Windows Update: We couldn’t complete the updates, Undoing changes

If you’ve ever had problems with Windows Updates before and found yourself in a constant loop of applying updates to be followed by ‘we couldn’t complete the updates, undoing changes’, then you’ll know just how infuriating this whole process is.

The most likely explanation is a corrupt update, or something else on your system is preventing the update from installing.

Thankfully there is something we can do to clear the problematic Windows Updates from the system, and let them re-download to try again.

From Windows 8 onwards you have the following options to get into safe mode.

  1. Press Shift and click Restart to boot you into the Advanced startup options screen
  2. Open Settings > Update & Security > Recovery > Advanced startup > Restart now.
  3. Type shutdown /r /o in an elevated CMD prompt to reboot your computer into Advanced Boot options or Recovery console.

Or if you’re old skool or still using Windows 7 you can use the old fashioned bashing of the F8 key on startup

Once you have entered Safe Mode of your desktop, you have three options. I recommend you do option 1 first and then reboot and see if problems persist, if they do. Come back and move onto steop 3, and then worse case scenario step 3. As I mentioned previously you may also want to look into no other software on your system, is preventing the update from installing before venturing onto step 3!

1] Run Command Prompt as administrator. In the CMD box that appears on the computer screen, enter the following strings of text, one at a time, and hit Enter.

net stop wuauserv

net stop bits

Now browse to the C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution folder and delete all the files and folders inside.

Restart your computer. It should be able to boot to Desktop.

2] Open Control Panel > Programs and Features > View installed updates. Here you may uninstall the offending update which you may have installed recently, just before your problem started.

3] Use System Restore to restore your computer back to a prior good point.


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