[Fixed] Windows Update Stuck at 0% on Server 2016/2019/2022

Sometimes the 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 in place with the different versions of servers, multiple Internet gateways, and proxy servers, then you will face random issues with Windows update. Recently I had a problem with Windows 2016 server where the Windows update stuck at 0% and did not move further.

In my case, it detected the available updates, but when it started downloading, it stuck at 0%. I thought that something was wrong with the Internet connectivity, but the Internet browsing worked fine on the same server. After finding several solutions online, only one worked for me. In this post, I’m going to share how to fix the Windows update stuck at 0% issue on Windows 2016 server. By the way, it is a virtual machine running on Hyper-V.

The below steps are applicable for Windows 2019 and 2022 server Operating Systems also if you face similar issues.

Downloading Update Stuck at 0

Steps to Fix Windows Update Stuck at 0% on Server 2016/2019/2022

Let me add 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 (or 2019/2022 servers), the Windows firewall should be on and active to make Microsoft Updates work. In my case, I disabled the Windows firewall for some other purpose earlier. 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 automatically.

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

2) Check the Internet Proxy Settings

In most cases, Windows update can’t download the packages via the web proxy (though it depends 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 stuck Windows Server

You should remove the proxy settings and provide direct internet to Windows servers to download Windows updates.

You can check the current and active proxy settings in the command prompt by the below input.

netsh winhttp show proxy

3) Clean the Update Catalog Folder

There could be a reason that Windows update content folder/file/catalog is corrupted so the download is stuck at 0%. Cleaning up the folder may help to resume Windows updates successfully.

We need to stop the service before doing the cleanup, 

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

Stop Windows Update Service

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

C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution

Delete The Files

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

After deleting the files, start the same Windows Update service you stopped initially. This will restart the update service and download the updates that stuck at 0% on Windows 2016/2019 server earlier.

I tried steps 2 and 3 first, but it did not help in my case. My server never had a proxy server for Internet access. Deleting the content from the particular location and restarting the Windows Update service did not help either.  Enabling the Windows firewall worked for me in the end. You can try these steps and share the outcome on which method helped to download the Windows updates from Windows 2016/2019 servers that stuck at 0%.

Dinesh is the founder of Sysprobs and written more than 400 articles. Enthusiast in Microsoft and cloud technologies with more than 15 years of IT experience.

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