How to Fix Windows Update Error 0x8024A003?

The error 0x8024A003 is related to the Windows update service and prevents users from upgrading their system to the latest available version. 

It has been experienced by the users of Windows 8, Windows 10, and even Windows 11, and is caused by almost the same reasons everywhere. If you are encountering this problem, it is likely caused by one or more of the following factors:

  • Corrupt WU components – The Windows update function requires the update components (that hold all the required information) to be functioning properly. If any of these components is corrupt, you will fail to install the updates and run into issues like the one at hand. The best way to fix these update components is by resetting them using the Command Prompt.
  • Crucial services are disabled – Like the Windows update components, the Windows Update service also must be running properly on your computer in order to install updates. If the service is disabled or just not working properly, you will fail to install the required system updates. When this happens, you can restart the service to get rid of the glitch or error infecting it.
  • Generic inconsistency – In addition, corrupted or infected files can cause the update feature of the system to malfunction. If this scenario is applicable, then the problem can be resolved by using the built-in troubleshooting solutions provided by Microsoft.
  • Faulty files in the Software Distribution folder – The Software Distribution folder, which contains all the information about updates may be dealing with an inconsistency that is resulting in the issue. You can delete the contents of this folder to fix this problem.

Regardless of the cause, below, we have listed the troubleshooting methods that will help you fix the error 0x8024A003 for good. Proceed with the method that fits your situation the best.

1. Reset Windows Update Components

The first thing that we recommend you try in case of the error at hand is to reset the Window update components. These components are crucial for installing the latest updates and in case of a malfunction, you can get them up and running by simply resetting them.

Here is how you can do that:

  1. Type cmd in the search bar and click on Run as administrator to launch Command Prompt with administrative rights. 
  2. Now type the commands mentioned below and hit Enter after each to execute them.

    net stop wuauserv
    
    net stop cryptSvc
    
    net stop bits
    
    net stop msiserver
    Stop the update components
  3. Once done, execute the following commands one by one:

    net start wuauserv
    
    net start cryptSvc
    
    net start bits
    
    net start msiserver
    Start the update components
  4. Finally, restart your PC and check if the error 0x8024A003 is resolved.

2. Delete Files from the Software Distribution Folder

You can also face the problem because of the Software Distribution folder, a place where Windows keeps its update files. If any of the contents of this folder are faulty, you will not be able to install the latest system updates. Fortunately, the contents within the Software Distribution are not as crucial, which means you can delete them to fix the problem.

Several users have reported success with this fix, so we recommend that you try it. 

Here is what you need to do:

  1. Launch File Explorer and navigate to This PC.
  2. Open the drive with a Windows icon on it (mostly the C drive).
  3. Launch the Windows folder, and then double-click on the SoftwareDistribution folder.

    Access the SoftwareDistribution folder
  4. Select all the contents of this folder and right-click on any of them.
  5. Choose Delete from the context menu.

    Delete the contents of the SoftwareDistribution folder

3. Restart Windows Update Service

The Windows Update service manages the downloading, installation, and removal of updates on your operating system. You are likely to encounter issues when updating your OS when this service is disabled or not functioning correctly.

To ensure that the update service is functioning correctly, follow these steps:

  1. Press Win + R to open Run.
  2. Type services.msc in Run and click Enter.
  3. Find Windows Update and right-click on it in the Service window.
  4. Choose Properties from the context menu.

    Access the service properties
  5. Next, in the Properties dialog, click on the Stop button.
  6. Wait a few seconds before hitting the Start button again.

    Click on the Start button
  7. Now, in the same dialog, select Automatic from the dropdown menu of Startup type.
  8. Click Apply > OK to save the changes and then check if the error 0x8024A003 is fixed.

4. Run the Windows Update Troubleshooter

Using the Windows Update troubleshooter has also helped users fix the issue. This utility is developed by Microsoft and works by scanning the system for potential issues that might be blocking the updates from getting installed. 

If any such problems are found, it will fix them automatically, just like the other built-in troubleshooting utilities do.

Here is how you can run it:

  1. Press Win + I to open Windows Settings.
  2. From the left pane, select Troubleshoot, then click Other troubleshooters.
  3. In the next window, click the Run button associated with the Windows Update troubleshooter.

    Click on the Run button with the troubleshooter
  4. The troubleshooter will check for errors now. In the event that it finds an issue, it will recommend a fix. In that case, click on Apply this fix.
  5. If not, click Close the troubleshooter and move to the next method below to fix the error 0x8024A003.

5. Install the Update Manually

In cases where the system fails to automatically install the available updates, you also have the option to use the Microsoft Catalog, which will assist in installing the updates forcefully. 

Since this is a Microsoft website, you do not have to worry about the legitimacy of updates here. All you need to do is enter the KB number of the update you want to install and hit the Download button. 

Here is the step-by-step method of doing it:

  1. Launch your browser and head over to the Microsoft Update Catalog.
  2. Type the KB number of the update you want to install in the search bar on your screen and hit Enter.

    Type the KB number in the search bar
  3. Select the appropriate update for your device and click on the Download button.

    Click on the Download button
  4. To install the file, run it and follow the instructions on your screen.

That’s it. Once the process is complete, you should have the update installed on your computer.

6. Repair Install or Clean Install

The only option left to fix the error 0x8024A003 if none of the methods mentioned in this article have worked is to reinstall the system files. It’s possible to do this through Repair and Clean installations. 

Clean installing – This method reinstalls Windows, so if you want a fresh start, you can do it. However, you will lose any personal files stored on the Windows partition.

Repair installing – If you choose to perform an in-place repair, every corrupted Windows file will be replaced while your personal files (including applications and games) are preserved. The process is, however, somewhat time-consuming so we recommend only proceeding with it when you are not in any kind of rush.

Zainab Falak
Zainab is an actuarial science graduate with a keen interest in technology. She specializes in data analytics and learns python and R in her spare time. At Appuals, she writes about anything and everything related to Windows 8, 10 and 11.

Expert Tip

How to Fix Windows Update Error 0x8024A003?

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