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31-Aug-2020 16:30

The link should be available in Windows 7 and 8 too, but if not you can get at it on the web as well.

That said, if you haven't yet upgraded to Microsoft's latest and greatest operating system then it's probably still worth your while, as it's more than likely to solve your update problems at the same time.

Sometimes you'll just get a message telling you to try the update again at a different time.

If you click 'Advanced options' and then 'View your update history', you can see recently installed updates that were successful, and uninstall some or all of them – again, this can be a handy troubleshooting option.

One of the more obscure reasons why a Windows update might not be installing is because a virus or some kind of spyware is blocking it: malicious apps like these can often be squashed by Windows security updates, which is why they try and stop the latest patches from being installed on your machine.

Try running a full and thorough virus scan using whatever security software you have installed (you do have some installed, right? If you think your antivirus tool has also been compromised you can download some on-demand scanners, like this one from Microsoft or this one from Dr. Restoring key Windows files and OS options is a lot easier than it used to be, and 'resetting' Windows 10 basically means putting all the system files back to their factory state without touching your personal files along the way (although you can choose to wipe your drive completely if you want).

If you've got the time, and the patience, we'd recommend waiting a couple of hours, especially with slower machines – go and cut the grass or watch a movie.

It may seem extreme, but you don't want to start meddling with these fundamental processes unless you really have to.

If your updates are stuck in the background while you still have access to Windows, you can restart as normal; if they're stuck before or after the OS loads, you're going to have to hold down the power button and do a hard reset.

Safe Mode is like a restart with extras – only the very basic apps and code that Windows needs to run are loaded into memory, so there's even less chance of a rogue, damaged file interfering with the update.