Fix: Windows Update error code 0x80070003 in Windows 10/11

by Ivan Jenic
Ivan Jenic
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... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • To fix Windows Update error code 0x80070003, you can try using one of many built-in tools.
  • Restarting associated services can also help with this type of problem.
  • Downloading the update manually is a great workaround if you can use the update feature.
windows update error 0x80070003

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Have you tried updating your device just to get an error message? You’re not the only one, and many have encountered a similar issue.

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

While the numeric part stays the same, the error message will vary according to the environment and/or the particular scenario that you might be facing. Here’s what to expect.

More variations of this Windows Update error code

  • Some Update files are missing or have problems. We’ll try to download the update again later. Error code: (0x80070003)
  • Status wait 3 0x80070003
  • We couldn’t install this update but you can try again (0x80070003)
  • Windows failed to install the following update with error 0x80070003
  • Setup host: unable to check for server media [0x80070003]
  • Error code 0x80070003 Visual Studio / IIS (Cannot read configuration file)

Well, you don’t need to be alarmed because after you’ve finished reading this article, you’ll know how to successfully fix error this issue on your PC.

Join us while we take a closer look at this error message and explore all the available solutions.

Why does Windows Update error 0x80070003 occur?

The main cause for this error is file corruption, and if there’s an issue with the update cache, you’ll get this message. In other instances, your system files might be corrupted, causing the issue to appear.

Lastly, there could be an issue with your services, making Windows unable to perform an update.

How does update error 0x80070003 affect my PC?

This error message will prevent you from downloading the latest Windows updates. This can be an issue, especially if there’s an update available that addresses a security flaw or dangerous malware.

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You’ll also miss on bug fixes, new features, and improvements unless you manage to fix this problem.

How do I fix error 0x80070003 on Windows 10 & 11?

  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. Manually download each update
  7. Use the Windows Update Assistant
  8. Use the Media Creation Tool

1. Run the Windows Update troubleshooter

  1. Download Windows Update Troubleshooter.
  2. Once the file is downloaded, run it.
  3. Select one of the available options and click on Next.
  4. Wait for the process to finish.
  5. If the issue is still there, repeat the process, but be sure to select different troubleshooter.

If you want to fix update errors and other issues with ease, Restoro is a great tool that you might want to consider.

2. Restart or stop the Windows Update Service

  1. Press Windows key + R and enter services.msc. Press Enter.
  2. Now, right-click or the Windows Update service.
  3. From the menu that appears left click the Stop button.
  4. Reboot your PC.
  5. Return to the Windows Update service, left-click on it and select Start.

    This solution usually works, but if you’re having issues with services, check our Windows Update service isn’t running guide for more information.

3. Delete the DataStore folder

  1. Open your File Explorer.
  2. Navigate to: C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution
  3. Now go to the DataStore folder and delete the files and folders present in it.
  4. Now go back to the SoftwareDistribution folder.
  5. Navigate to Download folder and delete all files and folders from it.
  6. Reboot your PC, and check if the problem is resolved.

4. Restart Windows Update in PowerShell

  1. Press Windows key + X and select Windows PowerShell (Admin).
  2. Run the following commands:
    net stop wuauserv
    net stop bits
    net start wuauserv
    net start bits

You can also fully automate this process by using a Windows Update reset script.

5. Run DISM

  1. Right-click the Start button and choose Windows PowerShell (Admin) from the menu.
  2. Run the following command: Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
  3. After it’s done, run this command as well: Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
  4. It will take around 10 minutes for the process to finish.
  5. After the process is done, restart your PC and check if the problem is resolved.

In case you’re not familiar with this command, we have a whole article dedicated to how to use DISM, so be sure to check it out.

6. Manually download each update

  1. Visit the Microsoft Update Catalog website.
  2. Enter the KB number of the update you want to download.
    How to fix the 0x800f0831 Windows 11 update error
  3. Now locate the update that matches your PC architecture and download it.
  4. Once the update is downloaded, run it and follow the instructions on the screen to install it.

7. Use the Windows Update Assistant

  1. Visit the official Windows 10 download page.
  2. Click the Update now button.
  3. Once the Windows Update Assistant is downloaded, run it.
  4. Click on Update Now button.
  5. Wait for the update to download. This can take a while.
  6. Once the update is downloded, you’ll be asked to restart your PC, so be sure to do so.
  7. After the PC restarts, wait for the update installation to finish.

8. Use the Media Creation Tool

  1. Visit the official Windows 10 download page.
  2. Click on Download tool now.
  3. Once the application is downloaded, run it.
  4. Accept the terms of service.
  5. Choose Upgrade this PC now and click Next.
  6. Wait for the update to download. This can take a while.
  7. When you reach Choose what to keep screen, make sure to select Keep everything.
  8. Now follow te instructions to complete the process.

How to fix update error 0x80070003 on Windows 11?

1. Run a quick SFC scan

  1. Right-click the Start button and select Windows Terminal (Admin).
  2. Now run the following command: sfc /scannow
  3. Wait for it to finish. The process can take 10 minutes or more.
  4. After it’s finished, check if the problem is still there.

How to use the Update Troubleshooter in Windows?

  1. Press Windows key + I.
  2. Navigate to Update & Security section.
  3. Select Troubleshoot in the left pane and select Additional troubleshooters.
  4. Select Windows Update and click Run the troubleshooter.
  5. Wait for the troubleshooter to finish.

Can software cause update errors?

Yes, sometimes your software can interfere with the update process. Usually, the culprit can be your security software, so be sure to check its settings.

You should also check your firewall settings, and use reliable antivirus software to avoid these types of issues in the future.

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.

In case you’re still having problems, you can find more solutions in our Windows Update not working guide.

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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