Fix: Windows Update Error 0x80070002 or 0x80070003

Error code 0x80070002 or 0x80070003 is an issue with Windows Update which fails to install, and it might even give a message saying that the BITS (Background Intelligent Transfer Service) has stopped which will lead you to believe that it is an issue with the BITS. However, the problem lies within Windows Update.

You might get this issue when you’re trying to install some Windows 10 updates, such as KB3200970, as well as a number of others. You will notice that the update starts to download, but as soon as it gets to the screen where it should be installed, it will either fail immediately, and uninstall itself, or reboot your computer, and then fail and uninstall. No matter the case, you won’t be able to install the update(s). You might even try to download them manually and install them that way, but that will also fail.

There are a couple of solutions for this issue, and they’re both fairly easy, even for a person that doesn’t have a lot of technical experience, so fear not. Just follow the instructions in the methods below and make sure to try them all out before you give up.

Method 1: Disable Third Party Firewalls

Whenever there is an issue with Windows update, always try disabling any third party firewalls running on your system temporarily until the updates are installed.

To do this

  1. Right click the Antivirus/Firewall icon from the system tray
  2. Choose Disable or Stop

Method 2: Restart wuauserv and rename SoftwareDistribution

Stopping the Windows Update Service, renaming the SoftwareDistribution folder so a new one is created and starting the service again will make sure that any corrupt files or folders in the SoftwareDistribution folder are deleted. If they were the ones causing the issue, which is very likely, this will fix the problem.

  1. Press the Windows key on your keyboard and type in cmd. Right-click the result and choose Run as administrator.
  2. Type in the following commands, but make sure not to make a typo as they have to be typed in exactly as they’re written here. Press Enter on your keyboard after each command in order to execute it, and make sure to wait for the command to finish before typing in the next one.
net stop wuauserv

ren %systemroot%\SoftwareDistribution softwaredistribution.old

net start wuauserv

exit
  1. After the commands are done executing, try to run the updates downloader again. It should be working without any issues, but in the odd case that it isn’t, move on to the next method below.

Method 3: Run the System File Checker tool and rename the Spupsvc folder

If the previous method didn’t help, it might mean that there is a corrupt file that is not in the SoftwareDistribution folder that we renamed, and fortunately Windows comes with a built-in utility for checking such files, and that is the System File Checker (SFC) tool.

  1. Press the Windows key, type in cmd, right-click the result and choose Run as administrator.
  2. Type in sfc /scannow and press Enter on your keyboard. Wait for the scan to finish completely.
  3. Close the Command Prompt, and press the Windows key and R simultaneously to open the Run Type in the following command in the Run window, and either press Enter or click OK to run it.

  1. Try to run Windows Update again – it should work flawlessly now.

Windows Update is actually one of the most frustrating things about Windows 10, as a huge number of users have complained that it often malfunctions or fails with an error message. However, if the aforementioned error code describes your situation, you can use the methods above to fix it and be able to download updates again.

Kevin Arrows


Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

Expert Tip

Fix: Windows Update Error 0x80070002 or 0x80070003

If the issue is with your Computer or a Laptop you should try using Restoro which can scan the repositories and replace corrupt and missing files. This works in most cases, where the issue is originated due to a system corruption. You can download Restoro by clicking the Download button below.

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