Windows Update stuck in preparing to install

My Windows 8/64 installation doesn't seem to continue processing Windows updates.

For days now it endlessly displays the "Preparing to install" progress status without actually doing something...

Moreover, I don't seem to be able to abort this process. When I click the [Cancel installation] button, I get an error message telling me that I need administrative privileges in order to cancel the installation. But Windows 8 doesn't provide an option to run Control Panel applets like Windows Update with administrative privileges!

Any help is appreciated.
 

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Last updated November 30, 2019 Views 268,086 Applies to:
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I was experiencing the same issue: Windows Update was stuck in "Preparing to Install..."  When I tried to stop the install it said I needed Administrator Permissions.  The account I was using was a Domain Administrator account and it appeared in the Administrators group on the local machine.  I tired shutting down and cold booting, but when I went to Windows Update, it still said "Preparing to Install..."

I went to Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Services and scrolled down to the bottom to find the "Windows Update" service and stop it.  I then started it again and when I went back to Windows Update, it showed the available current updates - not "Preparing to Install...".  I deselected all the updates and selected just the first two.  They installed successfully (reboot required).

After the reboot, I chose two more.  They installed successfully (no reboot required).  Then I chose 9 more.  They also installed successfully (reboot required). The reboot took a very long time.  I was looking at "Configuring Windows updates" for about five minutes.

 After rebooting, I selected the remaining current updates, including an Optional driver update.  They installed successfully as well (reboot required).

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