Windows Update Pending Download – How to Fix? [SOLVED]

Windows Update Pending Download – How To Fix [solved] 4
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Microsoft releases timely Windows updates for automatic download and installation. You can customize the settings related to their download and installation. Most of us do not know how to handle pending Windows updates. In this article, we will learn how to tweak the settings to make it easy for you.

Often we get error messages like “Windows Update Pending Download” or “windows update pending install.” We don’t exactly know how to fix these issues, and we often have to take help from software experts. This article will help you select the windows to update pending download issues by yourself without requiring professional assistance. Let’s begin with understanding some relevant terminology and functionalities of Windows update.

Usually, Windows updates notify with various error messages. The notifications may appear as a pending download, initializing, downloading, or installing. Understanding the differences among different stages of windows update errors is crucial to problem-solving.

What are Windows Updates?

Windows updates include security fixes and service packs developed and released by Microsoft Windows. The purpose of these updates is to improve the functionality of the Operating System.

Microsoft generates new Windows updates on the second Tuesday of each month. They call it a Patchy Tuesday. If they release any significant updates, they do not wait for Tuesday. Windows Update does not include non-Microsoft software. They will require manual updates.

If the update process gets stuck at any stage, it will show a notification status. Most people get confused and are unable to comprehend the real meaning of these notifications. Fixing these errors is a bit tricky. You can settle these issues by changing a few settings on your computer. We have described all of these steps and explained the right way of fixing them.

  • Pending download
  • Downloading
  • Pending install
  • Awaiting install
  • Initializing
  • Installing

Windows Update Status Pending Download:

What it means:

 Windows will notify the user when an update is available for download. The Windows will not initiate a download without permission unless it is a critical security update. If your Windows updates are showing a stuck screen or your pending updates are not downloading, follow these steps:

How to Fix It:

 We have detailed two methods to fix the “Windows Update Pending Download” issue.

  • Go to the ‘Start’ button and then select ‘Settings.’
  • Click on the ‘Updates and Security’
  • Search for the ‘Troubleshoot’ option and click it on the left-hand side menu.
  • In the right-hand side list, you will find the right-hand side list.
  • Now click on the ‘Run the Troubleshooter’ option. Wait for it to complete troubleshooting. After troubleshooting, restart the computer and search for Windows updates again. This time, it should install smoothly.

 If troubleshooting does not work, then you can change the download and installation settings. In normal conditions, manually clicking on the download button will start downloading updates.  You can also configure your Group Policy settings to download the updates automatically:

  • Notify before downloading and then auto-install.
  • Auto downloads and then notify before install.
  • Auto downloads and schedule a time for install.
  • Allow the user to choose the setting.

If you want to run the download in the background and get the notification for its installation, choose the second option. It enables you to select a day for installation not to disturb your busy hours. 

If you have broadband that is marked as a Metered connection, it will not download the update.


Windows Update Status Downloading:

Windows Update Status downloading means that your system is starting the download. At this stage, it is connected with Windows Update servers. Sometimes, it remains stuck on any percentage for too long, indicating some problem. Updates should not take too long to download. If your internet speed is too slow, you might want to check out a better broadband deal. If that is not the case, the Software Update folders of your computer may need fixing.

How to fix it:

To resolve this issue, you will need to restart the Windows Update service and BITS (Background Intelligent Transfer Service). It is essential to clear all the Software Distribution Folder contents. Your computer must be in the correct configuration for the TrustedInstaller service. Hopefully, it will download easily.

Windows Update Status Pending Install:

 In this case, Windows completes downloading the update, but it is unable to install on your computer. This pending upgrade may be due to several reasons.

  • The system requires a manual restart.
  • The system is in Active Hours.
  • Group Policy Settings require changes.

How to Fix it:

 This issue is relatively easier to fix. The first method is to install the update manually. You will need to restart your computer. Changing Active Hours is yet another way to fix this problem. Shutting down the computer during the Active hours changes the Active Hours settings.

Group Policy Settings allow you to select an option appearing as ‘Allow Automatic Updates Immediate Installation.’ This can be done in a few simple steps.

  • Open Group Policy by typing gpedit.msc
  • Navigate to Computer Configuration 🡺 Policies 🡺 Administrative Templates 🡺 Windows Components 🡺 Windows Update
  • Now search for Allow ‘Automatic Updates Immediate Installation’.
  • Open it with a double click and enable it.

This setting allows Automatic updates to install instantly when they are downloaded. Do not forget to Configure Automatic Updates policy and leave it enabled.

Windows Update Status Awaiting Install:

 This notification indicates that the update is waiting for a specific condition to happen. You may have a previously pending update, or your computer may be in Active Hours while it’s trying an update. Sometimes, simply restarting the computer may fix it.

How to Fix It:

If the update is not progressing in any way, then you will need to fix it. Here’s how to fix it:

  • The first step is to check and install pending updates if any.
  • Then disable Active Hours and check the status.
  • Restart the Windows Update Service by typing these codes in the command prompt.
    • net stop wuauserv
    • regsvr32
    • %windir%\system32\wups2.dll
    • net start wuauserv
  • Run Windows Update Troubleshooter

Windows Update Pending Download 6


Windows Update Status Initializing:

This notification means that the Windows update process is preparing to install the update.

 In the meanwhile, it fulfills all the pre-requisites which includes checking for storage space, the number of dependent files, and many others.

How to Fix it:

When the update status does not move slightly from initializing for a couple of days, you can try these tips to fix this error.

  • First, restart windows and then continue the Windows Update service by the method given above.
  • Open Windows Settings and click on

Update and Security 🡺 Troubleshoot 🡺 Windows Update. Run this option.

  • Run SFC and DISM command to get rid of any corruption.
  • Now clear the SoftwareDistribution and Catroot2 folder. This step will start the download.


Windows Update Status Installing:

This notification indicates that the update is downloaded and Windows Update System is installing it. If you notice that the progress bar and percentage are not moving, there must be some issue. To solve it, look into these points:

  • Clear the SoftwareDistribution and Catroot2 folder. Now restart the computer and retry downloading.
  • If it does not work, then Restart Windows Updates, BITS, and CryptSvc services. You will have to enter these commands in sequence:
    • net stop wuauserv
    • net stop cryptSvc
    • net stop bits
    • net stop msiserver
    • net start wuauserv
    • net start cryptSvc
    • net start bits
    • net start msiserver
  • Now reset the components of Windows Update

How to Search for the Latest Windows 10 Update:

Sometimes your computer may only allow manual installation of Windows update. In this case, you can follow these steps to find out the latest Windows 10 updates. 

  • Click the ‘start’ button and go to ‘settings.’
  • Search for ‘update and security’ to find the latest Windows update.
  • Now click the ‘Check for Updates’ to search for the latest Windows updates.


Windows update pending download shows that it is waiting for some conditions to fulfill. It is an indication that you need to alter your settings or restart your computer. When the update downloads fail to progress, it displays the status as Pending install, Pending download, Initializing, Installing, or downloading.

When you learn to fix these issues, you can download and install Windows updates without much hassle. You can resolve the problems within minutes without getting confused. 

Sometimes the Windows updates naturally take a longer time to complete. Microsoft continually upgrades windows with larger files and more advanced features, These features eventually slow down the download speed. Microsoft releases the most significant updates in the fall and spring each year. They may take 4 to 6 hours to install if there are no issues with your system. Longer download time will need a fix for any underlying issues. 





Thank you for reading!