5 ways to fix Windows Update error 0x80070003

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
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  • Windows Update is an important asset that might save the day in case of a major malware attack. How? It's simple, all those security patches that Microsoft releases on a regular basis are directly injected into your PC through this service.
  • While the advantages are obvious, there are occasional drawbacks when it comes to updating your computer. Check out our windows update errors dedicated section and find all the fixes in one place.
  • To narrow down the quest a bit, does your Windows Update process stop at about 50% and you get the error code 0x80070003? Find out how to solve this issue in the article below.
  • Dig deeper into Windows 10 errors and fix them one by one thanks to our explicite materials from the dedicated hub.
Windows update

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.


Which is the latest version of Windows 10? Find out from our constantly updated article!


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

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 installations 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 8 to Windows 8.1 or 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 8, 8.1 or 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 8, 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 your Windows 8, 10 operating system, and start the Update process to Windows 8.1, 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 8.1 or Windows 10.

4. Restart Windows Update in Command Prompt

  1. Left-click or tap on the Command Prompt(Admin) feature you have in your Windows 8.1, 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 Windows 8, 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 Windows 8, 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.


Check out our handy guide and learn to use DISM like pro!


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.

FAQ: Learn more about Windows Updates

  • What happens if I never update Windows 10?

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.

  • Will upgrading OS delete files?

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.

  • Can I use Windows 10 without activation?

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.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in August 2018 and has been since revamped and updated in March 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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