Windows 11 update is broken and Microsoft’s working on it

Annoying, but expected

Unfortunately, we’ve got bad news for Windows 11 users because the most recent bunch of updates, specifically a security update amongst them called update KB5034765, which is a very catchy name, seems to be causing some problems on Windows 11 devices that were fine before. This is very much in line with what a lot of people expect to happen every so often, but it’s no less irksome just because it’s expected.

The good news is that there’s a workaround of sorts that Microsoft has put out, but let’s discuss the specific problem first to make sure you’re not trying to fix the wrong thing. So, for those Windows 11 users who are on 22H2 or 23H2, which are the most common versions, especially as Microsoft is rolling out automatic updates now, you may notice that this update never fully installs. Instead, it gets stuck at 96 percent, and then you get an error code.

As part of the update notes, Microsoft confirms that the issue exists, which is always good to see, because it means the company will actually try and fix it. “The February 2024 security update might fail to install. Some users reported the update’s download stops at 96% and fails to install on Windows 11 versions 22H2 and 23H2.”

If you’ve been afflicted with this issue, you’ll need to delete a hidden folder called C:\$WinREAgent. Doing so will mean you’ll likely have to restart, but doing all of that should mean that you can then install the update without issue from that point onwards, which is good news if you’re trying to keep on top of the security updates, which most people should be doing because security is important. The post also explains how to delete that folder, so give that a read if you want to read the two ways to do it.

It’s aggravating to see that the workaround is basically deleting a folder you’ve probably never heard of, but at least the issue does have a workaround, and it’s not an especially complicated one for a lot of users. Hopefully, this is an issue that does get a proper fix at some point soon, though, but in the meantime, either make sure you delete that folder or just don’t run the update yet. If you’re worried about security, just make sure you’ve got other measures in place to keep your data and your PC as safe as possible.