Updating Windows regularly is one of the essential things to do to keep your OS healthy and compatible with all kind of software including newest video games and professional tools such as Autocad or Photoshop.
If you don’t want to be disturbed with automatic update process activating on its own every couple of days, you can turn it off, but make sure to check for updates manually at least once a week.
But sometimes, Windows Update process fails while downloading or installing new update packages and no matter how many times you try, Windows Update Agent will keep returning the same error at the same moment during the update process.
This happens a lot with all popular versions of Windows OS, including Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10. The error code returned by Windows Update Agent varies due to different situations which caused the problem.
Common error codes returned during Windows Update
8024402F, 8024402C, 80070002, 80070490, 8024200D, 80072EE2, 80070539, 80243004, 80244019, 80244018, 8024A008, 80070003, 800B0100, 8000FFFF, 80073712, 80240020, 80240440, 8007000D, 8007000E, 800705B4, 80070005, 80244022, 80070103, 8499041A, 8007370D, 8024201C, 80072EFD, 80246008, 80096001, 80200010
Common error code descriptions
- Windows could not search for new updates
- An error occurred while checking for new updates for your computer
- Windows Update encountered an unknown error
- Some updates were not installed Error(s) found
- Windows 10 couldn’t be installed
- Windows could not search for new updates
- Microsoft Update could not be installed on your computer
- There was a problem checking for updates
- Windows Update ran into a problem
How to solve Windows Update Error?
The most important information about every Windows Update error is the error code supplied within the error prompt area. If you try to use this code as a keyword in search engines, you’ll get a dozen of solutions and tutorials on how to fix it. Sometimes this can be an easy job, but occasionally you will stuck searching and trying different methods for hours, even days.
Yet, there are couple of universal solutions proved to be the most efficient methods in solving Windows Update errors. These methods were collected all across the Internet, based on different user experiences. None of them are granted to FIX the error problem, but they will in a significant number of cases, so they are definitely worth giving a shot.
Solution 1: Try Installing the problematic update manually
There are number of cases when the Windows Update utility fails to download or install a certain update, but if you try to download the same update from Microsoft support page and install it manually, installation finishes without any problems.
Luckily Microsoft has provided almost every Windows Update as a single installation package, available for download. Follow these steps:
1 Start your Windows Update utility and go to the update process until it stopped with error.
2 Click on the Review important updates option.
3 These are the updates you’ll have to download and install manually. Select the first one and take a look at its ID number on the right side of the window, within the description area (starts with KB…)
4 Go to http://www.catalog.update.microsoft.com and search for update ID mentioned in previous step. If there’s more then one result returned, compare the descriptions to find the right one.
5 Download package (sometimes there’s more than one for a single update) and install it as any other software. Repeat the procedure from step 3 for all listed updates.
Solution 2: Check your system partition for errors
If your updates were downloaded successfully but en error occurred during installation, there’s a big chance that your system partition suffers from errors or bad sectors. This problem are usually caused by power outages and can easily be fixed by running Windows Check Disk utility.
1 Right-click on C: disk and choose Properties.
2 Select Tools tab and click on Check now button.
Note: If you’re using Windows 7, Check Disk utility will schedule a disc check for the next system reboot. In that case, restart your PC and wait for a disk check procedure to finish
Solution 3: Scan system files with System File Checker (SFC)
System File Checker (SFC) is the Windows build-in tool, designed to scan and check for integrity of Windows system files. If some system files or libraries become damaged, corrupted or replaced with wrong version, SFC tool will try to detect these and replace them with appropriate file version.
There’s been a number of cases where SFC scan helped in solving various Windows Update errors.
Follow these steps:
1 Go to the start menu, type “cmd” into the search box.
2 Right click on the first choice and select “Run as administrator“.
3 Type sfc /scannow into the console window and press ENTER.
Solution 4: Clear Windows Update temp files
Windows Update utility downloads and stores all data required for update process inside the folder located at C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download\. Sometimes, some of these files become corrupted while being downloaded, which may later interrupt the update installation process resulting in various errors. These files are safe to be removed since they will be re-downloaded again during the next update attempt.
But… There are two constantly running processes (Windows Update related) which are using those files. Since Windows forbids deleting files which are currently in use, these services have to be stopped in order to allow deleting temp files. Follow these steps:
1 Go to the start menu, type “services” into the search box and select first result.
2 Right click on Background Intelligent Transfer Service and choose Stop. Do the same with Windows Update service. Leave the Services window open and minimize it.
3 Navigate to C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download\ and remove all files from there.
4 Head back to Services window, right click on previously stopped services and choose Start.
5 Run Windows Update utility and check for new updates.
Solution 5: Clear Windows Update history
For storing information regarding previously installed updates, Windows Update utility uses files located at C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\DataStore\. Removing those files can sometimes help solving Windows update errors but all information regarding previously installed updates will be lost. This means all previously installed updates will continue to exist, Windows Update utility will still function and check/obtain new updates, but if you select View update history option, you’ll get an empty list.
This procedure is almost identical as described in previous solution, except step 3. Instead of Download folder , you’ll remove all files from DataStore. You can backup these files to be able to restore them in case this solution doesn’t help you (and get back update history).
Solution 6: Repair/reinstall Microsoft .NET Framework
Errors and/or corrupted libraries within the Microsoft .NET Framework are known to cause Windows Update failures. These libraries are essential part of every Windows OS, and they are being constantly upgraded through the Windows Update procedure.
To make sure no errors originate from .NET Framework, go HERE and download all available packages, including Visual Studio installer. Install them all, one by one, from older releases to newer. If some of those are already installed, choose “Repair” during installation process.
Solution 7: Repair/reinstall Microsoft C++ Redistributable
Similar to .NET Framework, Microsoft C++ Redistributable packages are equally important part of Windows OS, required by many modern Windows applications. These packages are being regularly updated through the Windows Update process. If some of those become corrupted or deleted, it may cause en error during installation of Windows updates.
Go HERE and download all available packages. Install them, one by one, from older to newer. If some of those are already installed, choose “Repair” during installation process.