Fix Windows Update error 80073701 on Windows 10 [2022 Guide]

by Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
Matthew is a freelancer who has produced a variety of articles on various topics related to technology. His main focus is the Windows OS and all the things... read more
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  • Windows Update error 0x80073701 blocks Microsoft's cumulative updates.
  • Most of the time, the cause for this problem is corrupted system files.
  • Sometimes, the issue can also appear as ERROR_SXS_ASSEMBLY_MISSING 0x80073701.
How to fix Windows Update error 80073701

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The Windows update error 0x80073701 is one that occurs in Windows 10 and earlier platforms. That is an error that blocks Microsoft’s cumulative updates.

Thus, you can’t update Windows when the issue arises. There is no specific official resolution for error 0x80073701 as of yet even though Microsoft has acknowledged the error code.

Speaking of that, users also reported similar issues involving the same code. Let’s take a closer look so that you exactly what you’re up against.

Where else can this error occur and what to expect?

  • 80073701 error code is also specific to Windows 7
  • The install error 0x80073701 is encountered by Windows 11 users too
  • ERROR_SXS_ASSEMBLY_MISSING 0x80073701 – this particular error code is frequently associated with a more detailed description stating that some update files are missing or have problems; don’t worry, we have covered all the answers below

These are a few resolutions that might fix update error 0x80073701 more specifically in Windows 10.

How can I fix the Windows Update error 80073701?

1. Run the Windows Update troubleshooter

  1. Click the Start button and select Settings.
  2. Now, choose Update & Security.
  3. Click on Troubleshoot from the left pane and select Additional troubleshooters from the right.
  4. Next, click on Windows Update to expand the section and hit the Run the troubleshooter button.
  5. The troubleshooter might then provide some resolutions. You can press the Apply this fix button to apply a suggested resolution.

The Windows Update troubleshooter is a built-in system tool for fixing Windows update bugs. So that might come in handy for fixing error 0x80073701.

It was reported that upon running this tool, it managed to fix some bugs, but ended in displaying another error: The requested service has already been started. More help is available by typing NET HELPMSG 2182.

We’ve covered this issue in our guide on how to fix the NET HELPMSG 2182. Some of the solutions presented there also apply to the 0x80073701 stop code.

2. Use specialized repair tools

Error (0x)80073701 can prevent you from installing cumulative updates and even from upgrading your OS to a newer version. The most common reason behind this is missing or broken update files.

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Fortunately, there are specialized tools that can address file corruption and repair Windows update errors as well as numerous other severe system errors in an instant.

Needless to say, using such a program is far more accurate and time-effective than manual troubleshooting.

Windows Update is meant to improve the overall performance of your operating system, integrate new features, and even upgrade the existing ones. However, there are times when certain errors may occur out of the blue.

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After the process is completed your computer should work perfectly fine and you will no longer have to worry about Windows Update errors of any kind.

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3. Run Deployment Image Servicing and System File scans

  1. Press the Start button, type cmd, then select Run as administrator to start Command Prompt with full privileges.
  2. You can run the Deployment Image Servicing and Management utility by entering the following command and pressing Enter: DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth
  3. After the process ends, type the following command to launch the SFC scan and press Enter: sfc /scannow
  4. Wait until the process finishes, then restart Windows if the SFC scan does repair files.

Error 0x80073701 might be due to corrupted system files. This is why we recommend utilizing the Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool to repair the wim.store.

The System File Checker also repairs corrupted system files so it will be very useful to run as well.

4. Restart the Windows Update service

  1. Launch Run with the Windows key + R keyboard shortcut, type services.msc and click OK or press Enter.
  2. Scroll down to Windows Update on the Services window and double-click the service.
  3. Press the Stop button on the window, and click OK to close the window. If the button is grayed out, it means that the service is not started.
  4. After the service is stop, right-click Windows Update and select Start to restart it.

5. Reset the Windows Update components

  1. Click the Windows Start button, type cmd and select Run as administrator to open the Command Prompt console with full rights.
  2. Then enter the following commands in the separately and hit the Enter key after each one:
    • net stop wuauserv
      net stop cryptSvc
      net stop bits
      net stop msiserver
  3. Next, rename the SoftwareDistribution folder by entering this command and pressing Enter from your keyboard: ren C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.old
  4. Then, input the following command to rename the Catroot2 folder to Catroot2.old and press Enter: ren C:WindowsSystem32catroot2 Catroot2.old
  5. Then enter this line to edit the SoftwareDistribution folder title: C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.old
  6. Restart the stopped services by entering the following commands:
    • net start wuauserv
      net start cryptSvc
      net start bits
      net start msiserver
  7. Then exit the Command Prompt window, and restart your desktop and laptop.

Resetting Windows Update components will restore them to their default values. So this resolution is certainly worth a shot.

6. Check the Date and Time Settings

  1. Right click the clock from your taskbar and select Adjust date/time.
  2. Select a time zone on the Time zone drop-down menu if required.
  3. You can also toggle the Set the time automatically option off and press the Change button to manually adjust the date and time.
  4. Alternatively, you can synchronize the clock with server by clicking Add clocks for different time zones.
  5. Select the Internet Time tab, and press the Change settings button.
  6. Then you can select the Synchronize with an Internet time server checkbox and select a server from the drop-down menu.
  7. Click the Update Now button.
  8. Press the Apply and OK buttons.

Error 80073701 can also be due to date and time settings in Windows 10. So, make sure that Windows 10’s date and time are correctly set.

Some of those resolutions might fix error 0x80073701. Additionally, the resolutions in this post can also fix Windows update errors.

If this article was helpful, drop us a line telling us about your experience with the step that you used to get your device back on track.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Besides a stable Internet connection, you also need to have enough disk space on your system drive. If you lack the latter, consider getting a bigger and better hard drive.

  • The fastest way to fix a Windows Update error is to use Windows 10’s own Troubleshooter and select the Windows Update option. If you don’t have it, you can download it from this great guide.

  • There are plenty of reasons why your Windows updates are downloading slowly, such as software that is conflicting with the Windows Update.

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