[Fixed] Windows Update Stuck at 0% on Server 2016/2019 or Other Versions

Sometimes Windows update is a nightmare, especially on the business/work network. If you have direct internet without any proxy or WSUS servers, it is going to work without any issues most of the time. That is how it works on personal computers at home. But when there is a complicated setup with the different version of servers, multiple Internet gateways, and proxy servers, then you will face random issues with Windows updates. Recently I met a problem with Windows 2016 server where the Windows update stuck at 0%, did not move further.

The summary of the issue was, it would detect the available updates, but when it started downloading, it stuck at 0%. I doubted the Internet connectivity, but browsing the Intenet worked fine on the same server. After the online research, I found several solutions; finally one worked for me. In this post, I’m going to share what fixed my issue of Windows update stuck at 0% on Windows 2016 server. By the way, it is a virtual server running on Hyper-V.

Downloading Update Stuck

Steps to Fix Windows Update Stuck at 0% on Server 2016

Let me put the solution first which worked for me after trying several steps. If this doesn’t work for you or your scenario is different, then proceed to other steps.

1) Check the Windows Firewall Service/status

In Windows 2016, the firewall should be on and active to make Windows update work. In my case, I completely disabled the Windows firewall for some other purpose. So, the update stuck at 0% without any progress.

Visit the Services under server manager, make sure that the Windows firewall service is running.

Running Windows Firewall

Once I started the service, the Windows update started downloading the updates automatically.

If this doesn’t fix the issue, go to next steps.

2) Check the Internet Proxy Settings

In most of the cases, Windows update can’t download the packages via the web proxy (though it depended on the authentication and security policy of the web proxy).

Check and confirm that there is no proxy setup on the web browser.

Proxy Settings For Windows Update 0 Windows 2016 Server

You should remove the proxy settings and have direct internet on the Windows 2016 server to get working Windows updates.

Even you can see the current proxy status in command prompt with below input.

netsh winhttp show proxy

For more information about fixing the Windows update issue related to proxy server, you can refer to this guide.

3) Clean the Update Catalog Folder

There could be a reason that Windows update content folder/file/catalog is corrupted and because of that, it is not moving further. Cleaning up the folder may help to resume Windows updates successfully.

Before doing the cleanup, we need to stop the service.

Go to the Services and locate the Windows update service. Stop the service.

Stop The Service

Once the service stopped successfully, go to the following folder location and delete all content (files and folders).

C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution

Delete The Files

This is the place where OS downloads the updates. Cleaning up these files/folders and starting the service will help.

After deleting the files, start the same Windows Update service you stopped initially. This will restart the update service and download the updates which stuck at 0% on Windows 2016 server earlier.

For me, I tried step 2 and 3 first, but it did not help. My server never had a proxy server for the Internet access and deleting the content from the particular location and restarting the Windows update service did not help.  In the end, enabling the Windows firewall worked well. You can try these steps and let us know which method helped to download the Windows updates from Windows 2016/2019 servers that stuck at 0%.

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