Error code 0x80073712, and sometimes 0x80070003, when you’re trying to update your computer via Windows Update, means that there is a file that Windows Update needs, but it’s either damaged or missing. Therefore, Windows Update won’t be able to install the updates.
This doesn’t happen with any specific update – but instead can happen with any random one. You will try to install the updates and get a message that the update installation failed. This is frustrating, especially since almost two years after Windows 10 was initially released, Microsoft has yet to iron out the process of delivering updates.
However, if you’re getting this error message, there are a couple of things that you can try to solve it. If the first solution doesn’t work, move on to the second one. If that one doesn’t work either, there’s a third one for you to try.
Method 1: Run the Windows Update troubleshooter
Windows has a built-in tool for troubleshooting, which can actually work fairly well for quite a few issues you might be facing. This is one of them, and plenty of users have reported that the built-in tool has actually solved their issue.
- Press the Windows key and type in Troubleshooting. Open the result that says Troubleshooting and has Control Panel written underneath.
- In the window that opens, under System and Security, find and click the link that says Fix problems with Windows Update.
- Run the troubleshooter and wait for it to finish completely. When it’s done, try running Windows Update and installing your updates again. If you get the same error, move on to the next method.
Method 2: Run the DISM tool to fix the issue
The Deployment Image Servicing and Management Tool is a tool that comes built-in with Windows and can be used to service a Windows Image. It often fixes many issues with various aspects of Windows, and can, therefore, help you with this as well. Note that this is a very powerful tool, and making a mistake when you’re running it can cause issues – so be careful.
- Press the Windows key and type in Right-click the result and choose Run as administrator.
- OR (the second option is for Windows 10 users only)
- Press simultaneously the Windows key and X, and choose Command Prompt (Admin) from the menu OR Click Start -> type cmd -> right-click cmd and choose Run As Administrator.
- When you’re inside an elevated Command Prompt, type in the following commands and press Enter on your keyboard after each command, in order to execute it. Make sure you wait for the first command to finish running before you start with the second one.
DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Scanhealth
DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth
- Wait for the second command to finish, and close the Command Prompt by either clicking the X in the corner or by typing in exit and pressing
- Run Windows Update again, and see whether the DISM tool has fixed your problem.
Method 3: Running Some Commands
If you are encountering this error on your computer, you can try to run some basic commands which reset some basic elements of the update and grant access to the update files. In order to run them, we will first open up an elevated command prompt and then run the commands in it. For that:
- Press “Windows” + “R” to open the Run prompt.
- Type in “cmd” and press “Shift” + “Ctrl” + “Enter” to provide administrative privileges.
- In this prompt, run the following commands one by one and press “Enter” after each one to execute it.
net stop trustedinstaller cd %windir%\winsxs takeown /f pending.xml /a cacls pending.xml /e /g everyone:f del pending.xml net stop wuauserv ren c:\windows\SoftwareDistribution softwaredistribution.old net start wuauserv
- Now try to rerun updates and check to see if the issue persists.
Method 4: Running System Readiness Tool
In some cases, the system readiness tool might be required to prepare your Windows 7 computer for the upgrade to Windows 10. In order to run it.
- Click here and download the system readiness tool.
- Run the executable and follow the onscreen prompts.
- Check to see if the issue persists.
Method 5: Perform In-Place Upgrade
In some cases, the issue might not be fixed unless you perform an in-place upgrade. Therefore, in this step, we will be using the Windows Media Creation tool to perform an in-place upgrade. For that:
- Use this link to download the Windows Media Creation Tool.
- Accept the prompts and check the “Upgrade this PC Now” option.
- Check the “Keep Personal Files” option in the next prompt and select the “Install” option.
- Wait for the setup to complete and check to see if the issue persists.
If you’re having this issue, you can follow the methods above to try and solve it. If all fails, however, you might need to refresh your computer or better yet do a repair install. If that doesn’t fix the issue, go for a clean install that will also upgrade your computer automatically if you download the latest ISO from the Windows website.