FIX: Windows Defender won’t update error 0x80240016

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
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  • Windows Defender is Windows 10's first line of defense against malware and spyware, and even acts out as a firewall
  • Check out this page if you are looking for more guides on how to fix common Windows Defender issues.
  • If you aren't a big of Windows Defender, then maybe a third-party antivirus tool might just do the trick.
windows defender 0x80240016

Windows Defender is a very handy feature of Windows 10 which helps you to get rid of unwanted spyware and malware programs.

However, users found a problem when trying to update this feature, namely, an update error 0x80240016 showed up, and the update process stopped.
Windows Defender Won't Update Due a 0x80240016 Error
There are a couple of causes of this problem, one of them is the installation of another program. If you’re running an installation of another program while you try to update Windows Defender, it just won’t work.

So if you’re installing another program, finish the installation and then try to update Windows Defender. This problem also shows up when Windows Update client can’t access the user token.

To solve this, you’ll have to restart your update services, and everything should work.

Microsoft always recommends its Microsoft fix it troubleshooter, and we also have to mention it. So if you don’t want to fix your Windows Defender update problem manually, you can try with fix it.

On the other hand, if you want to be your own tech support, follow this guide to see how you can restart Windows Update service and its components.


How do I fix Windows Defender error update error 0x80240016?

1. Restart Windows Update service

Note: Before you restart the Windows Update service, make sure that you closed all Windows Update or Microsoft Update windows.

  1. Press Start
  2. Go to Search and type cmd
  3. Run cmd as Administrator and type the following lines and press Enter:
    • net stop wuauserv
    • net start wuauserv
  4. Close the Command Prompt windows and try to apply updates again

2. Manually reset Windows Update components

  1. Go to Search and type cmd
  2. Open Command Prompt as Administrator
  3. Disable the BITS service, the Windows Update service, and the Cryptographic service.
    • To do that enter the following lines and hit Enter:
      • net stop bits
      • net stop wuauserv
      • net stop appidsvc
      • net stop cryptsvc
  4. Delete the qmgr*.dat files.
    • To do this, at a command prompt, type the following command, and then press Enter:
      • Del “%ALLUSERSPROFILE%/Application Data/Microsoft/NetworkDownloaderqmgr*.dat”
    • After that, type the following line in the command prompt, and hit Enter:
      • cd /d %windir%system32
  5. Re-register the BITS files and the Windows Update files.
    • To do this, at a command prompt, type the following commands, and press Enter after typing each command:
      • regsvr32.exe atl.dll
      • regsvr32.exe urlmon.dll
      • regsvr32.exe mshtml.dll
      • regsvr32.exe shdocvw.dll
      • regsvr32.exe browseui.dll
      • regsvr32.exe jscript.dll
      • regsvr32.exe vbscript.dll
      • regsvr32.exe scrrun.dll
      • regsvr32.exe msxml.dll
      • regsvr32.exe msxml3.dll
      • regsvr32.exe msxml6.dll
      • regsvr32.exe actxprxy.dll
      • regsvr32.exe softpub.dll
      • regsvr32.exe wintrust.dll
      • regsvr32.exe dssenh.dll
      • regsvr32.exe rsaenh.dll
      • regsvr32.exe gpkcsp.dll
      • regsvr32.exe sccbase.dll
      • regsvr32.exe slbcsp.dll
      • regsvr32.exe cryptdlg.dll
      • regsvr32.exe oleaut32.dll
      • regsvr32.exe ole32.dll
      • regsvr32.exe shell32.dll
      • regsvr32.exe initpki.dll
      • regsvr32.exe wuapi.dll
      • regsvr32.exe wuaueng.dll
      • regsvr32.exe wuaueng1.dll
      • regsvr32.exe wucltui.dll
      • regsvr32.exe wups.dll
      • regsvr32.exe wups2.dll
      • regsvr32.exe wuweb.dll
      • regsvr32.exe qmgr.dll
      • regsvr32.exe qmgrprxy.dll
      • regsvr32.exe wucltux.dll
      • regsvr32.exe muweb.dll
      • regsvr32.exe wuwebv.dll
  6. Reset Winstock by typing the following command:
    • netsh winsock reset
  7. Now, you’ll have to reset your proxy settings, by adding this line:
    • netsh winhttp reset proxy
  8. Reset the BITS service, the Windows Update service, and the Cryptographic service by adding these commands:
    • net start bits
    • net start wuauserv
    • net start appidsvc
    • net start cryptsvc
  9. Install the latest Windows Update Agent
  10. Restart your PC

Sometimes reseting just the Windows Update service doesn’t help, but you’ll have to reset all its components. This solution requires a lot of registry editing and some errors could cause serious problems. So before you perform these steps, make sure that you made a backup of your registry.


By following these methods, you should be able to now update Windows Defender without seeing the 0x80240016 error anymore.

Let us know which of the methods listed above worked best for you by leaving your feedback in the comments section below.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March 2015 and has been since revamped and updated in March 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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  • THANKS!! Been searching around on the Microsoft site for days to solve this … your command line info solved it in two steps!!