If Windows Update doesn’t run properly and the latest patches are not installed on your system, you could manually install one of the many update packs available online that combine the latest updates in a single installer file. But this won’t solve your problem unless you want to manually install updates every time they are released.

We'll explain how you can use Microsoft's own tools to fix any Windows Update problems you may be experiencing, and what to do if these don't work.

Note: if you're seeing an error message that your PC or laptop has hardware that isn't ready for this version of Windows 10, it's likely you've got an older USB device attached somewhere. Unplug it and the update should run smoothly. If that's not your problem, read on.

How to fix Windows 10 update problems

Run the Reset Windows Update Tool to fix Windows Update problems

Microsoft offers its own tool to solve Windows Update problems. The ‘Reset Windows Update Tool’ is a free troubleshooting tool that is regularly updated by the company. It’s compatible with all versions of Windows from XP onward.

You’ll find the 1065kb ‘wureset.zip’ file in your Downloads folder. Double-click on it, hit the Extract all button (under the Compressed Folder Tools tab), then choose Extract.

Now run the wureset_x64 file (or x86 if you have a very old computer) with admin rights by right-clicking it and choosing ‘Run as administrator’.

Tap Y on your keyboard when User Account Control pops up, then hit 0 (for English) and press Enter.

Fix Windows Update

Press Y then Enter, and finally 2 followed by Enter to 'Reset the Windows Update Components'.

Fix Windows Update

The tool will reset Windows Update and restart the service, which may take a few minutes.

What to do when the Reset Windows Update Tool doesn’t work

Fix Windows Update Tool

Our colleagues over at PC-Welt have designed their own Fix Windows Update tool that will do a more thorough job than Microsoft’s tool.

The app is in German, but don’t worry - it's simple enough to understand even if you don't speak the language.

Download the file and then double-click the exe file to run the installer. Agree to the User Account prompt, then click ‘Weiter >’ followed by ‘Installieren’ to install and launch the app.

Fix Windows Update

Fix Windows Update

The tool will automatically load up and do its job (this part is in English).

Fix Windows Update

Once it’s finished you can click any key to continue, and press ‘Fertigstellen’ to exit the app.

Fix Windows Update

You should then search for and open Windows Update using the Windows search bar, and click ‘Check for updates’.

Microsoft’s Windows Update troubleshooting tool

If neither of the above options work your next step should be Microsoft’s Windows Update troubleshooter. Click here to download the tool, then double-click the downloaded file to launch the wizard and follow the steps. If the tool finds an error, let it attempt to repair the problem automatically.

How to fix errors 0x80073712, 0x800705B4, 0x80004005, 0x8024402F, 0x80070002, 0x80070643, 0x80070003, 0x8024200B, 0x80070422 and 0x80070020

Microsoft offers an interactive guide to solving a whole series of update problems. On the page, first select the version of Windows in which the problem occurs, then follow the instructions.

How to fix 0x800F081F error

If Windows Update displays one of these errors, try the following tip: type cmd in the search box, then right-click the "Command Prompt" entry and select ‘Run as administrator’. Press Yes when User Account Control pops up.

Type the following commands in sequence to check and repair your system image. You’ll need to hit Enter after each.

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

Fix Windows Update

How to fix 0x80240016 error

This error can either occur if Windows is already busy installing updates (or software), or a restart is required to complete the installation. So wait 10-15 minutes and then restart the computer.

How to fix 0x80240030 error

This error indicates that the proxy or firewall settings are preventing Windows Update from connecting to the server. To correct the error, type cmd in the search box, then right-click the "Command Prompt" entry and select ‘Run as administrator’. Enter the following, hitting Enter at the end of each line:

netsh winhttp reset proxy
net stop wuauserv
net start wuauserv

This will reset the proxy settings to and restart the update service.

What else could be breaking Windows Update?

Windows Update will not work correctly if the date and time are not set correctly on your system. Check and correct this if necessary.

You’ll also have problems with Windows Update if there is not enough disk space for the update. Find out how to free up space on your PC

If Flight Mode is activated on your device Windows Update will not work. In Windows 10 it is sometimes the case that your Wi-Fi will still work even in Flight mode, so be sure to check - click the speech bubble at the bottom right of the screen to open the Action Centre. If Flight mode is activated you’ll be able to toggle it off here.

Support for Windows XP and Vista has already been discontinued, while Windows 7 will receive security updates until 14 January 2020 but no more new features. Microsoft provides full support only for Windows 8 and Windows 10.

This article originally appeared on PC-Welt.