Why Won't My Microsoft Updates Install?

by Matt Skaggs

Microsoft OS updates are crucial to security and compatibility, but installing them can sometimes be frustrating. The solution is usually fairly easy to implement, if you know where to look.

Error Codes

Sometimes Microsoft provides an error code, such as "0x80070005" or "0x80070422." A Google search or a search in Microsoft's Support site will usually define the error message. Eric Brodish, a program manager for Microsoft, has provided a list of these errors on Microsoft MVP Sandi Hardmeier's website (see Resources).

Internet Connection

If you cannot even download updates, you may be offline. The Control Panel -- found by clicking the Start button -- contains information and procedures for connecting to the Internet. In Windows 7 and Vista, the Network and Sharing Center in the Control Panel provides Internet connection information and fixes. In Windows XP, the Network Setup Wizard in the Control Panel provides step-by-step instructions for connecting to the Internet.

Automatic Updates

Automatic updates are available only for Microsoft XP. Originally Windows XP updated through Internet Explorer; later Microsoft created a Control Panel updater, which is necessary to continue receiving updates. Installation of automatic updates can be done through Microsoft's website. (See Resources.)


There are many causes of failed update installs. It may be necessary to use a troubleshooter to solve the problem. A troubleshooter narrows the problem's cause through questions and prompts. (See Resources for online troubleshooters.)

About the Author

A lover of technology in all forms, Matt Skaggs began writing professionally in 2010, specializing in Windows computers and Android devices. His writing has appeared on many websites providing a plethora of technology information and tutorials. In 2008 Skaggs graduated from Bob Jones University with a Bachelor of Arts in humanities.

More Articles

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera virensuche image by Jens Klingebiel from Fotolia.com