Full Fix: Update error 0x8000ffff on Windows 10, 8.1, 7
With Windows 10, updates become an essential part of the everyday computer use. In order to achieve maximum safety and smooth work, Microsoft creates new builds based on feedback from Windows Insiders. Additionally, with a lot of new features, they may bring an issue or two.
Error 0x8000ffff appears mostly when you try to do a standard update or update some Windows features or apps in the Store. Furthermore, it may appear after the system restore. There are different causes of this error. Most of the time it occurs because of the virus infection or faulty drivers. Or maybe just a defective app. So, if you’re facing this update issue, we’ve prepared some workarounds for you in order to resolve the problem.
How to fix Windows 10 update error 0x8000ffff
Error 0x8000ffff can be problematic and prevent you from installing updates on your PC. Speaking of update errors, here are some issues reported by users:
- Windows failed to install the following update with error 0x8000ffff – This is a variation of the original error, and if you encounter it, be sure to try all of our solutions.
- 0x8000ffff Windows 7 – This error can appear on older versions of Windows, and even if you don’t use Windows 10, you should be able to apply most of our solutions to your operating system.
Solution 1 – Scan your PC with Windows Defender or 3rd party antimalware software
The first step you should take in this kind of situation is performing a full scan. You can use either Windows Defender or a 3rd party software. As the features differ between those programs, we’ll lead you through Windows Defender’s deep-scan.
- Open Windows Defender from the notification area.
- Open Settings.
- Scroll down until you see Windows Defender Offline.
- Make sure you saved everything since the PC will restart.
- Choose Scan Offline.
- The process will last up to 15 minutes.
The malware will be quarantined and you can move on.
Although Windows Defender is a solid antivirus, third-party antivirus tools might offer certain features that Windows Defender lacks. If you’re looking for a new antivirus software, we would have to recommend BullGuard.
Solution 2 – Check files integrity with SFC tool
On some occasions, due to virus infections or even unapparent reasons, the system files may get corrupted or incomplete. To check their state, you’ll have to use Command Prompt. These instructions should keep you on right track.
- Right-click on Start and open Command Prompt (Admin). If Command Prompt isn’t available, you can also use PowerShell (Admin).
- In the command line type sfc/scannow.
- The tool will scan and repair all corrupted files.
If SFC scan doesn’t fix your problem, or if you can’t start SFC scan, you should try performing a DISM scan instead. To do that, just start Command Prompt as administrator and run DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth/ command. DISM scan can take about 20 minutes, sometimes more, so try not to interfere with it and don’t interrupt it.
Once the DISM scan is finished, check if the problem is resolved. If not, or if you weren’t able to run SFC scan before, be sure to try running SFC scan again.
Solution 3 – Set correct Date & Time and log in as Admin
It maybe sounds trivial, but a mistakenly set date or time can cause a lot of issues. Especially, with the Windows Store and its respective apps. So, make sure you set up valid date and time in order to update apps and bypass the error.
To check if your time and date are correct, you just need to do the following:
- Right-click the clock in the bottom right corner. Now choose Adjust date/time from the menu.
- Now locate Set time automatically option and disable it. Wait for a few seconds and turn it back again.
After doing that, your date and time will be updated. If you want, you can also manually adjust date and time from this window. Once your date is corrected, try to perform the update again.
Solution 4 – Reset Store cache
On some occasions, the Windows Store cache can rack up and prevent the update or even installation of certain apps. You can fix that easily by running a simple command. And this is the how-to:
- Press Windows key + R.
- In the input line type WSReset.exe and run it.
- This should clear Windows Store cache.
After the cache is cleared, you should be able to install/update apps without 0x8000ffff error.
Solution 5 – Boot in a Safe Mode with Networking and try again
In case some drivers or Windows features are incorrectly installed, they can interfere with an update sequence. We advise you to try and boot the PC in Safe mode with Networking and try updating. Safe mode will exclude unnecessary drivers and processes. You can boot PC in safe mode this way.
- Go to Start and open Settings.
- Choose Update & Security.
- Open Recovery. Click Restart Now under Advanced Startup.
- After your PC restarts, on the Choose an option select Troubleshoot.
- Open Advanced Options.
- Choose Startup Settings.
- Click Restart.
- After the restart, you should see the list of options. Choose Safe mode with Networking.
- Now you can try and update the system/app.
Solution 5 – Remove problematic applications
If you’re getting error 0x8000ffff while trying to install updates, the issue might be a third-party application. Almost any application can interfere with the update process and cause this issue to appear, so if you want to find the problematic application, it’s advised to check the installation log.
To do that, just follow these steps:
- Go to C:$WINDOWS.~BTSourcesPanther directory. This directory is hidden by default, so you need to reveal hidden files and folders in order to access it. Alternatively, you can just paste its location in the address bar to access it instantly.
- Now locate the file that looks like this <array_of_symbols>_APPRAISER_HumanReadable.xml. Open this file in Notepad.
- Now you’ll see a lot of information. Navigate through them and locate applications that have BlockingApplication=True assigned to them. These applications are preventing the installation, so be sure to remove them.
This is an advanced solution, and if you’re not familiar with .xml files you might have some issues finding the problematic applications. However, you can always remove suspicious applications on your own and check if that helps. Since almost any application can cause this problem to appear, it might take you a while to find the real cause of this issue.
To uninstall a problematic application, it’s advised to use uninstaller software. If you’re not familiar, uninstaller software is a special application that can remove any program from your PC. In addition to removing the selected application, these tools will also remove all files and registry entries associated with it.
As a result, there won’t be any leftover files remaining that can interfere with your system. There are many great uninstaller applications, but the best is Revo Uninstaller, so feel free to try it out.
Once you remove the problematic application, check if the problem is resolved.
Solution 6 – Create a new administrator account
Sometimes error 0x8000ffff can appear due to your user account. If your user account is corrupted or if you don’t have administrative privileges, you won’t be able to update your Windows. However, you can fix this issue simply by creating a new user account. To do that, follow these simple steps:
- Press Windows Key + I to open the Settings app. Now navigate to the Accounts section.
- On the menu on the left select Family & other people. In the right pane select Add someone else to this PC.
- Select I don’t have this person’s sign-in information.
- Now you’ll be asked to create a new Microsoft account. Choose Add a user without a Microsoft account option.
- Enter the desired user name and click Next.
Now you just need to convert your new account to the administrator account. This is quite simple and you just need to do the following:
- In Settings app go to Accounts > Family and other people. In Other people section select the new user account and click Change account type.
- Select Account type to Administrator and click OK.
Now sign out of your current account and switch to the new account. After doing that, try to update again.
Solution 7 – Perform an in-place upgrade
If other solutions don’t work, your only choice might be to perform an in-place upgrade. By doing so, you’ll force Windows 10 to upgrade to the latest version while keeping all your files and applications. To do this, you need to do the following:
- Download Media Creation Tool from Microsoft’s website and run it.
- Select Upgrade this PC now. Wait while your PC prepares the necessary files.
- Now choose Download and install updates (recommended). Wait for the process to finish.
- Follow the instructions until you reach Ready to install screen. Select Change what to keep.
- Choose Keep personal files and apps and click Next.
- Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the setup.
Once the installation is finished, you’ll have the latest version of Windows installed with all necessary updates.
These were our possible workarounds for your issue. We certainly hope you’ll find them helpful. In case you have additional solutions or related questions, please tell us in the comments section.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2017 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
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