News, tips, advice, support for Windows, Office, PCs & more. Tech help. No bull. We're community supported by donations from our Plus Members, and proud of it
Home icon Home icon Home icon Email icon RSS icon
  • Win7 Windows Update once again taking forever

    Home Forums AskWoody blog Win7 Windows Update once again taking forever

    This topic contains 72 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by

     PKCano 1 year, 12 months ago.

    • Author
    • #42950 Reply

      Da Boss

      I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but ER just hit me with this: Sad to say this Tuesday May 10, 1pm pacific time, doing a recent Windows Update sca
      [See the full post at: Win7 Windows Update once again taking forever]

    • #42951 Reply


      Thanks woody. I’ll keep watching this and see if the kb you manually download helped resolve the issue.

      I’ll check back here tonight when I get home from work and see if there was a success to it. 🙂 Thanks for the link too.

    • #42952 Reply


      Here’s one of my replies from the Winter is Coming post….


      35 minute manual check for updates just ended. 8 new security patches, 2 .NET and 1 non security update.

      KB 3146706 is still there and checked…and last months Security Updates (3 for my machine) are still there.

      W7 SP1 x64

      There was a definite improvement in the 35 minute manual check. Before the 2 magic updates this check would have taken at least an hour. I’ll see what happens tomorrow with the auto check for updates. Hopefully, it’s quick and silent.

    • #42953 Reply



      Let’s be clear…ER is indicating that

      “So the KB3145739 security fix as well as the older KB3139852 fix no longer works as of 5/10/2016 (yup, I knew it – I saw it coming!)”

      That is not correct…the “magic” updates to fix the long process were KB3145739 AND KB 3138612…not the 9852 update.

      My guess is that the tomorrow, after the M servers have less traffic, check for updates will be back to quick and silent. My “guess”.

    • #42954 Reply

      Da Boss

      Fingers crossed.

    • #42955 Reply


      Vista takes forever too

    • #42956 Reply

      PC Cobbler

      I cannot comment on W-7, but I just started building a Vista 64-bit system about two hours ago. I was dreading it because updates on Vista have been positively glacial over the past few months. Shockingly, Microsoft Update is running as fast as it did before W-10, maybe even faster.

    • #42957 Reply



      Took like 30min for it to check for the new updates. And once they showed up, the CPU lowered for a bit, then started up again.

      KB3153199 is one of the updates offered. Should be go ahead and install that now to once again stop this long high CPU checking for update process?

      (My laptop even smells like it’s burning from the CPU running so much…)


    • #42958 Reply



      I had an older machine that got this windows update problem in december, I tried everything and then just quit with it.

      Today, my main machine got this issue. Latest updates installed were on 4/14/2016. Scanning for updates takes forever with the Windows Update service taking up 100% of 1 cpu core.

      All the usual symptons: windows update just takes forever with cpu at max and never gets to anything. I truly believe this is being done on purpose to mess with Win7 users. Even if I’m a win7 enterprise user, who pays a lot of money to Microsoft every year 🙁

      Anyway, I was able to get a list of all updates installed and I confirmed I have: KB3145739 and KB3139852 installed but no KB3153199.

      I will try to install KB3153199 and report on the result.

    • #42959 Reply

      Da Boss

      I’m guessing that installing KB 3153199 may speed things up – but it’s only a guess.

    • #42960 Reply


      btw, before installing KB3153199 my win32k.sys version is 6.1.7601.23407

    • #42961 Reply


      This comment is not about this month’s
      Patchy Tuesdays, but just about something that I remembered tonight when reading the above blog post —

      Last month I saw a newspaper article about the following tv interview of a British government official and Member of Parliament,
      and I chuckled to myself, “Well, I’m certainly no ‘Defence Secretary’, but even _I_ know (sort of) what ‘Defcon 2’ broadly means now, thanks to Woody!”

      “Shadow Defence Secretary Admits She Does Not Know Definition of Defcon 2”

    • #42962 Reply

      Da Boss

      It’s all about ed-you-cay-shun…

    • #42963 Reply


      So any luck on the update suggested? Anyone see a speedup? Ya know the KB3153199?

    • #42964 Reply

      Günter Born

      I was facing the same issue last night. After successful installing all security patches, my update search was fast again. The theory that Microsoft’s update server was slow due to high traffic can’t be proofed – because my Windows 8.1 test system found Updates within 10 Minutes.

      I wrote a blog post about my observations at

    • #42965 Reply


      I can confirm that manually installing KB3153199 on both my Vista machines brings back normals speeds to manual Windows Update searches. Before installing KB3153199 I canceled the manual Windows Update search after 2 hours on both machines, because they were still running.

      Now my question is: how come these kernel patches are the ones that solve the slowness and how come this has only been an issue since late 2015 and not before?

    • #42966 Reply


      Installed KB3145739 a couple of days ago, before May’s patchday, and checking WU afterwards was blazing fast (<5min).

      Checked WU now, and the timer just broke 30 mins and continues.

      MS, get your act together.

    • #42967 Reply


      Here the update check on a Win 7 x86 system finished in less than 10 minutes (Yay!). It found 12 new security updates (8 for Windows, 3 for .NET and 1 for IE).

      All the updates seem to contain LDR versions only, just like last month. Even though updates for Vista still contain both GDR and LDR versions. Is MS slowly breaking Windows 7 on purpose?

    • #42968 Reply


      While I cannot verify at the moment if I have those “patches” installed, I had to disable Windows Update entirely on my desktop Win7 PC because of what an infuriating, resource-hogging atrocity it is. Just why is it that open source software developers, such as those responsible for modern Linux distros, can create fast, lightweight updaters and package managers that simply WORK, and Microsoft with all their millions of dollars have their heads up their…

    • #42969 Reply

      Da Boss

      Good questions – and I have no answers.

    • #42970 Reply


      WU/MU just completed checking for updates on a Win7 VM. Preliminary results were good with the process (and related svchost CPU spiking) finishing after about 30 minutes. Before last month’s “magic bullet” WU/MU took over 3 hours.

      Testing continues…

    • #42971 Reply


      Absolutely correct. Almost everyone seems to be looking for a magic pill instead of using the correct procedure which is to install ALL updates including the recommended ones, after a reasonable delay and waiting period of few weeks after release. Woody is doing the research on behalf of everyone, there is no excuse for having any issues.

    • #42972 Reply


      I’ll install the update at midnight on thursday night and then do a windows update scan sunday at midnight. 🙂

      That way I can relax and enjoy not dealing with the hustles and bustle of the painful windows update loop. But I’ll keep my eyes peeled here to see if anything new comes up, but for now I shall let my PC have a little vacay from windows update.

    • #42973 Reply



      I am following a very long thread (24 pages now) over at MS Community concerning this very problem.

      One very knowledgeable ‘Insider’ (ThrashZone) suggested: “KB3153171 is a better manual install, KB3153199 is a patch for 3153171 it must be installed first”.

      Tonight, after stopping Windows Update in Services, I manually downloaded and installed KB3153199 (before reading the above – my bad!). It took around 20 mins all up including a restart, not that good really but I can’t grumble as it’s been much worse than that previously.

      I then d/loaded and installed MRT and with a restart that took 32 mins. It seemed to take forever to just create a restore point and install, can’t remember it taking this long before. Anyone else experience this or is it just my imagination?

    • #42974 Reply


      I tested the update and it took 5 minutes on Beta to detect the updates and now downloading/installing them. 🙂

      I’ll install the update to my laptop on sunday and then install the updates. 🙂 Or perhaps I’ll do it tonight to get it out of the way.

    • #42975 Reply

      PC Cobbler

      Oops, I spoke too soon. As soon as it installed the .NET upgrade, things slowed down to the usual non-action.

    • #42976 Reply


      After reading the above comments, I’m not a bit surprised that Windows Update is taking FOREVER this morning. The latest check started at 22:00 last night and is STILL running at 08:45 this morning with NO RESULTS being shown, as of this time. Guess I’ll try to shut it down manually and see what happens tonight.

    • #42977 Reply


      KB3153199 manually downloaded/installed did the trick, that magical twist KB3145739 had performed in April but no longer did with May’s patch Tuesdays.
      You always find providential information here, many thanks Woody 🙂

    • #42978 Reply


      It’s Patch Tuesday and you know what that means folks….it’s Yosemite Sam time 🙂

    • #42979 Reply


      I’m happy to say that Windows Update took about 40 minutes to complete it’s check on a Win7 system with Office 2013 installed. What a pleasant surprise.

    • #42980 Reply

      Da Boss


    • #42981 Reply

      Da Boss

      Did you try manually installing KB3153199 ?

    • #42982 Reply


      Today after booting up when the Patch Tuesday patches should have come through, it failed to do its daily check for new updates (more than 24hrs since the last one) and the CPU stuck at 50%, which is exactly what happened last month – and the one before, so I though here we go again! However, on doing a manual check for updates – and expecting it to sit there for hours, it found 13 updates within 2 minutes and the CPU dropped to 1%! I haven’t tried to download and install them yet of course, but so far, it’s definitely an improvement.

      I don’t have GWX Control Panel mainly because having hidden the GWX icon and notification, it hasn’t caused me any trouble. I am (of course) set to ‘Tell me about updates but let me choose whether to download and install them’ – which incidentally, it doesn’t – I haven’t seen a notification in the System Tray that ‘Updates are available’ since last Summer, but that’s just another WU annoyance! What’s more worrying though, is that there must be an awful lot of users relying on the Sys Tray notifications, that haven’t updated for nearly a year!

      I’m running Win7 and have installed KB3139852, 3138612, 3145739.

    • #42983 Reply


      Once again, got 0x80244019 (aka 404 not found) instantly when checking for updates

      “” is missing from one of the load balance servers, or someone is deleting and re-adding the file.

    • #42984 Reply


      Okay going to install the update tonight and scan for updates. 🙂 Woody the kernal update is gonna become the magic spell to help windows update go faster. 🙂

    • #42985 Reply

      AskWoody Plus

      Today (5/11/16) I updated the antivirus and antimalware programs in my old IBM T40 laptop with Win XP Pro on it and after getting off the WiFi, I saw that Windows Update had put the new May version of the Malicious software checker in the WU list.

      This surprised me because I have no new May Windows Updates showing up yet on my Win 7 computer. Seems even XP gets better service than Win 7!

      Win 7 Home Premium, x64, Intel i3-2120 3.3GHz, Groups B & L

    • #42986 Reply


      So far installing KB3153199 has not solved the issue for me, windows update has been checking for updates for 1:30 hours now with no success.

    • #42987 Reply


      I got a 40 minute wait for WU last night. This morning, it took about an hour to recheck, and an hour to download MSE definitions. (Identifying the virus definition to download took several seconds for MSE. Go figure.)

      The support download link uses a WU standalone process, with the first part another (!) check for updates. I don’t need that aggravation, so a reboot and use of WU’s previously done search to get kb3153199. 50% CPU usage, no signs of network activity. Guess that’s going to be normal for the while.

    • #42988 Reply

      John W

      I checked for updates manually today on my Win7-SP1 Pro 32-bit(x86) system, and the results came back in a reasonable 3-4 minutes 🙂

      However, I did install the questionable kernel update patch last month(forgot the number). Until I did, I experienced the same slowdown reported by everyone else with April updates.

    • #42989 Reply

      Da Boss


    • #42990 Reply


      And you installed the kernal update for this month and got your may patch in 3-4 minutes am I right John W?

    • #42991 Reply


      I CAN confirm KB3153199 fixed my problem! Highly recommended.

      Basically the windows update taking forever problem appeared for the first time on this machine on 10 May and that KB fixed the problem.

      I manually installed, restart machine, re-ran windows update and all the updates appeared correctly. They take a while to install but they are successful and you can see that things are ‘moving’, not stuck at 0%

    • #42992 Reply


      My PC was up to date, it did not find updates since April. But this month it was searching for updates hours and hours and did not come to an end.

      This is what I tried first without success:
      Implementing KB3145739 manually did not help.
      Implementing manually the only missing KB3083710 did not help.

      Implementing KB3153199 manually resolved the issue. Because the update seemed to be stuck again, I switched update settings from “Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them” to “Never check for updates (not recommended)”.

      Thanks for your help!

    • #42993 Reply


      This evening quite by accident I discovered one *compelling* reason *NOT* to set WU to “never check”. Thought I would share it, and possibly save someone else some grief.

      When WU is set to “check but never download or install”, then the results of an update check, whether manual *or* automatic, will be RETAINED when the WU Control Panel is closed out, and even across a reboot.

      However, when WU is set to “never check”, the results of a manual check for updates will be retained by the WU Control Panel *ONLY* as long as the WU Control Panel remains OPEN. Once the WU Control Panel is closed out, the results are DISCARDED.

      This may not matter much when a WU update check takes only 10-15 min to complete. But when each WU update check is a 2+ hour ordeal, as it has been for me all day today, then this subtle difference becomes a Big Deal!

    • #42994 Reply


      Quick update – no pun intended! Booted up today, and the CPU stuck at 50% again, so ran a manual check which took 9 mins and it ‘found’ the same updates as yesterday – which were there anyway, but the CPU has now gone down to 1%. I give up!!

    • #42995 Reply

      AJ North

      For Win 7, per the Internet Storm Center threat analysis for this Patch Tuesday, the IE Cumulative Update (KB3154070)was installed on 2016.05.10 (along with the monthly MSRT). The manual update scan took nearly an hour.

      Since Tuesday, manual scans for updates to MSE have been taking two to three minutes (usual time about eight seconds), and downloading anywhere from ten minutes to an hour. After installing KB3153199, the complete update process took less than a minute.

      All other updates are currently pending clearance from Woody & Susan Bradley.

    • #42996 Reply

      Jane Northam

      I’m on windows Vista Service Pack 2 64 bit and KB3153199 did it for me Megan. I had to stop windows automatic update and download the KB in standalone windows update. Once that had successfully downloaded and installed, perversely/bizarrely the automatic system then was able to find almost immediately the other updates, I didn’t need to instigate the check- previously, the automatic update just wasn’t checking for the updates I knew to be available. The same thing happened last month (April) and I sorted it then with 3145739. There is something fundamentally flawed in what is occurring but if it isn’t an intentional ploy by Microsoft to get us all to upgrade, it is distinctly worrying. My thought is, if they can’t get this right just how secure are we?

    • #42997 Reply

      Da Boss

      Very interesting. I hadn’t noticed that before. Have you tried manually installing KB3153199?

    • #42998 Reply

      Thomas Spero

      Hi Woody,
      Could you clear this up for me? I am a little confused after reading all the comments. I have Windows 7 with IE11. Which should be installed KB3153199, KB3139852, KB3138612,KB3145739? KB3139852 seems to have disappeared (maybe when I did Windows Update cleanup) as it is not on either list (hidden or installed). I believe I had it hidden. KB3153199 I don’t show at all and does not come up for me when I check for updates. KB3138612 I have hidden. KB3145739 I have installed on 4/13/2106.
      Thank you, TomS

    • #42999 Reply

      Da Boss

      Right now, don’t install anything. We don’t have enough info about the patches, and their problems – and, unless you use IE, there are no pressing patches that need to be installed right away. Wait until the MS-DEFCON level goes down. Er, up.

      The one except is 3153199. See

    • #43000 Reply


      Yes, this is the observed behaviour by me as well.
      However, please be aware that in some instances, after installing some, not all updates after a scan, the next view will show the remainder of the updates from the previous scan, which is not always the correct behaviour due to interdependencies between updates. Many times a new scan is required to update the list with the correct updates remaining. However, the negative side-effects are minor and can only generate update failures and no other major issues if the list of required updates is not refreshed by a new scan.

    • #43001 Reply


      What about KB3156017 which has the same description as 3153199 – is that not needed to fix WU?

    • #43002 Reply

      John W

      Have not installed any May patches yet. Not even KB3153199. Just checking to see what was out there. All checks are running normally here on Win7 Pro 32bit(x86). Updates are set to manual. A different, seemingly unrelated patch resolved the slowdown for me last month.

      But I did notice that I still have several low priority April security patches that I still have pending… KB3143693, KB3146706, KB3149090.

    • #43003 Reply


      I was able to manually install 12 of the 13 updates to my Win7 SP1 machine, but only by installing them one at a time. The last one will not download or install – and it’s KB3153199. That’s the one that’s causing all the hangs. When I hide it, I can download all the rest.

    • #43004 Reply


      I hasten to add that on my machine I have IE disabled, so that is likely a factor.

    • #43005 Reply

      Da Boss

      Have you tried installing it manually?

    • #43006 Reply


      How can I manually update without using Windows Update?

    • #43007 Reply

      Da Boss

      Follow the instructions in the article. You have to download the update and run it.

    • #43008 Reply


      “when WU is set to “never check”, the results of a manual check for updates will be retained by the WU Control Panel *ONLY* as long as the WU Control Panel remains OPEN. Once the WU Control Panel is closed out, the results are DISCARDED.”

      This is also what happens with my computer.

      While it is annoying when the subsequent update takes a similarly long time as the prior one, I prefer that my Windows Update starts with a blank slate and re-checks everything afresh.

      In the past few months I haven’t had the hours-and-days-long-checking-of-WU experiences that some other people have had, rather for my computer it’s been about 30-40 minutes (which is still far too long, though), and the entire process of checking/installing updates has definitely been time-consuming and annoying.

      However, this side-effect of “never check” will not dissuade me from controlling the (ordinary) Windows Update process as far as I am able to, so I’ll keep mine on “never check”, come what may.

    • #43009 Reply


      Further update: I installed KB3153199 yesterday (12th) and today after booting up, it did its check for updates and the CPU went down to 1% without any further intervention, so it does seem to be an essential update as far as WU is concerned. Until next time…

    • #43010 Reply


      KB3115110 ‘Office Outlook 2007 Junk Email Filter’ for Vista is taking forever to download and install.

    • #43011 Reply


      OK, I have a problem on Windows Updates “clearing” KB3154070 Cum I.E. 11 after I finally downloaded and installed it through the “TechNet.Microsoft.Com site I use sometimes, especially for this large file each month.
      So, I downloaded it and it showed record of installation, BUT, the Win Updates still shows it as a “due download”. When I click on it and start a second download, I get the red error page and go through the routine of “fixing it” but it still show up again as a due download. In the past, it would eventually clear as a “due download”; not this time though.
      I have KB3153199 installed. By the way, this month was one of the better months for quick downloads, except for getting rid of KB3154070.

    • #43012 Reply


      More information on this strange WU session. I decided last night to try and download KB3154070 again, and maybe clear the “update status”. It downloaded for a short period, and then was complete with a “second, maybe third” installation.
      Problem is with that action, I lose any ability to use the internet??? So, a “system restore” is done to that time frame for the WU, and low and behold, the “windows update” for the KB returns.
      It is now placed in “hidden updates”, not sure what it will do, but it is out of my eyesight now. PAUL

    • #43013 Reply


      Does not work for me. Added the KB to the MDT packages prior installing updates but keeps hanging on searching for updates.

    • #43014 Reply


      The fix worked but you also need the KB3145739 to be installed together with the KB3153199 🙂

    • #43015 Reply


      Was somebody trying to calculate how much waste of electricity / rise of temperature / carbon dioxide / harm to nature / not made USD by mining bitcoins instead / had Microsoft caused by this problem? Consuming 1 CPU core for a long time on such global scale such as all Win 7 machines at least 1 time before updates are made could be a huge sum.

    • #43016 Reply


      See for an on-going effort by others to solve this issue. I had clean installed plain Windows 7 SP1 x64 Professional followed by the latest Windows Update client update KB3138612, the prerequisites for IE11 and IE11 and its latest update KB3154070. Then came KB3020369 followed by the KB3125574 roll-up. All this was done offline using only dism.exe on the cabinet versions of the updates. At that point I went online to use Windows Update search for updates and experienced the same endless-loop CPU hogging described here for many hours. Once I used dism.exe to apply the KB3145739 and KB3153199 updates followed by a restart, Windows Update succeeded within five minutes showing 27 important and 28 optional patches. Curiously versions of Windows Update client files in the KB3125574 roll-up (7.6.7601.23435) are newer than those of KB3138612 (7.6.7601.19161).

    • #43017 Reply


      What you say is true ,so fed up with microsoft like updates are taking forever ,windows 10 is forcing itself on your pc like what the hell ,i thought it was suppose to be better as time goes but instead it’s getting worse ,got so fed up that i tried Linux and i liked it at least linux gets better over time and unlike microsoft getting worse..

    • #43018 Reply


      As of July 28, 2016 this no longer works either. It ran for 14 hours overnight and still no updates appear this morning. My internet speed was tested at around 250mb down and 150 up. It’s a Windows 7 VM on VMWare esxi 5.5.

    • #43019 Reply

      Da Boss

      I hope to have an InfoWorld post out on this soon.

    • #43020 Reply

      Scooby Doo

      Me too Shaggy, same problem. Nothing works.

    • #118146 Reply

      AskWoody Lounger

      I discovered that Win7 (Home) updates on my home computer not only took forever but actually would not run at all – until I set it to run automatically, not just to notify me when an update was available.  (I prefer to be notified, so I can control the time of the update and not have it hogging resources in background when I am trying to do something.  But if I want updates at all, this is no longer possible.)  On the other hand, on my Win7 Pro 64-bit office computer, the updates have continued to run OK, and they are still set just to notify me, not to run automatically.  So the version of Win7 seems to be the main difference (other than the hardware itself).

      • #118149 Reply

        Da Boss

        We need the answers to several questions to try to help you.
        1. When was the last time the computer updated? (Look in “View Update History”)
        2. What is the month of the last patch installed with the name “Security Monthly Quality Rollup for Windows
        3. Do you have any hidden updates? (Look in “View Hidden Updates”)
        4. At the bottom left of Windows Update, click on “Installed Updates.” If you click on title in the bar at the top it will sort on the column that contains the name of the updates. Scroll down to the “Updates for Winndows” section. Are KB3172605 and KB3177467 installed?

        • This reply was modified 1 year, 12 months ago by
        1 user thanked author for this post.

    Please follow the -Lounge Rules- no personal attacks, no swearing, and politics/religion are relegated to the Rants forum.

    Reply To: Win7 Windows Update once again taking forever

    You can use BBCodes to format your content.
    Your account can't use Advanced BBCodes, they will be stripped before saving.

    Your information: