Windows Update works for the most part pretty reliable. It is an automated system of Microsoft's Windows operating system that handles the downloading and installing of updates for the operating system.
At best, it is a silent service that runs in the background; it may ask you to restart the PC every now and then though as that is still required for many updates, and it sometimes may do so without user interaction.
When you run into issues though with updates, you may spend hours or even days figuring out what is going wrong.
I cannot update one of my PCs to the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update for instance because of a bluescreen that I get whenever I try to do so.
One of the things that you can try when it comes to updates, is to delete downloaded Windows Update files to start over.
If you suspect that something is wrong with the files, or if you want Windows Update to run a new check for updates to download new versions of updates that were released by Microsoft, then you may find the following tip useful for that.
If you run Windows Insider builds on a PC for instance, you may skip an already downloaded update to a new build to download a newer build and avoid having to update the system multiple times.
It is thankfully pretty easy to delete all cached update files. This works on all supported versions of Windows, including Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.
You can re-run a check for updates once all files have been deleted. Please note that Windows Update will download all updates anew when you clear the update cache. This can lead to Gigabyte large downloads.
You may purge the Windows Update cache from the command line as well. While you can type the following commands on an elevated command prompt manually, you may create a small batch file as well toautomate the process.
Here is what you need to do:
The commands explained:
We have uploaded a batch file to our own server which you may run to execute the commands automatically. You need to right-click on the file and select "run as administrator" as it requires administrative privileges.
You can download the file with a click on the following link: clear-windows-update-cache.zip
Note that it is supplied as an archive that you do need to extract before you may run it.
Tip: Check out these Windows Update related articles and guides
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.