FIX: Windows Update error code 0x80070003 in Windows 10

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
Passionate about all elements related to Windows and combined with his innate curiosity, Ivan has delved deep into understanding this operating system, with a specialization in drivers and driver troubleshooting. When he's not tackling... Read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • Many users reported an error code 0x80070003 after updating their PC.
  • Some suggested that turning off automatic updates may help bypass this issue.
  • Others believed that using alternative update methods did the trick for them.
  • When all else failed, using dedicated third-party programs helped fix error 0x80070003.
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Have you tried updating your device from Windows 8 to the new Windows 10? Or upgrading it from an older Windows 10 version to a newer one?

You might have noticed that in some cases the Windows Update process stops at around 50% and gives you the error code 0x80070003.

You don’t need to be alarmed because after you finished reading this article, you’ll know how to successfully fix error 0x80070003 in Windows 10 and previous versions such as Windows 8.

Note: The full error message you get while trying to update to Windows 8.1 should be:

SOMETHING HAPPENED AND THE WINDOWS 8.1 COULDN’T BE INSTALLED. PLEASE TRY AGAIN. ERROR CODE: 0X80070003.

This be fixed by running the Windows Update troubleshooter or just by restarting the Windows Update Center.

How do I fix error 0x80070003?

  1. Run the Windows Update troubleshooter
  2. Restart or stop the Windows Update Service
  3. Delete the DataStore folder
  4. Restart Windows Update in Command Prompt
  5. Run DISM
  6. Use Windows update repair tools
  7. Manually download each update
  8. Use the Windows Update Assistant
  9. Use the Media Creation Tool

1. Run the Windows Update troubleshooter

  1. Left-click or tap on the link posted below
  2. Left-click or tap on the Save File option.
  3. Left-click or tap on the OK button afterward.
  4. Let the download finish.
  5. Go to the directory where you downloaded the troubleshooter and right-click on it or hold tap
  6. From the menu that appears left click or tap on the Run as Administrator.
  7. Left-click or tap on the Yes button if you are prompted by a user account control message.
  8. Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the installation process of the Windows Update troubleshooter.
  9. Reboot your operating system after the troubleshooter has finished.
  10. Check again if you can update from Windows 10 without getting the error code 0x80070003.

If you encountered error 0x80070003 while trying to install a newer Windows 10 version, you can also run the built-in Windows Update troubleshooter.

All you need to do is go to Settings > Update & Security > Troubleshoot > locate and run the troubleshooter, as shown in the screenshot below.

windows update troubleshooter

Troubleshooter error 0x803c0103? Don’t panic! Solve this problem quickly!


2. Restart or stop the Windows Update Service

  1. Move the mouse cursor over to the upper right side of the screen.
  2. Left-click or tap on the Search feature presented there.
  3. In the search dialog box write the following: Control Panel.
  4. After the search has finished left click or tap on the Control Panel icon.
  5. Left-click or tap in the search box presented in the Control Panel window.
  6. Write in the search box the following: Administrative Tools without the quotes.
  7. Left-click or tap on the Administrative Tools feature.
  8. Now double click on the Services feature.
    Note: You might be asked for an administrator account and password in which case you will need to type them in.
  9. In the list that shows you will need to search for Windows Update.
  10. Now, right-click or hold tap on the Windows Update service.restart windows update service
  11. From the menu that appears left click or tap on the Stop button. You can also select the Restart option.
  12. Reboot your Windows 10 operating system.
  13. Return to the Windows Update Service, left-click on it and select Start.

3. Delete the DataStore folder

  1. Open your File Explorer.
  2. Double click to open the C: drive or whichever the Windows 10 system is installed on.
  3. Double click on the Windows folder to open it.
  4. Search for the SoftwareDistribution folder and double click on it to open.
  5. Look for DataStore folder inside the SoftwareDistribution folder and open it.
  6. Delete the files and folders present in the DataStore folder.
    • Note: You might be asked for an administrator account and password.
  7. Now go back to the SoftwareDistribution folder.
  8. Find the Download folder and double click on it to open.
  9. Now delete all the files in the Download folder as well.
  10. Reboot your10 operating system, and start the Update process to Windows 10 again.
  11. Move the mouse over to the upper right side of the screen.
  12. From the menu that appears left click again on the Search feature.
  13. In the search box write Control Panel without the quotes.
  14. Left-click or tap on the Control Panel icon.
  15. In the search box of the Control Panel window write the following: administrative tools.
  16. After the search has finished left click or tap on the “Administrative Tools” icon.
  17. Double click to open the Services feature.
  18. Find the Windows Update service in the list presented.
  19. Right-click or hold tap on it.
  20. From the menu that appears left click or tap on the Start button.
  21. Check again if you can update your operating system to the new Windows 10.

4. Restart Windows Update in Command Prompt

  1. Left-click or tap on the Command Prompt(Admin) features you have in your Windows 10 operating system.
  2. If you are prompt by an administrator account and password please type it in.
  3. Write in the command prompt window the following: net stop wuauserv.
  4. Press the Enter button on the keyboard.
  5. Next write in the command prompt the following: net stop bits.
  6. Press the Enter button on the keyboard.
  7. Reboot the 10 operating system.
  8. After the device starts again open the Command prompt window once more.
  9. Write in the command prompt window the following: net start wuauserv
  10. Press the Enter button on the keyboard.
  11. Write in the command prompt window the following: net start bits.
  12. Press the Enter button on the keyboard.
  13. Now try running the Windows Update feature again and see if it works for you this time.

Epic guide alert! Everything you need to know about Command Prompt!


5. Run DISM

  1. Press and hold the Windows button and the X button.
  2. From the menu that appears left click again on the Command Prompt (Admin) icon.
  3. In the command prompt write the following: Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth.
  4. Press the Enter button on the keyboard.
  5. Write in the Command Prompt window the following: Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth.Windows could not start the Windows Installer Service on local computer
  6. Press the Enter button on the keyboard.
  7. It will take around 10 minutes for the process to finish.
  8. After the process has finished please reboot the 10 operating system once more.
  9. After the device starts check again if your Windows Update feature works normally.

If the error code persists, try disabling your antivirus software. Sometimes, your antivirus tools may incorrectly flag Windows updates as malware thus blocking them.

You can turn off your antivirus, check for updates and see if your computer manages to install the available updates.


6. Use Windows update repair tools

Post-update errors in Windows are so common that most software developers saw in it an opportunity to create a new type of software that deals precisely with this problem.

These include software solutions that fix Windows Update errors, but also tools that have all-around troubleshooting tools that may help your system overcome other issues as well.

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7. Manually download each update

If the problems persist and the conventional means of downloading your updates become unavailable, you can manually download and install each cumulative update straight from the Windows Update Catalog.

All you need to do is access the website, type in the name of each cumulative update in the search bar, and download them. While this solution is a bit more time-consuming, it can be a great alternative when automatic updating solutions briefly become inaccessible.


8. Use the Windows Update Assistant

The Windows Update Assistant is a handy tool that you can manually download from the official Microsoft website, and it facilitates the update or upgrade process of your PC by making everything automatic.

All you need to do is download the tool, run it, and follow the on-screen instructions to update your system.

Keep note that in order to work, you need a stable Internet connection, and you also need to make sure that you restart your PC whenever prompted to do so.


9. Use the Media Creation Tool

media creation tool

Similar to the Windows Update Assistant, the Media Creation Tool is a proprietary Microsoft tool that allows you to create bootable media so that you can reset or install a fresh new copy of Windows 10.

Additionally, it shares a few features with the Windows Update Assistant in that it manages to keep your system updated with the latest available patches.

All you need to do to make it work is simply download it from the official Microsoft Website, launch it, and follow the on-screen instructions.

Just like the Windows Update Assistant, this tool also requires a stable Internet connection, although it will use a lot more bandwidth since you will need to download a complete ISO image of Windows 10.


If you followed the steps above carefully, you will have fixed your error code 0x80070003 by the time you reach the end of this post.

Should you run into any issues along the way, let us know in the comments below.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Each version of the OS is supported for a limited period of time, after which Microsoft no longer develops or provides security updates for that specific version.

  • Upgrading your OS will normally preserve your files, apps, and settings. Nevertheless, there are users who reported files being misplaced. Make sure to back-up your important assets with a dedicated tool.

  • Yes, the unactivated Windows 10 can be utilized with minor restrictions indefinitely. However, activating a license via other means than an official purchase of the product key is illegal.

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