Windows Updates are crucial to keeping your machine working smoothly, efficiently and with the latest features – but there’s no denying they can be a pain.

If you’re ever gone through a long Windows Update process, only to be told it failed in the end, you’ll know how frustrating they can be. And since the introduction of Windows 10, Microsoft has made Windows Updates mandatory, meaning you can no longer just switch them off.

Windows 10’s most recent large revision comes in the form of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, but some users have reported those dreaded failures during the update.

Microsoft is aware of the problem and is working on a proper fix that will enable the Anniversary Update (and others) to come through properly in future. For now, follow this solution to block troublesome updates:

Step 1: Identifying the updates causing problems

First, you need to know which updates are failing to install.

To find out, go to Settings > Update & Security > Advanced options > View your update history.

Fix Windows Update failures

Look down the update history list for any that say ‘Failed to install’ and note them down, ensuring you get any version or KB numbers correct.

Step 2: Download the ‘Show or hide updates’ troubleshooter

Microsoft has released an application which can temporarily suppress problematic Windows Updates until a working one is available.

Go to this page and click on Download the “Show or hide updates” troubleshooter package now.

Open the app once the download is complete.

Fix Windows Update failures

[Read more: 10 quick fixes for Windows 10 problems]

Step 3: Detecting update problems

On the first screen, click Next. A scan will then begin – it may take several minutes to complete.

Once the scan is done, click Hide updates.

Fix Windows Update failures

Now tick any of the updates which you noted down earlier as failed and click Next.

Fix Windows Update failures

The application will then attempt to resolve the problem – it may take several minutes.

If all goes well, the list of problematic updates will then appear with ‘Fixed’ and a green tick.

Fix Windows Update failures

[Read more: What's new in the latest Windows 10 update?]

This should mean the end of any failed updates causing you grief.

Watch – Find out about the new features you can expect with the Anniversary Update:


Have you managed to stop any problematic Windows Updates? Let us know how you got on in the Comments section below.