How to fix Windows update error 0x80073701

Windows Update allows you to download and install security updates that protect your computer from malware and other cyber attacks. However, it can sometimes cause serious problems that will result in an error message with troubleshooting instructions. Windows update error 0x80245006 is one such problem that you may encounter while trying to update Windows 10 or 11. In case you are also facing this problem, this post might help you fix it. This is what you should do.

What Causes Windows Update Error 0x80073701?

Windows update error 0x80073701 is a very common issue faced by many Windows users when trying to update their system. There are a few different things that can cause this error, but most likely your system files are corrupted. Other reasons may include other corrupted files, faulty or missing Windows Update components, and malware.

If you are trying to install the latest updates on your Windows 10/11 system and still getting error code 0x80073701, follow the steps below.

1. Run Windows Update Troubleshooter

Windows Update Troubleshooter is a built-in tool that can help fix common problems with Windows Update. It may not solve all problems with updates, but it can address many of them. To run the troubleshooter, follow these steps:

  1. Press windows + me to open the “Settings” app.
  1. In the Settings menu, click the “Update & Security” category. If you’re running Windows 11, you need to go to “Settings -> System” instead.
Windows Updates Error 0x80073701 Update Security
  1. In the left pane, click the “Troubleshoot” section.
  1. Go to the right and select the “Additional Troubleshooter” link.
Windows Updates Error 0x80073701 Additional Troubleshooters
  1. Next, select “Windows Update” and then click the “Run the troubleshooter” button.
Windows updates error 0x80073701 Run the troubleshooter

This will open the Windows Update program, which will then start looking for relevant issues. The troubleshooter will take some time to complete its work, but if it finds and fixes any problems, you will be notified.

2. Run System File Checker

If you get error 0x80073701 when you try to update Windows, it is likely due to a damaged system file. You can use the System File Checker tool to repair missing or corrupted system files and see if it resolves the problem. The steps below will guide you through running this tool:

  1. Right-click “Start” and select “Run” from the menu list.
Windows updates error 0x80073701 Run command
  1. In the dialog box, type cmd and press Control + Change + Get into to run it as Administrator.
  1. In the command prompt window, type the following command.
Windows Updates Error 0x80073701 Sfc Scan
  1. Now press “Enter” to execute the command.

Once the process is complete, restart your computer and try to install Windows Update.

If running the System File Checker tool doesn’t work, you can try using the Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) tool. This tool can fix problems with Windows Update components.

  1. Run Command Prompt as administrator, as shown above.
  2. Once you are in the command prompt window, type the following command line and press Get into to run it:
DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth
Windows Updates Error 0x80073701 Dism Scan

After you have successfully executed the above command, restart your computer to see if it resolves the issue.

4. Reset Windows Update Components

It appears that a damaged or missing Windows Update component is causing this problem. If this happens, you can try to reset the Windows Update components. In this procedure, you will need to delete the “SoftwareDistribution” and “catroot2” folders to remove the temporary files that are causing the problem and force Windows to download fresh copies. Follow these steps to run this tool:

  1. Once again, run the command prompt as an administrator.
  2. Type the following commands in the command prompt window and press Get into after each:
net stop bits
net stop wuauserv
net stop appidsvc
net stop cryptsvc
  1. The next step is to rename the “SoftwareDistribution” folder using the following command:
Ren %systemroot%\SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.old
  1. You will also need to rename the “catroot2” folder, as follows:
Ren %systemroot%\System32\catroot2 catroot2.old
  1. Now that you have completed these steps, you can restart the services that you previously shut down.
  2. To do that, just type the following commands and press Get into after each:
net start bits
net start wuauserv
net start appidsvc
net start cryptsvc

Now restart your computer and run Windows update again to see if it works.

5. Troubleshoot Clean Boot

If you’ve been having trouble fixing a Windows update error, it’s very likely that performing a clean boot will suffice. A clean boot is when you start Windows with a minimal set of drivers and startup programs. This can help you troubleshoot by removing software conflicts.

  1. Press windows + R to open the Run command.
  2. In the text field, type msconfigand then click “OK”.
  1. When the System Configuration window opens, click the “General” tab and select “Selective startup”.
Windows Updates Error 0x80073701 Clean Boot
  1. Uncheck the “Load startup items” box.
  2. Now you need to switch to the “Services” tab.
Windows Updates Error 0x80073701 Hide Microsoft Update Services
  1. Select “Hide all Microsoft services”, then click “Disable all”. Click “OK” to save your changes.
  2. Next, select the “Startup” tab, then click “Open Task Manager”.
Windows updates error 0x80073701 Open Task Manager
  1. In Task Manager, make sure you are on the “Startup” tab.
Windows Updates Error 0x80073701 Task Manager
  1. Choose each startup service you want to disable and click “Disable”.

Once you’ve completed the steps above, check if it resolves the issue.

Frequent questions

What happens if I don’t install Windows updates?

If you don’t install the latest Windows updates, your computer may become prone to threats like malware. You may also miss critical security patches that can protect your data. There may also be issues with performance or stability in some cases.

How do I turn off automatic updates in Windows?

In Windows 10, you can disable automatic updates if you don’t want your operating system to update automatically. This is especially useful if your Internet connection is slow or limited, or if you want to read about an update before installing it. Use the Search button in Windows to find the Services application and open it. Scroll down to “Windows Update” and right click on it. Select “Properties”. In the “General” tab, click the “Startup type” drop-down menu and choose “Disabled”.

How can I uninstall a Windows update?

If your computer is running slower than normal or if you’re having other problems, you might want to uninstall Windows Update. In Windows 10, open “Settings -> Update & security -> View update history”. Select “Uninstall Updates” and choose the update you want to remove from your system. If you are running Windows 11, please go to “System -> Windows Update -> Update History”. Click “Uninstall Updates” at the bottom and select the update you want to uninstall from the list. Plus, you can temporarily pause Windows Updates if you need a break.

Image Credit: Christina via Unsplash. All screenshots by Digvijay Kumar

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