Troubleshoot Windows Update On Surface Tablets

If you have a Surface tablet, you know that it is important to keep Microsoft Windows updates current [you should have them turned on to install automatically].

However, there are times that some of the updates don’t install properly (opposed to updates completely crashing your Surface).

What should you do when this happens?

In this post, I’ll give you the answer to this question. I’ll cover some basic Windows Update troubleshooting tips to help you figure out what’s going on.

First thing’s first, why don’t Windows updates install properly at times?

There are many reasons for this but most common are simply due to timing. Your machine may have been simply trying to update during a time that the internet was too slow or when the servers were busy. If that’s the case, your Surface will attempt to run the updates again at a different time.

It’s also possible something interrupted the update process or your Surface lost it’s network connection while it was trying to download the updates.

Perhaps, you just don’t have enough free disk space left on your Surface or it powered down while it was installing updates.

In any of these cases, the below troubleshooting tips should help you get your Surface updates installed and working properly.

Note: there are occasionally more serious problems that cause updates to fail. I will cover troubleshooting those in a future post.

Troubleshoot Windows Update: How do you know what didn’t install?

Your Surface’s Windows 8.1 keeps track of all the updates that were installed (and not installed). It also keeps track of the time they were installed. It keeps this information in the Updates History log.

To view your update history, do the following:

  • Go to Windows Update setting on your Surface (use Search or get there via Settings\Change PC Settings\Update and recovery)
  • Choose View update history

  • Here you can see all updates and install failures

Troubleshoot Windows Update: Manually Re-install The Updates

If you find that you are getting an update failure message or you see one that is failing over and over again in the step above, you may want to reinstall it manually.

Here’s how:

  • In Windows Update settings
  • Click or tap Check now and wait for the process to complete

  • When updates are found, tap Install updates
  • Accept updates terms and click Finish
  • Restart your PC (be sure all your work is saved)

Troubleshoot Windows Update: Windows Update Troubleshooter

If the update you tried to re-install continually fails, you can try running the Windows Update troubleshooting tool Microsoft provides.

Here’s how:

  • Choose Windows Update and click Next
  • The process is pretty quick. Wait for it to finish

  • You will be shown the problems the program fixed as the example below

Troubleshoot Windows Update: DISM

If you’re still having problems, it could be because you have some component store corruption. Don’t worry, it’s not as bad as you think.

In fact, it’s pretty easy to fix. Tim wrote up a post on using DISM (Deployment Imaging and Servicing Management) that will step you through using the tool to fix component store issues.

You can find his post HERE.

If none of these suggestions work, you might be to the point where you need to do a refresh or reset of your Surface in order to install updates.

I hope you found this post helpful for getting your Windows Updates issues worked out.


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