As a result, you either reinstall Windows entirely using the installation media or wait for a long and not consistently successful recovery.

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Backups solve this problem. You can use them to restore your computer to its original state before you start installing the update. Make sure you have bootable media with a backup program. It will come in handy if Windows does not boot.

You can take advantage of free tools such as AOMEI Backupper, Paragon Backup & Recovery, Macrium Reflect, etc.

The date and time when the upgrade process starts are essential. It is not recommended to perform an update at the beginning of the business day or when you need to perform essential tasks on your computer.

It’s best to install updates when you don’t need access to your computer, such as in the evening or on weekends. In this case, even if the installation process is delayed, you will not worry much about it.

Also, be sure to check the list of known issues before installing updates. Microsoft doesn’t publish all potential bugs, but you can find problems affecting your devices, such hardware or software, even on the official list.

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Analyze problematic updates

If the update takes too long to install, you may suspect that the process is hanging. Possible problems indicate a percentage of installation progress depending on one value, or the installation takes too long.

Fix Windows 10 Update installation errors

Keep watching

First of all, you need to check the activity of the hard drive. Not all computers and laptops show hard drive activity using separate LEDs. If your device has a disk activity indicator, you can set whether file operations continue during the installation of the update.

Sometimes you can physically hear a working mechanical hard drive, but such a trick will not work with a solid-state drive. You can also set the approximate load of the processor on the running cooling system.

Wait or reboot

You need to figure out when it’s best to reboot the system. If you decide that the update is stuck, you can restart – in this case, the recovery process should start. Otherwise, it’s best to wait and see if the upgrade process continues.

If you restart your computer, you may see messages about how the system has been restored to a previous state. This process also takes a lot of time, and you too may encounter hangs.

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However, recovery typically allows you to restore the system to a healthy state. In the worst-case scenario, Windows may enter circular reboot mode. In this case, you need to use backup systems or built-in system restores. In some cases, the upgrade process is reinitialized after a reboot, but there is no guarantee that the upgrade process will not hang again.

Main recommendations

  • Back up before you install updates in Windows.
  • Sometimes it’s best to wait before restarting your computer or turning off its power. If you have waited too long, say an hour or two, and nothing has changed, then it is worth resorting to these radical measures.
  • If you were able to restore the system to a previous state using a backup, then you need to perform system checks before restarting the upgrade process. You should consider the following options:
    • Check free disk space. If there is not enough disk space, the installation process takes longer.
    • Check the list of known problems and search for the problem that you encountered on third-party Internet resources.
    • Remove programs that may conflict with the update process, such as antiviruses.

Have you encountered windows 10 updates hanging?


Shubham is a prolific writer who has contributed many detailed tutorials for A tech enthusiast and avid Apple fan, Shubham has shared his knowledgeable work with other many popular tech sites like Business Magazine, Thrive Global etc.

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