FIX: Windows Update error 0x800f0986

Matthew Adams
by Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
Matthew is a freelancer who has produced a variety of articles on various topics related to technology. His main focus is the Windows OS and all the things surrounding it. He is passionate about... Read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • Windows Update is a great way of getting the latest features for your Windows 10 PC. This includes the monthly Patch Tuesday updates .
  • Keeping your PC updated is crucial from a functionality standpoint. For more information on why this feature is crucial, check out this guide.
  • For more fixes for common Windows update issues, check out this page.
Fix Windows Update error 0x800f0986
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Numerous users have posted on the Microsoft forum about a 0x800f0986 Windows Update error. That error arises when they try to download cumulative patch updates via Settings in Windows 10 1909.

Instead of downloading the updates, Settings displays an Updates failed error message with the 0x800f0986 code. Consequently, users can’t download various patch updates for Windows 10.

How do I fix Windows Update error 0x800f0986 ?


1. Check the Windows Update service is enabled

  1. Press the Windows key + R keyboard shortcut.
  2. Input services.msc in the Open box, and press the Enter button.
  3. Double-click Windows Update to open its properties window.Windows Update Properties window 0x800f0986 windows update error
  4. Click the Startup type drop-down menu to select Automatic.
  5. Press the Start button on the properties window.
  6. Click Apply, and click OK to exit the window.

2. Use a third-party Windows repair tool

We recommend using a trusted third-party software solution designed to fix Windows errors and keep your OS in optimal condition.

A professional automatic registry cleaner will keep your system clean and reduce the risk of getting error codes when you perform an update.
Certain issues can affect your PC’s security as well, so an all-in-one program with protection-oriented features is ideal.

Windows Update is meant to improve the overall performance of your operating system, integrate new features, and even upgrade the existing ones. However, there are times when certain errors may occur out of the blue.

Thankfully, if you happen to run into such issues, there is a specialized Windows repair software that can help you solve them in no time, and it is called Restoro.

This is how you can fix registry errors using Restoro:

  1. Download and install Restoro.
  2. Launch the application.
  3. Wait for the application to find any system stability issues and possible malware infections.
  4. Press Start Repair.
  5. Restart your PC for all the changes to take effect.

After the process is completed your computer should work perfectly fine and you will no longer have to worry about Windows Update errors of any kind.

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Disclaimer: This program needs to be upgraded from the free version in order to perform some specific actions.


3. Open the Windows Update troubleshooter

  1. Open Windows 10’s search box.
  2. Type the keyword troubleshoot in the search utility.
  3. Click Troubleshoot settings, which will open the Settings app as shown directly below.The Troubleshoot tab 0x800f0986 windows update error
  4. Select the Windows Update troubleshooter.
  5. Click the Run the troubleshooter button to open the window in the snapshot directly below.
    Windows Update troubleshooter 0x800f0986 windows update error
  6. Select the Apply this fix option for anything suggested resolutions.

4. Clear out the SoftwareDistribution folder

  1. Stop the Windows Update service by pressing the Stop button on its properties window.
  2. Click the File Explorer button on the taskbar.
  3. Open this folder path:
    • C: > Windows > SoftwareDistribution > Download.
      Download folder 0x800f0986 windows update error
  4. Press the Ctrl + A hotkey to select all contents in that folder.
  5. Press the Delete button.
  6. Click the Start button on the Windows Update service’s properties window.
  7. Restart Windows.

5.  Reset Windows Update

  1. Open the search box with the Windows key + S hotkey.
  2. Input cmd in the search box.
  3. Right-click Command Prompt and select Run as administrator to open it with elevated user rights.
  4. Input these separate commands into the Command Prompt’s window:
    • Net stop wuauserv
    • Net stop cryptSvc
    • Net stop bits
    • Net stop msiserver
  5. Enter the following line in the Command Prompt, and press the Return keyboard button.
    • Ren C:WindowsSoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.old Rename command 0x800f0986 windows update error
  6. Input the Ren C:WindowsSystem32catroot2 Catroot2.old command, and press the Enter button.
  7. Thereafter, input these separate commands:
    • Net start wuauserv
    • Net start cryptSvc
    • Net start bits
    • Net start msiserver
  8. Reboot your desktop or laptop.

6. Disable third-party antivirus utilities

Error 0x800f0986 could be due to third-party antivirus utilities blocking cumulative updates. So, turning off antivirus software might fix the error.

Run a System Scan to discover potential errors

Restoro Scan

Click Start Scan to find Windows issues.

Restoro Fix

Click Repair All to fix issues with Patented Technologies.

Run a PC Scan with Restoro Repair Tool to find errors causing security problems and slowdowns. After the scan is complete, the repair process will replace damaged files with fresh Windows files and components.

To do that, right-click an antivirus utility’s system tray icon to open a context menu from which you can often select an option that will disable the software.

You could also remove the antivirus utility from the system startup on Task Manager’s Startup tab so it doesn’t start with Windows 10. Then try downloading the patch updates with the antivirus software disabled.

Avast shields control options 0x800f0986 windows update error

7.  Reset Windows 10

  1. Enter the keyword reset in the platform’s search box.
  2. Click Reset this PC to open the Recovery tab in Settings.
    Get started button 0x800f0986 windows update error
  3. Click the Get Started button to open Reset this PC.Reset this PC window 0x800f0986 windows update error
  4. Select the Keep my files option.
  5. Press the Next button to continue.
  6. Click Reset to confirm.

Note: This method has the highest success rate of fixing pretty much any Windows 10 issues. However, it comes with the drawback of deleting all of your data. Thus, it is good to create a backup before proceeding with this solution.

By following these steps, you should be able to get rid of the Windows Update error 0x800f0986 in no time.

Which one of the solutions written above worked best for you? Let us know by leaving us a message in the comments section below.

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