The Error Code 0x80070541 is a specific Windows Update issue that typically pops up after a feature update or cumulative update fails to install. Typically, this error code is accompanied by the error message “We couldn’t install this update, but you can try again.”
The 0x80070541 error code signals that the update failed to install due to a WU server issue. Most users see this error after attempting to install update KB5001649. Fortunately, there are a couple of confirmed hotfixes.
1. Install the Update Hotfix
If the simple restart didn’t fix the issue in your case and you’re still experiencing the 0x80070541 error when attempting to install a particular update, the next step is to check if Microsoft has released a hotfix for this issue.
Note: Historically, what Microsoft tends to do with a bad update that has already reached many people is release a channel-wide hotfix. This is like an updated re-release that will download via Windows Update.
If Microsoft has made another update available as an attempt to fix the 0x80070541 error, you should be able to find it inside Windows Update.
Follow the instructions below to install the Windows Update hotfix is available:
- Press the Windows key + R to open up a run dialog box.
- Type “ms-settings:windowsupdate” into the text box and press Enter to go to the Windows Update tab in the Settings menu.
- Go to the Windows Update screen and click on Check for Updates from the menu on the right.
- See if any new updates appear beside the update triggering the 0x80070541 error.
- If a new update is available to install, click on the Download & Install button associated with the new update that just appeared.
- After the update is downloaded and installed, Windows will prompt you to restart your PC. Do so as instructed.
- When your PC boots back up, see if the update queue is now clear and if the bad update triggering the 0x80070541 error has disappeared.
If you’re still experiencing the same issue, move to the next method below.
2. Install the update manually
If the methods above didn’t help your cause, one other thing you can try before going for a repair install is to use the Microsoft Update Catalog to install the problematic update manually.
If the problem is occurring due to a WU inconsistency, you might be able to ‘sideload’ the update from the official Microsoft Update Catalog.
Note: This fix has been confirmed to work on both Windows 10 and Windows 11.
Here’s how to install the problematic update manually:
- First, you must know how your operating system is built before moving on (32-bit or 64-bit). If you don’t already have File Explorer, open it by clicking on This PC, right-clicking it, and then choosing Properties from the drop-down menu.
- Click the About system tab, scroll down to Device specs, and look for the System type to find out what kind of OS you have.
Note: If your system is 64-bit, you must download the 64-bit Windows Update. If your system is 32-bit, you need to download the 32-bit Windows Update.
- Use the search box in the top right corner of the main page of the Microsoft Update Catalog to look for the update that is giving you trouble (most likely, it’s KB5001649).
- Next, check the architecture to find the WU listing you need to download. Once you’ve found the right one, click Download to get it on your computer.
- Go to where you downloaded the update (most likely the Downloads folder), open the .msu (or.ini) installation package, and follow the on-screen instructions to install the update manually.
- Finally, you should restart your computer to see if the problem is fixed.
If the problem is still not fixed, move to the final fix below.
3. Repair install or clean install
If none of the solutions in this article helped you clear your Windows Update queue of the 0x80070541 error, there is still one more option.
At this point, the only thing to do is replace every system file related to Windows Update with fresh equivalents. To do this, you only have two options:
- Clean install: Try this if you need a quick fix and aren’t too concerned about data loss. The biggest problem with a clean installation of Windows is that if you don’t make a backup of your data first, it will delete all of your files and apps that are currently on the same disk as your operating system.
- Repair install (in-place repair): If you have the time to do it, we suggest using an in-place repair instead of a repair install. This method’s main benefit is that all your files, games, and programs are kept even though it takes a little longer, and you need the right Windows installation media.