Why Windows Updates Sometimes Get Stuck


If you are like me, you probably look forward to updates to the Windows Operation System that periodically come from Microsoft. There is something about a refreshment of the OS that guarantees the breath of new life into a computer. However, the truth of the matter is that updates to Windows do not always work out as planned. Here are a few reasons why Windows Updates sometimes get stuck;

  1. Hardware Compatibility Issues

The fact that Windows dominates the market when it comes to desktops and laptops is hardly in dispute. In fact, data indicates that Windows commands over 75% of the market in this regard. What this means in practical terms is that there are probably hundreds of types of computers running Windows out there.

The subtle hardware differences in each of these devices are some of the reasons why Windows Updates sometimes get stuck. When rolling out each update, Microsoft has to account for the fact that there are variations in each device in terms of such things as;

  • RAM
  • Hard Drives
  • Graphics Devices
  • Monitors
  • Wireless Devices
  1. Problems with malfunctioning pieces of hardware

Beyond the issue of mere compatibility, one of the reasons why you may end up having problems updating or upgrading your version of Windows has to do with malfunctioning pieces of hardware. Each computer is composed of thousands of pieces of hardware, and there is a chance that should one of these components be broken, you may fail to update your PC.

Problem with Wireless Devices

Just to illustrate the point, I have previously had problems updating this laptop to Windows. The problem, I later discovered, lay in the Wireless card which had begun to malfunction. This resulted in me failing to restart my computer, with the device getting stuck in boot mode each time I made the attempt.

You will understand that most major Windows updates are characterized by several restart cycles. The problem with the WiFi card apparently meant that the update could not be completed. The problem only got resolved after I installed a new WiFi card.

  1. Malware

Malware also tends to be another of the reasons why you may end up having problems updating your computer to the latest version of Windows. Should some of the systems that are on your PC have been corrupted by viruses, trojans and other types of malware, it will be very hard for you to receive updates.

That is particularly the case, now that Windows updates have become incremental in nature. What this means is that your computer does not necessarily receive the update in one go. Instead, you only get those updates that have not already been installed on your PC.


The only viable solution, should malware be the reason why your computer has become stuck during the update process, is to completely reinstall Windows. That is why we are always recommending that our readers backup their files. The good news about a Windows install is that it usually leaves your computer feeling like new again.

  1. Corrupted registry

Related to the above, a corrupted registry is also one of the reasons why Windows Updates sometimes get stuck during the update process. The registry is an important part of the Windows Operation system and it can get damaged either by malware or by some of the programs that you install on your PC. Again, a solution in this regard would be to reinstall your version of Windows.

What to do when a Windows Update fails

We have previously written an article in which we propose solutions to the Windows update issues. Feel free to try them out to find the one that works for you. After writing the article, we were lambasted for stating the obvious that the devil’s solution (reinstalling Windows), is actually the best solution to the Windows update issues. It’s clear, however, that when everything else has failed, wiping the slate clean is the way to go.