[Full Guide] Fixing Windows Update Error 0x80070103

[Full Guide] Fixing Windows Update Error 0x80070103

/ Shayne Sherman

If you’re a Windows user, you’ve likely encountered error codes while trying to update your system. One such error is code 0x80070103, which can prevent you from getting the latest security updates and feature enhancements.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps to fix Windows Update error code 0x80070103 so you can keep your system up to date and running smoothly. Whether you’re a tech-savvy user or a novice, we’ve covered you with easy-to-follow instructions. Let’s get started!

Causes of Windows Update Failed 0x80070103

If you’re wondering why you’re getting this error, here are the most common reasons for encountering the failed update error.

  • Driver compatibility issues: The error message may be caused by a driver compatibility issue. This means your system is trying to install a driver incompatible with your hardware, resulting in an error message.
  • Outdated drivers: The error message may also be caused by outdated drivers on your system. Windows Update may be trying to install new updates, but the outdated drivers prevent the update from installing, resulting in an error message.
  • System file corruption: Another reason for the error message could be system file corruption. If certain system files are corrupt or missing, it can prevent Windows Update from completing the installation, resulting in an error message.

How to Fix Update Failed 0x80070103 Error Code

Update the Device Drivers Manually

To update a specific driver and avoid updating all drivers at once, follow these steps:

1. Go to the manufacturer’s website of the driver you want to update and download the latest version.

2. Press the Windows + R keys to open the Run window, type devmgmt.msc, and click OK to open the Device Manager.

devmgmt msc

3. Find the device you want to update. Once identified, right-click on it and select Update driver.

updating graphics driver

4. Select Browse my computer for driver software to locate where the downloaded driver is saved, and then follow the on-screen prompts to install the driver.

browse my computer for drivers

5. Restart your computer and check if the error still appears.

Run the Windows Update Troubleshooter

run windows update troubleshooter

Windows has built-in troubleshooting features. To resolve problems related to Windows Update, you can use the Windows Update Troubleshooter. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Press the Windows + I shortcut key to launch the Settings menu.
  2. Select System from the left panel of the screen.
  3. Choose Troubleshoot.
  4. Click on Other troubleshooters from the following window.
  5. Select Windows Update, and click on Run.
  6. The Windows Update Troubleshooter will begin.
  7. Please wait for it to complete, then restart your PC.

Restart the Windows Update Process

You can fix Windows Update issues caused by corrupt files and processes by restarting the Windows Update service. Follow these steps to do so:

  1. Press Windows + R to open the Run window.
  2. Type “cmd” and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to launch an elevated Command Prompt.
  3. Key in the commands below one after the other. Press Enter after each:

net stop wuauserv

net stop cryptSvc

net stop bits

net stop msiserver

net stop commands
  1. Type the command below to rename the SoftwareDistribution folder and press Enter after each:

ren C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.old

ren C:\Windows\System32\catroot2 Catroot2.old

ren catroot2
  1. Enter the following commands one by one and press Enter after each:

net start wuauserv

net start cryptSvc

net start bits

net start msiserver

net start commands
  1. Restart your computer.

Hide Updates from Reinstalling

hardware device installation settings

To prevent Windows from reinstalling existing driver updates and resolve the 0x80070103 error code in Windows Update, you can follow these steps:

  1. Click on the Start menu and search for Control Panel to open the app.
  2. Go to System and click on the Advanced System settings link.
  3. Hover over to the Hardware tab > click the Device Installation Settings button.
  4. Choose the No option and click on Save settings.
  5. Restart your PC.

Delete the Windows Temporary Files

delete windows temporary files

To clear corrupt files that may be affecting your Windows update and resolve the error, follow these steps:

  1. Press the Windows + R keys to open the Run window, type %temp% in the search space, and press Enter.
  2. Press Ctrl + A to highlight all the files, then right-click and select Delete from the drop-down menu.
  3. Restart your system.

Check the Integrity of the System Files

One possible reason for the issue could be missing or corrupt system files. You can use SFC (System File Checker) and DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management) scanning utilities to check and restore any missing components. Using both utilities is recommended as they may have a different impact on resolving the problem. Here’s how to use them:

Using SFC Scan

  1. Open Command Prompt by typing “cmd” into the search bar next to the Start Menu button.
  2. Right-click on Command Prompt and choose “Run as administrator.”
  3. Type the “sfc /scannow” command on the open console and hit Enter.
  4. When the fixing process is complete, restart your computer.
sfc scannow

Using DISM Scan

  1. Open Command Prompt as described in the previous step.
  2. Copy and paste the following command: “DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth.”
  3. Hit Enter and wait until Windows finishes scanning and fixing.
  4. Restart your PC and retry the problematic program.
  5. After performing both scans, try installing the same update again.
dism restorehealth

Use the Media Creation Tool

If the problem persists despite trying the above methods, you can consider using the Media Creation Tool as a last resort. This tool, developed by Microsoft, can reinstall Windows and be an alternative way to obtain the latest updates.

download media creation tool
  1. Download the Media Creation Tool from the official Microsoft website.
  2. Run the downloaded file.
  3. Accept the Terms of Use > select “Upgrade this PC now.”
  4. Choose the “Keep personal files” option to prevent your files from being deleted.
  5. Initiate the process and wait until it is completed.

Conclusion: Resolving Windows Update Error Code 0x80070103

Dealing with error codes in Windows updates is a frustrating experience. The good news is that various troubleshooting methods can help diagnose and fix these issues.

It is important to approach each problem patiently and diligently and follow the recommended steps carefully. By doing so, you can ensure that your Windows updates are running smoothly and without any issues.

Shayne Sherman
Meet the author

Shayne is an expert on all things Microsoft Windows and computer security. As a Windows user of over 30 years, he has been featured on Business Insider, Yahoo, Tech Republic, Hacker Noon, Techopedia, and many other publications. Aside from entertaining at his home theater, he enjoys spending time with his family, including his English bulldog, Fergie.