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I have Windows 7 64-bit and the Windows Update isn't working properly. What can I do?

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5 Answers 5

up vote 6 down vote accepted

I've found that sometimes you just have to wait, but if it takes a significantly long time try the following:

  • Click the start button and type in services.msc
  • Stop the Windows Update Service.
  • Delete the contents of the C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution folder
  • Start the Windows Update Service.
  • Try Windows Update again.
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I tried it and now I'm stuck at 1% 85MB. It's better than 0%. –  Jader Dias Jul 3 '11 at 13:52

Almost went crazy trying to fix this. The problem is that there wasn't a problem at all.

Yes you heard it. Even though it said 0% downloaded, it was downloading all the time. There were too many updates available to be downloaded to be computed and shown. Just have patience and leave it to do its work.

If you want assurance that it is working, click on the Windows symbol at the bottom left, now look at the "Shut Down", see the little icon beside it that shows that it will shut down after it installs the updates that you have downloaded.

Plus if you have the patience and leave it, you will see that after a while, 30-40 minutes for me, the details will then change to say, installing updates... Bingo!

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I found that monitoring the size of the C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution is a good reassurance that something is actually happening. If the size of this folder is increasing then it's just a case of sitting it out. –  Fly_Trap Nov 18 '13 at 15:20

Try running this tool by Microsoft designed to fix Windows Update:

http://support.microsoft.com/mats/windows_update/ (deprecated - won't work)


You might find this site interesting too for other problems in the future.


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The portable version worked though go.microsoft.com/?linkid=9775982 –  Jader Dias Jul 3 '11 at 13:55


I've had the 0kb 0% problem for a while, and I have tried everything including completely restoring my laptop to factory settings, but it turns out that the only thing that was broken was the 0kb 0% text, if you click install updates, then every so often look at the size of the software distribution folder, and if the size changes then you will know that it is downloading the updates, around an hour and a half later (I had 109 updates) it started installing all the updates.

So to fix:

1) click update

2) monitor the size of the SoftwareDistribution folder to see if the size changes

3) wait at least an hour (depending on how many updates you have), and hopefully it should start installing the updates (and it will say on the Windows Update windows " Installing update xyz "

4) restart computer if said after installing updates.

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Unfortunately in my case the only solution was to reinstall Windows

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That is unfortunate, and I feel it was possibly avoidable. Ah well, if the same issue occurs, return to this thread and I'm sure we'll solve it together. :) –  Ruairi Fullam Jul 3 '11 at 18:55

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