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In recent versions of Windows Microsoft has tried to make the process as pain-free as possible, but with so many hardware and software configurations out there, there's always the chance that some unexpected problem will crop up.

Go to Control Panel, System, System Protection and then click System Restore.

Go through the wizard, then choose 'Show more restore points' to see all your available options.

First, boot up into Safe Mode (see step 5), then access to the command prompt, the most basic of Windows interfaces: right-click on the Start menu, choose Command Prompt (Admin), and a text box should appear.

Type "net stop wuauserv" and hit Enter, then follow that with "net stop bits" and hit Enter again.

Try running a full and thorough virus scan using whatever security software you have installed (you do have some installed, right? If you think your antivirus tool has also been compromised you can download some on-demand scanners, like this one from Microsoft or this one from Dr. Restoring key Windows files and OS options is a lot easier than it used to be, and 'resetting' Windows 10 basically means putting all the system files back to their factory state without touching your personal files along the way (although you can choose to wipe your drive completely if you want).

You can find the option via the Recovery tab on the Update & Security page in the Settings app – note that third-party apps are removed too, so these will need installing again.

Read on to learn how to fix common problems with Windows updates.

We're going to cover a lot of ground here for several versions of Windows and a variety of 'stuck' scenarios, so you may have to tweak some of these steps to suit your situation and software.

With that done, go back to your command prompt window and type "net start wuauserv" (Enter) then "net start bits" (Enter) to get Windows Update and its related background services up and running again; hopefully this trick should be enough to kick-start the update that was previously stuck.

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