We couldn’t complete the update undoing changes don’t turn off your computer

This error appears after Windows has failed to apply an update on your system. Sometimes this process just stops and hangs forever, in those situations this article can help you to get unstuck from “We couldn’t complete the update undoing changes don’t turn off your computer” but please remember that this can be a very nasty error to fix. Hopefully you can solve the problems without too much work by following this guide.

Troubleshooting the Problem

Boot into Windows Recovery Environment

The first thing you need to do is to reach the Windows Recovery Environment, you can read how to do that here: Boot into Windows RE

You’ ll then need to start an Elevated Command Prompt:

  1. Click on Troubleshoot
  2. Click on Advanced Options
  3. Click on Command Prompt
  4. Choose your operating system
  5. Choose your account
[symple_box color=”blue” fade_in=”false” float=”center” text_align=”left” width=””] If you do not have a Windows 8 installation medium then you can use the Windows 8 Enterprise ISO to execute these steps, be aware that you can only use Command Prompt. Refresh or Reset with this disc is not possible (unless your running enterprise). You can download that ISO here: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/evaluate-windows-8-1-enterprise.
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Entering the command prompt commands

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The Commands

 

We have now reached Command Prompt, in this Windows we going to enter three commands that will hopefully solve your problems.

  1. Type: “DISM /image:C\ /cleanup-image /revertpendingactions
  2. Then type: “move C:\Windows\WinSxS\pending.xml C:\Windows\WinSxS\pending.old

Restart your system and see if it now starts Windows successfully, if it does then the problem is of course solved, if not then please try the steps below.

[symple_box color=”red” fade_in=”false” float=”center” text_align=”left” width=””] In some cases the Windows drive will be labelled X. If using C: gives you troubles then try X first.
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Still having problems?

In some cases the above steps did not work, then you can refresh your system or try the steps in this article. But often a refresh is the only option left.

Yuri Pustjens
About the Author

2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Windows
Yuri specializes in troubleshooting (crash analysis and devices), system resource utilisation and system performance. He is also very interested in Customer Security. Yuri can be found as Windows Community Moderator and Wiki Author on Microsoft Answers and is active on different communities all across the web.

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