Troubleshoot

How to Fix ”Failure Configuring Windows Updates” Issue

Windows usually downloads and installs updates when the auto updater is turned on. However, you may sometimes get stuck with an update configuration issue with an error on your screen saying ”Failure configuring Windows updates, Reverting changes, Do not  turn off your computer”. This is not a very common issue but it may happen to anyone.

Windows Update Configuration Failure

Now let’s see how we can try to solve this problem. Follow the steps given below.

Step 1 – Waiting to Revert or Force Restart

If you are stuck on the error screen, then there are two options for you. First one is to wait for the computer to revert the changes. It may take half an hour to several hours. Apply this method if you are scared to do a force restart and have enough patience. Once the reverting process is complete, your computer should boot and then follow the steps below to make sure it doesn’t happen again in the future.

If you don’t want to wait for the revert or if the reverting doesn’t fix the issue and you still see the error, then try to force restart your computer. If you don’t have a restart button, press and hold the power button until the PC shuts down. Now start the PC again and keep pressing F8 repeatedly to enter safe mode. If you can enter safe mode, then follow the steps below.

Step 2 – Creating System Restore Point (Optional)

The first thing you want to do is create a system restore point for just for safety before making any changes to the system. To do that, just open Start menu. Then right click on Computer and select Properties. 

Create system restore point

Afterwards click on System protection on the left side of the window then under the System protection tab, click on Create.

restore point

Now give the restore point a name then click on Create. Windows will create a system restore point and once it’s done you will get a message that it was created successfully. We did this because if anything goes wrong during the next few steps, you can restore your system from this point and get everything to back to like it was before.

Also CheckHow to Fix Driver Power State Failure Error in Windows

Step 3 – Using Windows Update Troubleshooter

In this step we will try to fix the update error issue using the built-in troubleshooter on your windows computer. To do that, Go to Control Panel and then click on Find and Fix Problems.

Windows Update Troubleshooting

Afterwards, click on Fix problems with Windows Update under System and Security section.

System and Security

A window will appear and in there Click on Advance and click on Run as Administrator. Also make sure the check under that is ticked.

Fixing with troubleshooter

Then click on Next. Now windows update troubleshooter will try to fix the problem automatically and show you the results once done.

Update failure solved

You can also use official Windows update troubleshooter from Microsoft. If step 2 given above doesn’t solve your problem, then move to step number 3.

Step 4 – Deleting Windows Update Cache

At this point we are gonna delete windows update cache which may resolve the problem. First we need to turn off some services otherwise Widows wouldn’t allow us to delete those cache files and folders. Go to Start menu then in the search box type in services.msc and hit Enter. In the service window scroll down until you find Windows Update. 

Stopping windows update service

When you find it, double click on it then in that window click Stop and then OK, that will stop the windows update service.

Stopping Background Intelligent Service

You also need to stop Background Intelligent Transfer Service the same way you stopped windows update service. You will find it in the services window as well.

After that go to the drive where you installed windows, usually drive. Then go to Windows folder and then SoftwareDistribution folder. Then delete everything from inside the DataStore and Download folder with Administrator permission. Don’t worry, deleting these files will not delete any of the updates that you have installed previously.

Clearing the update cache

Afterwards, start Windows Update service and Background Intelligent Transfer Service just like the way you stopped them previously.

This should solve the issue with windows update. If you still can’t solve the problem them please comment below with details of the problem and I will try to help you out.

58 Comments

  • Use a Linux live cd and navigate to the Windoze folders and delete the files, or better yet, save yourself a world of problems and switch to Linux…

  • Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!!!! I had problems with Windows 10 and so reverted back to Windows 7 but immediately was hit with the “failure to configure Windows update, reverting….” I struggled for several days until I found your site. Followed your instructions and within 15 minutes I was back together with my old friend – Windows 7. Thank you so much!

    • You either need to wait until it reverts the changes which could be more than an hour or you could force restart your computer and try to enter safe mood by pressing and holding F8 key while your computer is booting.

      • I was afraid to restart, but after two hours it finally loaded the desktop and whatever update failed, was successful the second restart. Thanks for the advice

        • Sure it’s “successful” until it’s next spectacular failure next week. Dump it and get a MAC. Ask yourself this: If windoze isn’t inherently defective garbage, why does it need to constantly be updated with a never ending series of updates in the first place? Here’s a thought for the morons at Microshit corporation: CREATE AN OPERATING SYSTEM THAT ACTUALLY WORKS AND ISN’T BUG INFESTED AND IT WON’T NEED TO CONSTANTLY BE UPDATED.

      • Mine has took 4 hours to revert back but now it has been on the “shutting down” screen now for 4+ hours. Should I continue to wait or try the force restart
        ?

  • This assumes the pc or laptop will start after the error. All I get is the same bs even if I press F8 – no dos prompt nothing… just the same rotten error. So what is the fix?

  • I have been having this issue for the last few months now. First, I thought it was because Automatic Updates were enabled. I have since disabled Automatic Update. It still happens when I install updates one-by-one manually. It is very painful. I try several things, Safe Mode with Command Prompt, Safe Mode, Safe Mode with Networking. Nothing works. Eventually, it does start to come up in Safe Mode.

    Is there a known fix for this issue? I have a Dell Optiplex All-in-One PC that is plagued by this issue. Other computers/laptops using Windows 7 do not show this issue.

    • “I have been having this issue for the last few months now.”

      You know why? Because in my unfortunately extensive experience, virtually all installations of windoze are defective and machines rarely update properly. Ditto for the backup feature included with the OS. It’s basically decorative.

  • How in the world are you supposed to do anything when the screen gives you no start menu or ANYTHING to click on for options. There is nothing there , HELP!

  • Everything you say to do is when you get into windows. I can’t get into windows. Mine has been stuck on that first screen for hours.

    • You either need to wait until it reverts the changes which could take more than an hour or you could force restart your computer and try to enter safe mood by pressing and holding F8 key while your computer is booting.

  • I followed your instructions to the T, a bit frustrating as I used to be a computer repair person BUT that was 15 yrs ago. Still searching for a solution. Any help would be appreciated. I use Windows 7.

  • I had this issue. Microsoft say it takes 30 mins but my PC took maybe a couple of hours. And then when it rebooted it went back into the same screen. But that time it only took about 15 mins. Then it was OK. So…..just be patient.

    • ” Microsoft say it takes 30 mins”

      The clocksuckers achieved that figure by moving the clock forward by hand 10 minutes for every 5 minutes of actual machine “operation”.

    • How to solve all problems with windoze:

      1. Identify all computers infected with the windoze garbage OS.
      2. Get rid of all computers identified in step 1.
      3. Replace all computers gotten rid of in step 2 with MACS or UNIX based machines.

      Windoze is inherently defective bug riddled GARBAGE not worth attempting to fix. WTF do you think Microshit has to update it 12 times a week? Because it’s garbage that should never have been released in the first place, that’s why.

      • Hey it’s a great thing that Apple doesn’t push out regular security updates either. Also be my guest if you wish to teach END USERS how to use UNIX. I have several customers that can’t operate the power button correctly. And they’re going to learn all the commands necessary? Let’s not forget the bread and butter of Microsoft is the corporate level. Even you cannot deny the product is good as well as the support and personnel is plentiful

        • Oh yeah son ask those wanna cry victims about how good it is at the corporate level. Please think before you write this nonsense ok? Microsoft has NEVER YET released a secure operating system with reliable basic functionality. It’s not the exploit of the day or the week but literally the exploit of the hour and that’s being conservative. The support good? It’s Indian and you are lucky if Abu speaks coherent English. Your chances of him figuring out what’s actually wrong with your software is about as good as me being named the next pope.

        • Look fanboy, I can’t help it that Billy Gates member is burried so deep in your mouth that you can’t figure out that windows is junk, has always been junk and will always be junk It isn’t worth fixing. It’s not even suitable for use as a toy. It’s total crap. And security?

          BWAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHHHAHAHAHAHAHA

          Security is not even an afterthought for microshit corporation. Windows security is the equivelant of a builder building a house with no locks and justifying it by claiming they will be added in an “update” later. LMAO at anyone stupid enough to think windoze will ever be even remotely secure.

    • Try safe mode. I was stuck in a loop until I opened safe mode. Wait 10-15 minutes for the safe mode to load and follow the steps.

  • Windoze is GARBAGE I used to have multiple computers running that GARBAGE windoze OS. Rarely could any of them successfully apply any update without endlessly trying and failing. Windows is WORTHLESS TRASH not even worth using. I replaced them all with MACS which DOMINATE Microshit’s WINDOZE GARBAGE in terms of reliability. Microshit is so incompetent they can’t make a properly functioning OS that doesn’t have to be updated 12 times a week in the first place much less design an update process that actually works.

  • I had this problem a while ago and the worst thing you can do is get impatient and turn off your computer. That will mess things up even more. It usually takes way longer than 30 minutes to 1 hour. At most, it can take 12 hours but that’s an extreme case. So point being, just wait it out and expect it to take all day.

  • Been stuck onthis revert screen for over an hour now…annoyed! Thinking of force shutting down and restoring…any thoughts if this is a viable option?

  • I followed your guidance and solved this problem completely. It means the notice ”Failure Configuring Windows Updates” do not appear anymore and I can update Windows normally. Thank you very much! My

  • Tried the above but am still getting the same message when the PC reboots. Takes abt 2hrs to revert, with a number of system-induced restarts.

  • Great job on a write up of how to fix a system that wont boot. Step 1 boot into the os. You sir are a moron.

  • Even when I boot in Safe Mode it still tries to apply the updates. Then it fails again and wants to revert and restart. I can’t seem to get past the failure screen. What can I do? Please help!

  • What can I do when force stop and putting it safe mode doesn’t work. I still get the reverting changes screen. I let it go for several hours and still it doesn’t reboot.

  • my pc have show “failure configuring windows updates reverting changes ” issue.can u please tell me how much time will be taken to restart.it has taken morethan 3 hours. but it will show same issue.

  • Most of these instructions are completely useless. I cannot perform any of the Find and Fix steps in safe mode (Network Diagnostics cannot be run in safe mode) and I definitely can’t get past the initial “update failure warning” that we are trying to fix in the first place when booting in normal mode!
    Same problem with step 4.
    Steps 1 and 2 both completely useless.
    Any other suggestions not including turning this POS into a doorstop?
    Running windows 7.
    Starting to agree with Mike Hughes BTW.
    Windows sucks big donkey balls.

  • Hi I’m Peter… I tried the steps but it still gave me the same problem… “failure configuring…reverting changes”.. don’t know what else to do

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