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How to navigate Windows 10 update problems

It's often a hassle for IT admins to manage and control Windows 10 updates. Follow these tips to make the Windows update process as smooth as possible.

When Microsoft introduced a faster and more automated update process with the release of Windows 10, it also introduced a host of issues, from interruptions in end-user productivity to a variety of troubleshooting problems.

IT should be aware of ways to navigate these Windows 10 update problems.

Stay in control

Automated updates might sound beneficial, but they can lead to frustration for both IT admins and end users. If an update deploys automatically, how does IT know how and when to patch it? And how do end users know to prepare for the interruption?

IT can avoid automatic updates and achieve a higher level of control by downloading Microsoft Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), a patch management service. WSUS enables IT to download updates to a server.

With WSUS, IT has the option to allow or prevent updates. If there are critical updates that shouldn't wait for approval, however, IT can configure policies to allow automatic updates under certain conditions.

Another way to stay in control of the Windows 10 update process is to temporarily delay Windows Updates through Group Policy. IT pros can't pause the updates indefinitely, but they can hold off on updates for a while until they're ready to start them again.

A full reset of Windows Update is often the last line of defense.

To pause updates, IT can open the Group Policy console and navigate to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update > Windows Update for Business. A setting called Select when Preview Builds and Feature Updates are received allows IT to delay updates for up to 14 days and even choose the date when the delay should begin.

Troubleshoot Windows 10 update problems

It's relatively common for IT to run into Windows 10 update problems. An update might get stuck in progress or not download altogether. IT admins have a few options for troubleshooting Windows updates.

A good first step is to check the Microsoft Update Catalog. IT can search for the problematic update using its Microsoft Knowledge Base number and find documentation that explains the issue. If Windows Update doesn't automatically install the update, IT can download the update manually.

If that doesn't work, IT can use the Windows Update Troubleshooter. There are two versions of this tool: the local version built into Windows 10 and the online version available to download from the Microsoft Support pages. Both work in similar ways and enable IT to change settings and reset Windows Update files.

A full reset of Windows Update is often the last line of defense. It's simple to perform a reset, but you need to first log in with administrator privileges. Then, download the Reset_Reregister_Windows_Update_Components.bat file from and unlock the batch file. Then, right-click the batch file and select Run as Administrator. Restart the device once the batch file completes to ensure that Windows Update makes the changes.

Next Steps

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