How to Fix Windows Update Error 0x80073701

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Windows Update lets you download and install security updates that protect your computer from malware and other cyberattacks. However, sometimes this can cause serious problems that will result in an error message with troubleshooting instructions. Windows update error 0x80245006 is one of those issues that you may come across while trying to update Windows 10 or 11. If you are also facing this issue then this article may help you fix it. Here’s what you need to do.

What causes Windows update error 0x80073701?

Windows update error 0x80073701 is a very common problem that many Windows users face when trying to update their system. There are several things that can cause this error, but the most likely is corrupted system files. Other reasons may include other corrupt files, faulty or missing Windows Update components, and malware.

If you are trying to install the latest updates on your Windows 10/11 system and you keep getting error code 0x80073701, follow the steps below.

1. Run Windows Update Troubleshooter

The Windows Update Troubleshooter is a built-in tool that can help resolve common Windows Update issues. It may not solve all problems with updates, but it can solve many of them. To run the troubleshooter, follow these steps:

  1. Hurry the Windows + I to open the “Settings” application.
  1. In the Settings menu, click on the “Update & Security” category. If you are using Windows 11, you should go to “Settings -> System” instead.
Windows Update Error 0x80073701 Update Security
  1. In the left pane, click on the “Troubleshooting” section.
  1. Go right and select the “Additional Troubleshooters” link.
Windows Updates Error 0x80073701 Additional Troubleshooters
  1. Next, select “Windows Update” and then click the “Run the troubleshooter” button.
Windows Updates Error 0x80073701 Run the Troubleshooter

This will open the Windows Update program, which will then start scanning for relevant issues. It will take some time for the troubleshooter to complete its work, but if it finds and fixes any issues, you will be notified.

2. Run System File Checker

If you get error 0x80073701 when trying to update Windows, it’s probably because of a corrupt system file. You can use the System File Checker tool to repair missing or corrupt system files and see if it fixes the problem. The steps below will guide you through running this tool:

  1. Right-click on “Start” and select “Run” from the menu list.
Windows Update Error 0x80073701 Run Command
  1. In the dialog box, type cmd and press CTRL + Gap + Walk in to run it as administrator.
  1. In the command prompt window, type the command below.
Windows Update Error 0x80073701 SFC Scan
  1. Now press “Enter” to execute the command.

Once the process is complete, restart your computer and try to install Windows Update.

If running the System File Checker tool does not work, you can try using the Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) tool. This tool can fix problems with your Windows Update components.

  1. Run command prompt as administrator as shown above.
  2. Once you are in the command prompt window, type the command line below and press Walk in to run it:
DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth
Windows Update Error 0x80073701 Dism Scan

After successfully running the above command, restart your computer to see if that fixes the problem.

4. Reset Windows Update Components

It seems that a corrupt or missing Windows Update component is responsible for this problem. If this happens, you can try resetting Windows Update components. In this procedure, you will need to delete the “SoftwareDistribution” and “catroot2” folders to remove all temporary files causing the problem and force Windows to download new copies. Follow these steps to run this tool:

  1. Again, run the command prompt as administrator.
  2. Type the following commands in the command prompt window and press Walk in after each:
net stop bits
net stop wuauserv
net stop appidsvc
net stop cryptsvc
  1. The next step is to rename the “SoftwareDistribution” folder using the following command:
Ren %systemroot%SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.old
  1. You will also need to rename the “catroot2” folder, as follows:
Ren %systemroot%System32catroot2 catroot2.old
  1. Now that you have completed these steps, you can restart the services you previously closed.
  2. To do this, just type the following commands and press Walk in after each:
net start bits
net start wuauserv
net start appidsvc
net start cryptsvc

Now restart your computer and run Windows update again to see if it works.

5. Troubleshooting in Clean Boot

If you’re having trouble fixing a Windows Update error, chances are a clean boot will do the trick. A clean boot consists of starting Windows with a minimal set of drivers and startup programs. This can help you troubleshoot problems by eliminating software conflicts.

  1. Hurry the Windows + R to open the Run command.
  2. In the text field, type msconfigthen click “OK”.
  1. When the System Configuration window opens, click on the “General” tab and select “Selective Startup”.
Windows Updates Clean Boot Error 0x80073701
  1. Uncheck the “Load startup items” box.
  2. Now you need to switch to the “Services” tab.
Windows Updates Error 0x80073701 Hide Microsoft Update Services
  1. Select “Hide all Microsoft services”, then click “Disable all”. Click “OK” to save your changes.
  2. Next, select the “Startup” tab, then click “Open Task Manager”.
Windows Updates Error 0x80073701 Open Task Manager
  1. In Task Manager, make sure you are on the “Startup” tab.
Windows Updates Error 0x80073701 Task Manager
  1. Choose each startup service you want to disable and click “Disable”.

Once you have completed the above steps, check if that fixes the problem.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if I don’t install Windows Updates?

If you do not install the latest Windows updates, your computer may be exposed to threats such as malware. You may also miss critical security patches that can protect your data. There may also be performance or stability issues in some cases.

How to disable automatic updates in Windows?

In Windows 10, you can disable automatic updates if you don’t want your operating system to update automatically. This is especially useful if your internet connection is slow or limited or if you want to read an update before installing it. Use the Search button in Windows to find the Services app and open it. Scroll down to “Windows Update” and right-click on it. Select “Properties”. In the “General” tab, click on the “Startup type” drop-down menu and choose “Disabled”.

How can I uninstall a Windows update?

If your computer is running slower than usual or you are having other issues, you can uninstall Windows Update. In Windows 10, open “Settings -> Update & Security -> View update history”. Select “Uninstall updates” and choose the update you want to remove from your system. If you are using Windows 11, go to “System -> Windows Update -> Update History”. Click “Uninstall updates” at the bottom and select the update you want to uninstall from the list. Also, you can temporarily pause Windows Updates if you need a break.

Image credit: Christina via Unsplash. All screenshots by Digvijay Kumar

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