What Happens If You Turn Off Your Computer During An Update? [And What You Should Do About It]

It is a Monday, and you are all ready to start working. You sit at the computer and power it up, only to be slapped with a Windows Update. It seems that you can’t get past the update window, which starts to annoy you. You then decide to turn off the computer, but you hesitate.

What could happen? Well, here’s your answer:

If you shut down your computer during an update, you may corrupt, damage, or even break some files. Usually, an update works on a registry file, giving it the necessary information to get the OS in its latest shape. When there is an abrupt restart, the file, its settings, and other core system programs won’t be updated.

If that’s your case, leave the update and read through this article. It will guide you on what to do while the update is running or if the computer is frozen. So, stick around till the end for that and many more.

Let’s do this!

Can I Turn Off My PC While Downloading An Update?

Yes, but that will shut down all Windows processes, including the updates. As you have already read, that could turn your PC upside down, and you don’t want that to happen.

How Long Does A PC Update Take?

Up to 20 minutes, but not less than 30 minutes

A modern PC with sufficient storage, impressive processing speed, and excellent RAM could take less than 10 minutes. But, if your PC has a conventional hard drive, be prepared to wait for up to half an hour, even more. And although you may be tempted to turn off the computer and bypass, don’t.

Is It Normal For Windows Update To Take Hours?

Windows Update

Yes, but that will only happen during fall and spring.

Through the year, Windows throws in different updates, and they include:

1. Security updates

2. Driver updates

3. Cumulative update reviews for the Windows version

Those usually take under 1 hour to finish since they do not alter most of the program. However, things are generally different when you are dealing with sizeable files that involve the OS. Such ‘large’ updates will take upwards of 4 hours, even more.

TechBiva 101: If your Windows Update is taking too long, it could be that you have small disk space available, or your internet isn’t fast enough to pull the programs from Microsoft’s servers. Check if you have a limited connection and if you do, contact your Internet Service Provider.

Is It Bad To Turn Off Your Computer Without Shutting Down?

Yes, if by turning off, you mean holding down the power button. Out there, doing so is called forcing a shutdown, and here are the reasons why it is a bad idea:

1. File system corruption

2. Loss of data

When file systems lose their integrity, your PC’s performance will be affected immensely. And when you lose data, you may not be able to recover it.

TechBiva 101: If you want to turn off your computer forcibly, ensure that you save and close all the running programs. While file systems may be okay with you holding down the power button, your Excel sheet won’t like it.

What Do I Do If My Computer Freezes While Updating?

What Do I Do If My Computer Freezes While Updating

It is usual for PCs to freeze while updating, and so do not panic.  Instead, check out these things you can do to fix your stuck PC:

1. Please, Wait For It To Unfreeze

Many people have high expectations of their computers, and telling them to be patient won’t sit well. But, in the case of frozen updates, this is the best option. Computer programs always trip over bugs, but they come back up when given time.

So, after you are sure the computer is frozen, wait for a couple of minutes or even hours. At that time, you can watch a movie or hit the gym. Don’t be quick to shove the fundamental processes of the computer around unless you want more PC trouble.

2. Switch It Off, And Turn In On

For many IT support problems, this is often the go-to solution. It doesn’t do any magic, but instead, it clears the computer’s RAM, thereby refreshing the PC.

Although it will cut off the running programs, the update will restart with a better, more breathable system.

3. Run The Troubleshooter Program

Under your Control Panel, you should search for Microsoft’s Troubleshooter. There, you will know if your update was successful or not. If the freeze created problems, you should use the same screen to fix it.

4. Start The Frozen PC In Safe Mode

If you’ve read our article about showing the admin password using CMD, you know that safe mode helps you access a device faster. To trigger it, hold down the power button, then restart the computer while pressing F10.

When Safe mode kicks in, you can continue with the update because you will have fewer apps to deal with.

5. After The Computer Come Back, Scan For Viruses

After minutes or even hours, your PC should be back up. Then, when it comes to life, do a deep scanning. That’s because, more often than not, freezing is usually a symptom of an underlying problem.

So, use Windows Defender (which has dramatically improved) to look for malware. If we’re right, you could be dealing with malicious apps that keep blocking Windows updates because they know they’ll get squashed.

What To Do If Windows Update Is Taking Too Long

If the computer isn’t frozen and you’re only dealing with a dragging update, here are some two things you can do:

1. Update Any Laid-back Drivers

Most times, Windows updates involve drivers. When those drivers are either corrupted or outdated, the processes will take longer than usual.

To get your drivers into their latest form, visit the official website of Lenovo, HP, or your specific manufacturer. It shouldn’t be a tasking job, seeing that they’re only a few drivers. However, if you’re not ready to do any manual driver updates, use applications like Driver Easy:

Update Any Laid back Drivers

This application tells you how many new drivers your device has and how you can update them. Since it pulls all updates from your manufacturer’s official website, don’t worry about any viruses getting to your PC.

2. Resetting The Components That Facilitate Windows Updates

When the update takes too long, there could be a problem with the Windows Update components. But not to worry, since you can reset them by following these steps:

1. Click the Start Menu and type in cmd.

2. When the Command Prompt application appears, right-click and open it as an administrator.

3. Once it opens, type in these lines and press the Enter key after each one:

SzcRasLV8W2pgM5U4ApC43EiT BheBCXbNHWDROdNYQWDI09hnTYqHNXxGqOSpUM1h36kaBDM Q18jJka CCQjngvo0dM8qw3 TechBiva What Happens If You Turn Off Your Computer During An Update? [And What You Should Do About It]

Those command lines will stop any Windows Update services.

4. Then, Type These More Lines:

TechBiva What Happens If You Turn Off Your Computer During An Update? [And What You Should Do About It]

Those commands help Windows Update to save the temporary files.

5. Finally, Repeat Step 3, And Immediately, You Will Restart The Updates.

TechBiva 101: Since this option is more technical, don’t do it if you’re not confident enough. Otherwise, making any mistakes will turn the PC upside down, and you don’t want that to happen.

Should I Shut My PC Down Every Night?

Not necessarily, but don’t shut it down too much. If you really want to power the PC off, do it once every day (or night). But, if you’re running a heavy update, you don’t have to switch it off. Instead, let the process continue and only power the PC down when it is complete.

Can You Leave Your PC On Overnight To Download Updates?

Yes.

However, if no significant process is going on, switch it off. That way, it will run faster in the morning, especially if it has an SSD. 

TechBiva 101: Don’t worry if the PC is heating up too hard overnight. Those things are built to withstand a lot of heat, so be calm.

Will PC Still Download Updates In Sleep Mode?

No.

Once the PC goes into hibernation, it doesn’t take on any critical updates. But, you can change the settings such that it continues to download even in sleep mode. 

Does Force Shutdown Damage The Computer?

For the hardware, no.

However, you may lose data in an irreversible process. So, if you are about to press and hold the power button, ensure you save everything. That way, you will get all your data in one piece.

TechBiva 101: If your data is important to you or your business, you should consider backing it up. That way, you won’t find trouble if your PC freezes or if you force a shutdown.

Conclusion

When you turn off your computer during an update, you wipe all processes out of the running memory. That means that the update stops, needing you to restart it all over again. Turning off isn’t bad, especially if the updating process takes too long or the computer freezes. However, we advise you to give the PC time, seeing that some updates eat up too much RAM.

And that was it!

If you found value in the post, don’t hesitate to share it with others. You’ll open them up to some excellent command-line instructions that will place them above those Windows updates. TechBiva will appreciate your comments, so leave them in the boxes below. And before you move to some other business, let me interest you in some exciting topics:

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Adios, see you in the next one! 

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