We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
2,812 Tutorials

Identify and fix a failed Windows update

PC updates at every shutdown

If your PC or laptop is constantly trying to update, it may be that a Windows update has failed. Here's how to fix a failed Windows update.

QUESTION My desktop PC runs Windows 7. Every time I log out or shut down it reports that two updates are in progress and tells me not to turn off the PC. This has occurred repeatedly for eight days. Am I doing something wrong or do I need to take some other action? Westgolf

HELPROOM ANSWER Windows updates can fail to install properly, causing Windows to try repeatedly to install them each time it's shut down.

You can try to fix this problem using Microsoft's System Update Readiness Tool (32bit version or the 64bit version). It will take a few minutes to run, but will then attempt to fix any problems that may be preventing your updates from automatically installing.

If it's unable to fix your problem, you'll need to investigate your update history and search for a failed update.

You can identify which updates are failing and manually install them. Go to Control Panel, Windows Update, ‘View Update History'. This will bring up a list of installed updates. Most of the updates in the Status column should be marked as successful; scroll down until you find one that has failed.

Microsoft Download CenterLook at the update description and jot down the KnowledgeBase number at the end, for example KB2676562. Next, head to the Download Center and enter the code into the search box.

The page you are taken to will allow you to manually download and install the update. Following a successful installation, Windows will no longer try to install the update at shutdown.

Repeat this process for any other failed updates you find. They may need to be installed in a particular order or require other updates to be installed first, which the KnowledgeBase article will alert you to.

Another answer can be found here: Unsuccessful Windows update stops PC shutting down.

See all How to articles. Get free tech support in the Helproom Forum.

Visit Windows 7 Advisor for more Windows advice. Or email our Helproom Editor for bespoke advice.

IDG UK Sites

Android One vs Android Silver vs Google Nexus: What is the difference?

IDG UK Sites

2014 Mac mini release date, specs, rumours: When's the new Mac mini coming out?

IDG UK Sites

Long live the internet fridge: the Internet of Things is coming

IDG UK Sites

How Prometheus' colourist Juan Ignacio Cabrera gave a tense, edgy feel to Chosen