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What to Do When Windows Update Gets Stuck or Is Frozen

While we might check and install updates manually from time to time, most Windows 10 computers are configured to apply important updates automatically, while older versions like Windows 7 and Windows 8 usually apply these fixes the night of Patch Tuesday.

Sometimes, however, when the patch, or maybe even service pack, is being installed during shutdown or startup, the update installation gets stuck—freezes, locks up, stops, hangs, clocks, whatever you want to call it. Windows Update is taking forever and it's clear something needs to be done.

The installation of one or more Windows updates is probably stuck or frozen if you see one of the following messages persist for a long time:

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