We couldn’t Complete Updates. Undoing the changes

Sometimes, you can run into a situation where the installation of Windows updates can fail. Windows 10 might start displaying We could not complete updates. Undoing changes.

This happens especially due to errors when downloading the updates or turning off your windows PC before the updates finish downloading. As your system is updating it modifies system files, properties, and other apps. Failure to complete the update can result in software problems, and it’s important to undo the changes to ensure the system works well. 

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You could easily get stuck in a loop of the error We could not complete updates. Undoing changes. Please don’t turn off the computer. Upon restarting your system you may encounter an error such as: 

Installing updates 15%. We couldn’t complete the updates’. If you allow the update to proceed, it will get to 30% and eventually fall back into the error loop again. This can be quite frustrating and stressful. The only way of solving the problem entirely is within our guide. In this guide, you will learn how to fix the ‘We could not complete update. Undoing the changes.’ error.

Possible Causes of We could not complete update error

The nagging Windows updates error can be caused by one of the following issues:

  1. Abrupt interruption during the update: This interruption can take many forms, for instance, shutting down the system.
  2. Unstable/poor internet connection: A poor internet connection can be your biggest enemy when downloading the updates leading to incomplete downloading of the updates.
  3. Insufficient disk space: If you are running out of space on your Windows system, you are most likely to run into this error.
  4. Corrupt registry keys /system files: When registry keys and system files get corrupted for whatever reason, Windows will find it difficult to configure and install the updates.
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Resolving the windows update issue

The error message can be resolved using one of the following ways:

  1. Run windows update troubleshooter
  2. By deleting the SoftwareDistribution folder
  3. By turning on the app readiness service

Let’s take a look at each in turn.

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Solution 1: Running the Windows update troubleshooter

The first step to solve in trying to fix the windows update error is running the update troubleshooter. The troubleshooter will attempt to diagnose any update issues and fix them. Although the success rate is not always 100%, the troubleshooter does a pretty good job in diagnosing the updates problem. To run the troubleshooter, follow the steps below:

Step 1:  Press the Windows Key + I.  On the Settings Windows, navigate and click on  ‘Update & Security’.


Step 2: On the next Window, click on  the ‘Troubleshoot‘ option on the left Pane


Step 3:  On the right pane, click on the ‘Windows update’ option as shown below

Windows could not complete updates

Next, click on the ‘Run the troubleshooter‘ button as shown below


Windows will start diagnosing the error and display the results once done.

Solution 2: Deleting the SoftwareDistribution folder

The SoftwareDistribution folder is a storage location for windows update files. If the file contents are corrupted or damaged, it may trigger update errors on your PC. If such is the scenario, you can quickly revert the updates by deleting the SoftwareDistribution folder. Before opening the folder, you have to disable some windows updates features. Open Command Prompt administrator and running the commands below:

net stop wuauserv
net stop bits
net stop cryptSvc
net stop msiserver

Next, navigate to the path C:/Windows/SoftwareDistribution and delete all files and folders

SoftwareDistribution folder

Finally, start the windows updated services you had stopped by running the commands below

net start wuauserv
net start bits
net start cryptSvc
net start msiserver

Finally, restart your system and try updating it again.

Solution 3: Turning on the App readiness service

The App readiness service is a system service which is crucial for windows updates. Some users reported that turning on the service fixed their windows update issues. Follow the steps below to turn on the readiness service:

Step 1: Press Windows Key + R to open the Run dialogue.  In the text field type services.msc

open windows services


Step 2:  Locate the ‘App readiness service‘ on the Windows services list. Right-click and select ‘properties‘.

app readiness properties option


Step 3: In the ‘App readiness properties’ Window change the startup type from ‘ manual‘ to ‘automatic‘ and press ‘start’  to initialize the service.


Click ‘Apply‘ and then ‘Ok‘ to save the changes. Proceed to restart your computer for the changes to be effected.

That’s all we had for today. We hope this tutorial provides more insight on how you can go around the issue of getting errors when updating your Windows system.

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