Software updates installation error

Fix Windows Update errors

Support for Windows 8.1 has ended

Support for Windows 8.1 ended on January 10, 2023. We recommend you move to a Windows 11 PC to continue to receive security updates from Microsoft.

What does this guided walk-through do?

This guided walk-through provides steps to fix problems with Windows Updates for Windows 8.1 and 7, such as taking a long time to scan, or error codes while installing updates.

For help with Windows Update issues in Windows 10, see Troubleshoot problems updating Windows 10 instead.

A common cause of errors is inadequate drive space. If you need help freeing up drive space, see Tips to free up drive space on your PC.

Common error codes

The steps in this guided walk-through should help with all Windows Update errors and other issues— you don’t need to search for the specific error to solve it. As an example, here are some commonly seen error codes: 0x80240034; 0x8007000E, 0x80242006​, 0x80244018​, 0x80D02002​, 0x80246017​, 0x80240438​, 0x80070070​, 0x8007000D​, 0x80246008​, 0x80096004​, 0x80070020.
The steps provided here should help fix any errors that come up during the Windows Update process.

How does it work?

We’ll begin by asking you questions about the Windows version you’re using and the issue you’re experiencing. Next, we’ll take you through a series of troubleshooting steps that are specific to your situation. At the end of each step, you’ll be asked “Did this resolve the issue?” If it’s resolved, select Yes, and you’re done! If it isn’t resolved, select No and continue with the guided walk-through.

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Get help with Windows upgrade and installation errors

There are many reasons why you might receive an error message when upgrading or installing Windows 11, but common errors can be fixed with a few steps that you can do on your own. Note: An upgrade takes your device from an older version of Windows, such as Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 to Windows 11.

Before searching for a specific error code, try the tips listed in General fixes. If those don’t fix your upgrade or installation problem, check the table of error codes at the bottom of this article.

General fixes

Here are some things you can try to fix upgrade and installation errors:

Unplug any nonessential hardware devices. These could include headphones, printers, scanners speakers, USB flash drives, and external hard drives.

If you’re using a laptop and it’s plugged in to a docking station, undock it.

It’s a good idea to make sure that all important updates are installed before trying to upgrade Windows. This includes updates to hardware drivers on your device.

For information and to make sure you’re up-to-date, see Windows Update: FAQ.

Use Windows Defender to protect your device during the upgrade—non-Microsoft antivirus software can sometimes cause upgrade problems. As long as you have installation media and all required activation information, you can always reinstall the software after you upgrade.

To remove an antivirus application, go to Control Panel\Programs\Programs and Features. Select the program, and then select Uninstall. Select Yes to confirm.

Outdated software can cause problems with a Windows upgrade, so removing old or nonessential applications can help.

If you plan to reinstall the application later, make sure you have the installation media and all required activation information before removing it.

To uninstall software, go to Control Panel\Programs\Programs and Features. Select the program, and then select Uninstall. Select Yes to confirm.

To upgrade to Windows 11, you need enough space on your hard drive for the installation to take place.

To view how much hard drive space is available on your computer, select File Explorer on the taskbar (known as Windows Explorer in Windows 7) or press Windows logo key + E.

Then select Computer or This PC and look under Hard Disk Drives or under Devices and drives. If there are multiple drives listed, the system drive is the drive that includes a Microsoft Windows logo above the drive icon. You’ll see the amount of available space under the drive.

If it looks like your drive is running low on space, see Tips to free up drive space on your PC.

0xC1900101 Errors

An error that begins with 0xC1900101 is usually a driver error. If you see any of these error codes, try the following steps first to fix the problem. If these steps don’t work, see Resolve Windows upgrade errors for more detailed technical info.

Make sure that your device has enough space. Your device requires at least 16 GB of free space to upgrade a 32-bit OS, or 20 GB for a 64-bit OS. For more info, see Free up drive space in Windows.

Run Windows Update a few times. Download and install any available updates in Windows Update, including software updates, hardware updates, and some third-party drivers. Use the Windows Update Troubleshooter to fix Windows 11 Update errors.

Check third-party drivers and download any updates. You can find third-party drivers and installation instructions for any hardware you’ve added to your device on the manufacturer’s website.

Unplug extra hardware. Remove all external storage devices and drives, docks, and other hardware you might have plugged into your device that isn’t needed for basic functionality.

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Check Device Manager for errors. In the search box on the taskbar, type device manager. Choose Device Manager from the results. In the window that pops up, look for any device with a yellow exclamation mark beside it (you may have to select each category to switch to the list of devices). Press and hold (or right-click) the device name and select either Update Driver Software or Uninstall to correct the errors.

Remove third-party security software. Make sure you know how to reinstall your programs and that any necessary product keys are on hand. Windows Defender will help protect your device in the meantime.

Repair hard-drive errors. In the search box on the taskbar, type command prompt. Choose Command Prompt from the list of results. In the window that pops up, type chkdsk/f C: and press the Enter key. Repairs automatically start on your hard drive, and you’ll be asked to restart your device.

Note: You must have administrator permissions on your device to do this.

Restore and repair system files. In the search box on the taskbar, type command prompt. Choose Command Prompt from the list of results. In the window that pops up, type DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth and press the Enter key. (Learn to repair a Windows image)

Note: You must have administrator permissions on your device to do this.

Other Common Errors

The following table lists the most common upgrade and installation errors and some things you can try to fix them. If you continue having problems upgrading or installing Windows, contact Microsoft support.

What it means and how to fix it

This indicates that there was a problem downloading and installing the selected update. Windows Update will try again later and there is nothing you need to do at this time.

This could indicate that an incompatible app installed on your PC is blocking the upgrade process from completing. Check to make sure that any incompatible apps are uninstalled and then try upgrading again.

A cleanup operation from a previous installation attempt is still pending, and a system restart is required to continue the upgrade. Restart the device and run setup again. If restarting device does not resolve the issue, then use the Disk Cleanup utility and clean up the temporary files and the System files. For more information, see Disk cleanup in Windows.

A file needed by Windows Update is likely damaged or missing. Try repairing your system files: In the search box on the taskbar, type command prompt. Choose Command Prompt from the list of results. In the window that appears, type DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth and press the Enter key.

This may signify that your PC doesn’t meet the minimum requirements to download or install the upgrade to Windows 11. Learn more about the minimum requirements for Windows 11.

This might indicate that a driver or other software on your PC isn’t compatible with the upgrade to Windows 11. For info about how to fix this problem, contact Microsoft support.

This could mean that the upgrade process was interrupted because you accidentally restarted your PC or signed out of your PC. Try upgrading again and make sure your PC is plugged in and stays turned on.

This error might mean that your PC couldn’t connect to the Windows Update servers. If you’re using a VPN connection to connect to a work network, disconnect from the network and turn off the VPN software (if applicable) and try upgrading again.

The error could also mean there isn’t enough free space in the System Reserved partition. You might be able to fix this problem by using third-party software to increase the size of the System Reserved partition.

Error: We couldn’t complete the updates. Undoing changes. Don’t turn off your computer.

Error: Failure configuring Windows Updates. Reverting changes.

These are generic errors that might appear any time a Windows update fails. You’ll need to determine the specific error code to investigate how to best resolve this problem.

You can find the error code for the failed update by viewing your update history. Look for the update that wasn’t installed, note the error code, and then contact Microsoft support.

To view your update history in Windows 11:

Select Start > Settings > Windows Update > Update history.

Error: The update isn’t applicable to your computer.

This error might mean that your PC doesn’t have the required updates installed.

Check to make sure that all important updates are installed on your PC before you try upgrading.

This likely indicates that your PC doesn’t have enough space available to install the upgrade.

Free some space on the drive and try again. Get tips for freeing up drive space

The specified disk operation is not supported by the target disk, partition, or volume.

Make sure your machine meets the minimum requirements to install Windows.

The system cannot find the file specified.

If you have a disk or disks where you are not installing Windows 11 on, remove those disks.

A driver has caused a problem.

Disable or remove all 3rd party antivirus or antispyware from your system. Disconnect all peripheral devices that are connected to the system, except for the mouse, keyboard and display.

Contact your hardware vendor to obtain updated device drivers.

Windows Setup terminated unexpectedly due to another process running in the background.

When you start Windows by using a normal startup, several applications and services start automatically, and then run in the background. These programs include basic system processes, antivirus software, system utility applications, and other software that has been previously installed. These applications and services can cause interference when you attempt to upgrade to the latest version of Windows 11.

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To help you determine whether a background program is interfering with the upgrade, a «clean boot» may be needed. See How to perform a clean boot in Windows.​

Windows Setup terminated unexpectedly due to another process running in the background.

Uninstall any antivirus or antispyware software and update again.

There are many reasons why you might receive an error message when upgrading or installing Windows 10, but common errors can be fixed with a few steps that you can do on your own. Note: An upgrade takes your device from an older version of Windows, such as Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, to Windows 10.

Before searching for a specific error code, try the tips listed in General fixes. If those don’t fix your upgrade or installation problem, check the table of error codes at the bottom of this article.

General fixes

Here are some things you can try to fix upgrade and installation errors:

Unplug any nonessential hardware devices. These could include headphones, printers, scanners speakers, USB flash drives, and external hard drives.

If you’re using a laptop and it’s plugged in to a docking station, undock it.

It’s a good idea to make sure that all important updates are installed before trying to upgrade Windows. This includes updates to hardware drivers on your device.

For information and to make sure you’re up-to-date, see Windows Update: FAQ.

Use Windows Defender to protect your device during the upgrade—non-Microsoft antivirus software can sometimes cause upgrade problems. As long as you have installation media and all required activation information, you can always reinstall the software after you upgrade.

To remove an antivirus application, go to Control Panel\Programs\Programs and Features. Select the program, and then select Uninstall. Select Yes to confirm.

Outdated software can cause problems with a Windows upgrade, so removing old or nonessential applications can help.

If you plan to reinstall the application later, make sure you have the installation media and all required activation information before removing it.

To uninstall software, go to Control Panel\Programs\Programs and Features. Select the program, and then select Uninstall. Select Yes to confirm.

To upgrade to Windows 10, you need enough space on your hard drive for the installation to take place.

To view how much hard drive space is available on your computer, select the Start button, then in the search box on the taskbar, type File Explorer (known as Windows Explorer in Windows 7).

Then select Computer or This PC and look under Hard Disk Drives or under Devices and drives. If there are multiple drives listed, the system drive is the drive that includes a Microsoft Windows logo above the drive icon. You’ll see the amount of available space under the drive.

If it looks like your drive is running low on space, see Tips to free up drive space on your PC.

0xC1900101 Errors

An error that begins with 0xC1900101 is usually a driver error. If you see any of these error codes, try the following steps first to fix the problem. If these steps don’t work, see Resolve Windows upgrade errors for more detailed technical info.

Make sure that your device has enough space. Your device requires at least 16 GB of free space to upgrade a 32-bit OS, or 20 GB for a 64-bit OS. For more info, see Free up drive space in Windows.

Run Windows Update a few times. Download and install any available updates in Windows Update, including software updates, hardware updates, and some third-party drivers. Use the Windows Update Troubleshooter to fix Windows Update errors.

Check third-party drivers and download any updates. You can find third-party drivers and installation instructions for any hardware you’ve added to your device on the manufacturer’s website.

Unplug extra hardware. Remove all external storage devices and drives, docks, and other hardware you might have plugged into your device that isn’t needed for basic functionality.

Check Device Manager for errors. Select the Start button, then in the search box on the taskbar, type device manager. Choose Device Manager from the results. In the window that pops up, look for any device with a yellow exclamation mark beside it (you may have to select each category to switch to the list of devices). Press and hold (or right-click) the device name and select either Update Driver Software or Uninstall to correct the errors.

Remove third-party security software. Make sure you know how to reinstall your programs and that any necessary product keys are on hand. Windows Defender will help protect your device in the meantime.

Repair hard-drive errors. Select the Start button, then in the search box on the taskbar, type command prompt. Choose Command Prompt from the list of results. In the window that pops up, type chkdsk/f C: and press the Enter key. Repairs automatically start on your hard drive, and you’ll be asked to restart your device.

Note: You must have administrator permissions on your device to do this.

Do a clean restart into Windows. Learn how.

Restore and repair system files. Select the Start button, then in the search box on the taskbar, type command prompt. Choose Command Prompt from the list of results. In the window that pops up, type DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth and press the Enter key. (Learn to repair a Windows image)

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Note: You must have administrator permissions on your device to do this.

Other Common Errors

The following table lists the most common upgrade and installation errors and some things you can try to fix them. If you continue having problems upgrading or installing Windows 10, contact Microsoft support.

What it means and how to fix it

This indicates that there was a problem downloading and installing the selected update. Windows Update will try again later and there is nothing you need to do at this time.

This could indicate that an incompatible app installed on your PC is blocking the upgrade process from completing. Check to make sure that any incompatible apps are uninstalled and then try upgrading again.

A cleanup operation from a previous installation attempt is still pending, and a system restart is required to continue the upgrade. Restart the device and run setup again. If restarting device does not resolve the issue, then use the Disk Cleanup utility and clean up the temporary files and the System files. For more information, see Disk cleanup in Windows.

A file needed by Windows Update is likely damaged or missing. Try repairing your system files: Select the Start button and type command prompt in the search box on the taskbar. Choose Command Prompt from the list of results. In the window that appears, type DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth and press the Enter key.

This may signify that your PC doesn’t meet the minimum requirements to download or install the upgrade to Windows 10. Learn more about the minimum requirements for Windows

This might indicate that a driver or other software on your PC isn’t compatible with the upgrade to Windows 10. For info about how to fix this problem, contact Microsoft support.

This could mean that the upgrade process was interrupted because you accidentally restarted your PC or signed out of your PC. Try upgrading again and make sure your PC is plugged in and stays turned on.

This error might mean that your PC couldn’t connect to the Windows Update servers. If you’re using a VPN connection to connect to a work network, disconnect from the network and turn off the VPN software (if applicable) and try upgrading again.

The error could also mean there isn’t enough free space in the System Reserved partition. You might be able to fix this problem by using third-party software to increase the size of the System Reserved partition.

Error: We couldn’t complete the updates. Undoing changes. Don’t turn off your computer.

Error: Failure configuring Windows Updates. Reverting changes.

These are generic errors that might appear any time a Windows update fails. You’ll need to determine the specific error code to investigate how to best resolve this problem.

You can find the error code for the failed update by viewing your update history. Look for the update that wasn’t installed, note the error code, and then contact Microsoft support.

To view your update history in Windows 8.1:

Open Windows Update by swiping in from the right edge of the screen (or, if you’re using a mouse, pointing to the lower-right corner of the screen and moving the mouse pointer up), select Settings > Change PC settings > Update and recovery > View your update history.

To view your update history in Windows 7:

Select the Start button. In the search box, type Update, and then, in the list of results, Select Windows Update > View update history.

Error: The update isn’t applicable to your computer.

This error might mean that your PC doesn’t have the required updates installed.

Check to make sure that all important updates are installed on your PC before you try upgrading.

This likely indicates that your PC doesn’t have enough space available to install the upgrade.

Free some space on the drive and try again. Get tips for freeing up drive space

The specified disk operation is not supported by the target disk, partition, or volume.

Make sure your machine meets the minimum requirements to install Windows 10.

The system cannot find the file specified.

If you have a disk or disks where you are not installing Windows 10 on, remove those disks.

A driver has caused a problem.

Disable or remove all 3rd party antivirus or antispyware from your system. Disconnect all peripheral devices that are connected to the system, except for the mouse, keyboard and display.

Contact your hardware vendor to obtain updated device drivers.

Windows Setup terminated unexpectedly due to another process running in the background.

When you start Windows by using a normal startup, several applications and services start automatically, and then run in the background. These programs include basic system processes, antivirus software, system utility applications, and other software that has been previously installed. These applications and services can cause interference when you attempt to upgrade to the latest version of Windows 10.

To help you determine whether a background program is interfering with the upgrade, a «clean boot» may be needed. See How to perform a clean boot in Windows.​

Windows Setup terminated unexpectedly due to another process running in the background.

Uninstall any antivirus or antispyware software and update again.

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