How To Fix Windows Updates Stuck At 0%

How do you feel when you log in to Windows after a month, see there are updates to install, and try installing them, only for Windows Update to get stuck at zero percent?

Why am I talking about Windows updates on a blog dedicated to Linux and Open Source? Because I prefer to dual boot Windows with Linux. While I use Linux as my main desktop, once in a while I do log in to Windows. The most annoying thing to see after logging in to Windows is updates. It has happened to me on several occasions that Windows Update has stopped working. I choose to install the updates, but the installation get stuck at 0 KB downloaded and 0% complete, like this:

Windows updates stuck at zero percent

In this tutorial, we shall see how to make Windows Update work again. The tutorial should be applicable for Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1.

Fix Windows updates stuck at zero percent

Please bear in mind that Windows updates can get stuck at any percent and that, for partially-installed updates, the trick which we are going to use would require you to install those updates again. I hope you won’t find it too inconvenient. If you are ready, let’s see how to fix this Windows Update issue.

Step 1:

Press Windows+R. This will prompt a run dialogue box. In here, type services.msc:

Windows services

Step 2:

Now it brings us to all the services installed on Windows. These services are listed in alphabetical order. Scroll down and look for Windows Update Service. Right click on it and stop it.

Windows Updates Services Restart

Step 3:

Now go to C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution and delete all of its contents. This is the folder where the downloaded installation files were stored. Windows Update sucks, and has a problem with partially downloaded update files.

Step 4:

Go back to services again (as explained in Step 1) and this time start the Windows Update Service, by right-clicking on it. Try to update Windows again. It should be working this time.

Once you have got the updates working, you may find plenty of updates to install at next reboot. This moment calls for a meme:


Jokes aside, I hope this tip helps you to get rid of Windows updates hung at 0%. I wish that Linux-like updates could be included on the list of Windows 10 features copied from Linux. I wish.

About the author
Abhishek Prakash

Abhishek Prakash

Created It's FOSS 11 years ago to share my Linux adventures. Have a Master's degree in Engineering and years of IT industry experience. Huge fan of Agatha Christie detective mysteries πŸ•΅οΈβ€β™‚οΈ

Become a Better Linux User

With the FOSS Weekly Newsletter, you learn useful Linux tips, discover applications, explore new distros and stay updated with the latest from Linux world


Great! You’ve successfully signed up.

Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.

You've successfully subscribed to It's FOSS.

Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.

Success! Your billing info has been updated.

Your billing was not updated.