Slow Windows 7 Update Process Has Been Patched By Microsoft

Plenty of people are still kicking along with Windows 7 and will likely stick with it for the foreseeable future. If you've noticed that the update procedure for the OS takes forever — or never finishes at all — your salvation is at hand. Microsoft has released a patch that should sort out Windows 7's slow patching process.

As InfoWorld's Woody Leonhard explains, certain updates for Windows 7 from the past few months resulted in the platform's update process slowing to a crawl.

Diagnosing the problematic patch proved difficult, but it was eventually traced to the replacement of Windows' "win32k.sys" file.

It seems Microsoft has fixed the issue once and for all in KB3161647:

This update contains some improvements to Windows Update Client in Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1. This includes the following:  

  • An optimization that addresses long scan time for updates that's reported on some computers.
  • Fix for a Windows Update error 0x8007000E on some computers while they are updating.
  • Some reliability improvements.

There's a catch: to get a hold of KB3161647, you'll need to install the June 2016 "roll-up" pack. Not the end of the world, but if you're picky about what hotfixes you use, it's a bit inconvenient.

Windows Update Client for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2: June 2016 [Microsoft, via InfoWorld]


    I've seen Windows 7 take up to 24hrs to present a list of updates to install...

    This is a welcoming patch indeed.

      So that's what's going on. Wiped out Adobe (watch out for those *&^%$ add ons during updates) and Java but still slow (almost 100% CPU use). Nothing showed w/Avira antivirus (v. very.slow). Ran system restore and still 100% CPU.
      Finally MS update ran all day b4 downloading the fix! Glad I had the lawn to mow, a Linux PC for emails, a long lunch meeting, getting the car inspected and it wasn't a tax deadline!

        Yep, try to get a dozen W7 imaged machines fully patched was a PITA...

        MS' approach to now do cumulative patches is somewhat welcoming.

        The only bitsa if there happens to be an unwanted or dud update; you probably have to uninstall the entire update...

        Linux is good in that regard; you can pick and choose what's updated. Of course, this also has to be done with a side of caution...

        Last edited 20/08/16 2:30 pm

    Hello, did the patch work for you?
    I'm having trouble also with Windows trying to update to 10, waiting forever to get updates.
    I might have to stay with Windows 7 if this doesn't fix the problem.

    Sadly, this update requires you to still scan for updates. You can download the standalone rollup, but as soon as you run it, it starts "Scanning computer for updates" and just sits there. Is there anything that can just be installed directly without screwing around to fix this?

      I actually just encountered this on my parent's computer when visiting for xmas. The June 2016 rollup page says that it's been superseded by the July 2016 rollup, which the download link for that is here:

      Installing that displayed the "Scanning computer for updates" dialog only for a brief moment, then asked if I wanted to install the KB, clicked yes, and it worked. Hope this helps.

      Hey I just had this same issue. Ok so have your patch ready to click and open task manager. Go to services and STOP Windows Update. Quickly click on your patch and it will skip the search and go straight to installing. Hope this helps.

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