[Solved] How to Fix Windows 11/10 Update Error 0x80070003

The Windows Update error code 0x80070003 can be frustrating, preventing you from installing crucial updates. Unlike other update errors, the root cause of this issue often lies within your computer. Let’s explore proven solutions to get your Windows Updates back on track.

Understanding the Causes of Error Code 0x80070003

Before we dive into troubleshooting, let’s break down the common reasons why the 0x80070003 error occurs:

  • Corrupted System Files: Essential Windows files can get corrupted, disrupting updates. Think of them as broken puzzle pieces that make it hard to fit the update into place.
  • Windows Update Service Issues: Windows Update is like a well-oiled machine, with several services working together. If one of these services malfunctions, the update process can hit a snag.
  • Registry Errors: The Windows Registry is like your computer’s address book. Wrong entries can lead the update down the wrong path, resulting in the error.
  • Insufficient Drive Space: Windows Update needs space to breathe! Think of it like trying to download a big movie on a full phone – there’s no room to store it.
  • Windows Update Component Problems: Sometimes, the gears of the Windows Update system get damaged. Missing or broken components can cause errors.

Troubleshooting Steps: From Quick Fixes to Advanced Solutions

Now that you understand the possible culprits, let’s roll up our sleeves and tackle this error! We’ll start with simple solutions and gradually move towards more advanced methods if needed.

Solution 1: The Essential Restart

A classic solution, but often effective! Restart your Windows 10 or 11 computer and re-attempt the update. A reboot may resolve temporary glitches.

Restart windows 11

Solution 2: Temporarily Disable Third-Party Security Software

Overzealous firewalls or antivirus programs sometimes block Windows Update. Temporarily disable these (remember to re-enable them later) and try updating them again.

Solution 3: The Windows Update Troubleshooter

Windows includes specialized troubleshooters. In this case, run the Windows Update Troubleshooter.

On Windows 11: 

  1. Access the Settings app by pressing Windows Key + I or right-click on the Start button Windows 11 start button and choose Settings.
  2. Navigate to System > Troubleshoot > Other troubleshooters.
  3. Locate the Windows Update troubleshooter and click Run.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the troubleshooting process.
Windows 11 Update Troubleshooter

On Windows 10: 

  1. Access the Settings app by pressing Windows Key + I or right-click on the Start button Windows 10 settings app icon and choose Settings.
  2. Go to Update & Security
  3. Select Troubleshoot in the left pane and click Additional troubleshooters in the right pane.
  4. Under Windows Update, click Run the troubleshooter.

Solution 4: Try the Windows Update Assistant (Windows 10)

If the troubleshooter doesn’t help on Windows 10, try forcing updates with the Windows 10 Update Assistant. You can find it on the Microsoft website: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10.

Solution 5: Clear the Software Distribution Folder

This folder houses temporary update files. Clearing it can resolve corruption issues:

  1. Press Windows Key + R, type cmd, and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter (admin mode). Or in Windows 11, right-click on the Start Windows 11 start button button and select Terminal (Admin).
  2. Type net stop wuauserv and press Enter.
  3. Navigate to C:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution\Download and delete its contents.
  4. Type net start wuauserv in the command prompt and press Enter.
  5. Retry Windows Update.

Solution 6: Check for Corrupted System Files

Ensure your Windows installation is intact using System File Checker (SFC) and DISM tools:

  1. Press Windows Key + R, type cmd, and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter (admin mode). Or in Windows 11, right-click on the Start Windows 11 start button button and select Terminal (Admin).
  2. Type sfc /scannow and press Enter.
  3. For in-depth repair, consider the DISM tool: How to Repair Windows 11 and 10 Image with DISM Command Tool.
System File Scanner SFC

Solution 7: Free Up Drive Space

Windows Update requires working space. Uninstall large programs, delete unused files or move data to external drives. See How to Optimize Windows 11 by Removing Junk Files and Clean and speed up Windows 10 with the built-in Disk Cleanup utility.

Optimize windows 11 by removing junk files
Optimize Windows 11 by Removing Junk Files

Solution 8: Fix Registry Errors

Caution: Modifying the Registry carries risk. Back it up first by creating a System Restore Point and proceed only if comfortable.

  1. Press Windows Key + R, type regedit, and press Enter.
  2. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SYSTEM > CurrentControlSet > Services > WIMMount.
  3. Double-click ImagePath, ensure Value data is system32\drivers\wimmount.sys.
  4. Verify wimmount.sys exists in C:\\Windows\System32\drivers. If missing, refer to Solution 6.

Solution 9: Reset Windows Update (Advanced)

This solution is a last resort. Persistent 0x80070003 errors sometimes indicate deeper issues with your Windows Update components. Resetting these components can help, but it’s a slightly more advanced solution. Proceed with the following steps if you’re comfortable.

  1. Download the appropriate reset batch file below for your Windows version (Windows 11 or Windows 10).
  2. Right-click the downloaded file and select Properties.
  3. In the Properties window, find the Unblock option, check the box beside it, and click Apply followed by OK.
  4. Double-click the batch file to run it.
  5. When prompted, select Yes to allow the reset process.
  6. After your computer restarts, retry the Windows Update process.

Windows Update Reset Bat file Download:

Run windows 11 update reset batch file to solve windows update error 0x80070003
Reset Windows 11 Update


With these techniques, you have the tools to troubleshoot and overcome the Windows Update error 0x80070003. Remember, a little patience and persistence usually solve most common Windows Update issues.

author avatar
Derick Payne
My name is Derick Payne. With a deep-seated passion for programming and an unwavering commitment to innovation, I've spent the past 23 years pushing the envelope of what's possible. As the founder of Rizonetech and Rizonesoft, I've had the unique opportunity to channel my love for technology into creating solutions that make a difference.

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