It is unclear how many Windows users and administrators run into updating issues on Windows machines regularly or occasionally.
Updating issues can be frustrating, especially if the system lands in an endless cycle of downloads, installs, reboots and rollbacks that frustrate many users and system admins.
Microsoft released the Reset Windows Update Agent, a tool designed to fix common updating errors. While that works well if Windows Update does not work correctly, the tool won't work if the issues are caused by updates or on Microsoft's side.
Windows keeps an update log that lists update related events. You find those logs under the path C:\Windows\Logs\WindowsUpdate. The files are Event Trace Log files that you can analyze using various tools.
While that is the case, you may also use a simple PowerShell command to turn those Event Trace Log files into a single text log that you can then parse easily for errors or issues related to updates on Windows.
This is how that is done:
The Event Trace Log files are parsed which takes a moment. The time it takes depends largely on the number and size of log files in the logs directory.
A WindowsUpdate.log file is created on the desktop by the process. It may take up several Megabytes of space. You may load it once the process finishes in any text editor. I suggest you use a third-party editor such as NotePad++ for that and not the default Notepad application.
While you may go through the log line by line, you may speed things up doing one of the following things:
While it may take a while to go through the Windows Update log, it may be one of the best ways to find out why an update failed on a device.
Now You: What do you do when an update fails or causes issues?
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