Windows Update not working after October 2018 patch? Here’s how to fix it

Windows Update is sometimes underestimated as a cornerstone of your system’s integrity and security. Microsoft also delivers featured OS updates from Windows Update, including the Windows 10 October 2018 Update that was just re-released after a fitful start, and so you’ll need to make sure that it’s up and running. The update process has been greatly streamlined for Windows 10, but that doesn’t mean it’s always problem-free, especially when it comes to compatibility and patches.

Here, we’ll show you how to get Windows Update working again when it fails, and what to do if it looks like an update is causing problems.

Manage when automatic updates reboot your machine

You can’t permanently turn off automatic updates in Windows 10, but you can manage when your machine reboots after installing an update. That way, you can at least make sure your machine doesn’t restart during your workday or at an inconvenient time. Here’s how:

Step 1: Go to or search for Settings. Then select Update & Security options.

Step 2: Select the Windows Update tab at the top of the list on the left-hand side. Then, click Change active hours at the bottom of the window.

windows update not working windowsupdateproblems01

Step 3: This will bring up a window called Active hours, which will let you set a start and end time for when restarts will occur. Keep in mind that this doesn’t change when updates are installed, but only when your machine will automatically restart — and then, only when you’re not actively using it. Select your preferred times, and click Save.

windows update not working windowsupdateproblems02

Step 4: If an update has already been scheduled, then you can select Restart options from the main Windows Update settings page to select a custom restart time. Just toggle the setting on, and then select your preferred time and day.

Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Step 5: Finally, you can defer system upgrades for a period of time if you so choose, or pause them temporarily. Keep in mind that there are separate settings for major updates, like the October 2018 Update, and for quality updates like security updates.

To defer upgrades, select Advanced Options on the main Windows Update page. Use the drop-down lists to decide how many days you want to defer them for.

windows update not working windowsupdateproblems03

You can also use this menu to make other adjustments to the way updates are applied, including whether they’re automatic or manually triggered. You even have the option to pause them entirely.

Run the Windows Update Troubleshooter

windows update not working windowsupdateproblems04

Microsoft knows that sometimes things like the Windows 10 October 2018 Update can bring along a few unwanted issues, which is why the company created the Windows Update Troubleshooter. This tool will run through your basic operating system parameters and look for any obvious problems that may be keeping Windows Update from functioning correctly. If it can, the troubleshooter will also fix them automatically, or at least let you know what the issue is.

Try this analysis early on if you’re experiencing update issues. Head over to Microsoft’s support page and click Download troubleshooter for Windows 10 the tool should take care of the rest. It might ask you for administrator privileges to perform a deeper check, but beyond giving it permission to do so, you don’t need to do anything else.

It won’t solve every problem, but it’s a great place to start and will usually provide useful information even if it can’t offer a fix.

Check your installation error code

If your general update or featured update to the Windows 10 April or October 2018 Update fails or creates problems, it will often give you an installation error code. The codes don’t tell you much by themselves, but they do include a lot of useful info if you hop online and consult Microsoft’s guide on the matter. Below, we’ve included a table highlighting some of the more common errors.

0x80073712 A file needed by Windows Update is likely damaged or missing.
0x800F0923 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.
0x80200056 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.
0x800F0922

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.

0xC1900208 – 0x4000C 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.

0xC1900200 – 0x20008

0xC1900202 – 0x20008

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

0x80070070 – 0x50011

0x80070070 – 0x50012

0x80070070 – 0x60000

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.

Note that this guide is designed specifically for Windows 10 and recent versions like the October 2018 Update. Error codes may not mean the same thing in other versions of Windows.

If all else fails, these quick fixes might do it

windows 10 october update

Have all the automatic checks and codes failed you? It’s time to go back to the tried-and-true methods, the tricks that have been solving update errors since the update was first invented. Here are a few options that may work for you.

Reboot your computer

This is a surprisingly effective method that will solve a host of computer issues — and it often works for Windows Update. When you encounter an error message, reboot your machine and try to run the updates again. If you haven’t run Windows Update for some time, then you might have to repeat this process several times before all updates have been installed.

Do you have enough disk space?

One scenario in which updates may fail is when your system drive is running out of space. Double-check that you have at least 10GB of free space. If you don’t, perform a disk cleanup to remove files. To do so, type Disk Cleanup into Cortana’s search box, click Disk Cleanup to start the utility, and, if requested, select your system drive (usually C:). Afterward, specify the type of files that you want to get rid of and select OK. Try to stay away from important system files.

Alternatively, third-party software like CCleaner can be great for freeing up extra space on your system. For more information on this topic, check out our more complete guide on managing Windows 10’s storage space.

Is malware causing the issue?

Malware can change critical system files and break Windows services, meaning it’s a good idea to run a malware scanner to make sure your system isn’t compromised. If you don’t have any sort of antivirus software, check out some of our personal favorites for Windows-based machines. After all, sorting through heaps and heaps of software is never fun — and neither is paying.

Contact Microsoft support

If you’ve done everything you can, it’s time to contact Microsoft support and see if they can pinpoint the issue. Head over to the company’s contact page, where you can start a chat, request a callback, or schedule a call. There’s also an option to ask the community, which may be a bit more time-consuming but can be useful if others have already encountered and fixed the update issue.

Computing

Capture screenshots with print screen and a few alternative methods

Capturing a screenshot of your desktop is easier than you might think, but it's the kind of thing you'll probably need to know. Here's how to perform the important function in just a few, easy steps.
Computing

Want to make one hard drive act like two? Here's how to partition in Windows

If you don't want all of your files stored in one place but only have one drive to work with, partitioning is your best way forward. Here's how to partition a hard drive in Windows 10, step by step.
Computing

Converting files from MKV to MP4 is quick and easy. Just follow these steps

MKV files have their place, but if you would rather convert your videos from MKV to MP4, there are two methods we consider the best and most efficient for getting it done. In this guide, we'll walk you through them step by step.
Computing

Protecting your PDF with a password isn't difficult. Just follow these steps

If you need to learn how to password protect a PDF, you have come to the right place. This guide will walk you through the process of protecting your documents step-by-step, whether you're running a MacOS or Windows machine.
Computing

Style up your MacBook Air with one of these great cases or sleeves

Whether you’re looking for added protection or a stylish flourish, you’re in the right place for the best MacBook Air cases. We have form-hugging cases, luxurious covers and padded sleeves priced from $7 to $130. Happy shopping!
Computing

How to easily record your laptop screen with apps you already have

Learning how to record your computer screen shouldn't be a challenge. Lucky for you, our comprehensive guide lays out how to do so using a host of methods, including both free and premium utilities, in both MacOS and Windows 10.
Emerging Tech

Microsoft’s friendly new A.I wants to figure out what you want — before you ask

Move over Siri and Alexa! Microsoft wants to build a new type of virtual assistant that wants to be your friend. Already making waves in Asia, could this be the future of A.I. BFFs?
Gaming

Want to gift a Steam game so you can play with a friend? Here's how to do it

The holidays may have passed, but it's always a good time to give the gift of gaming (especially when there's a Steam sale)! Here's our quick guide on how to give a Steam game as a gift.
Computing

Multi-monitor issues? Here's how to resolve them

If you're running into multi-monitor problems, you're not alone. Two screens are very useful, but they can present some difficulties. Here are some common multi-monitor problems and how to fix them.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: A.I. selfie drones, ‘invisible’ wireless chargers

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Deals

The best MacBook deals for November 2018

If you’re in the market for a new Apple laptop, let us make your work a little easier: We hunted down the best up-to-date MacBook deals available online right now from various retailers.
Deals

Cyber Monday 2018: When it takes place and where to find the best deals

Cyber Monday is still a ways off, but it's never too early to start planning ahead. With so many different deals to choose from during one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year, going in with a little know-how makes all the…
Computing

All the best deals on Surface products for Black Friday

A number of retailers are discounting Surface devices for Black Friday. Be it the Surface Pro 2017, Surface Pro 6, or the Surface Go, here's a look at how (and where) you can save big on Surface this holiday season.
Smart Home

All the best Amazon Black Friday deals for 2018

Amazon may be an online-only retailer, but that doesn’t mean its Black Friday sales are anything to sniff at. In fact, due to its online status, Amazon has huge flexibility with the range of products and deals it can offer. Here's our…