Windows Update Error 0x8024a21e (Causes & How to Fix)

This error occurs when Windows update services stop running in the background. This can happen when third-party applications interfere with the Windows update component.

Moreover, you will also encounter this error message if you have corruption in the Software Distribution folder. It is a folder that stores the Windows Update files downloaded from the server. Thus, if the files within this folder become corrupted, you will be unable to update your Windows until you clear the Software Distribution folder.

1. Configure the Windows Update Services to Start Automatically

As we know, this error occurs due to stopped Windows update background services; we can start by configuring the Windows update services to start automatically. To do so, simply follow the steps:

  1. Open the Start Menu using the Windows key.
  2. Type CMD and right-click on the Command Prompt.
  3. Select Run as administrator to open it with administrator privileges.
  4. Now enter the following commands to configure the Windows update services to start automatically.
    SC config wuauserv start= auto
    SC config bits start= auto
    SC config cryptsvc start= auto
    SC config trustedinstaller start= auto

  5. Once done, try updating Windows to verify if the error is fixed or not.

2. Run the Windows Update troubleshooter

You can also try running the Windows Update troubleshooter to fix this issue. Troubleshooters are designed to resolve problems automatically. Running the troubleshooter is a simple and easy way to fix various issues, including Windows updates errors. The Windows update troubleshooter is used to restore corrupted registry files, restart necessary services, and check for pending restarts. So, if you haven’t tried running the troubleshooter yet, follow the steps:

  1. Head to the Windows Settings by pressing the Win + I keys.
  2. Go to Troubleshoot > Other troubleshooters.
  3. Run the Windows Update troubleshooter and follow the simple instructions to fix this issue.
  4. Once done, check if the error is resolved or not.

3. Reset the Windows Update Component

Resetting the Windows update component includes clearing the Software distribution and catroot folder, restarting the Windows update services, and registering the Windows update DLL files.

Software distribution and catroot folder store the Windows update files that are downloaded through the Windows update utility. When these files get corrupted, Windows displays various different error messages just like this one. Therefore, try resetting the Windows update component by following the steps:

  1. Download the batch file of Windows Update Reset from the link.
  2. Once it is downloaded, right-click on it to run it as administrator.
  3. Once done, restart your computer and try updating Windows to see if the error is fixed.

4. Download the update from Microsoft Catalog

If you are still facing the error, you can try downloading the update from the Microsoft Catalog. Microsoft Catalog is like a store of Windows updates released so far. You will find every update that has been released by Microsoft on this website.

Since we tried every method that could possibly fix this error, It is possible that the error is occurring due to a problem with the Windows update, which is why we recommend downloading the update from Microsoft Catalog if nothing works. To do so, follow the steps:

  1. Head to the Microsoft Catalog website through the link.
  2. Search for the update displaying the error message.
  3. Click the Download button and click the link that will appear in the popup Window to download the update.
  4. Once the update is downloaded, double-click on it to install the Windows update.

5. Update Windows Via Update Assistant or Media Creation Tool

You can also update your Windows to the latest version using the update assistant or the media creation tool. Both programs can be used to update Windows to the latest version. If you have a Windows 10 or below version, you will need to download the Media Creation Tool. Otherwise, you can download the Windows Update Assistant. To do so, follow the steps:

  1. Download the Media Creation Tool or Update Assistant through the link.
  2. Once it is downloaded, run the utility and leave the Upgrade this PC option selected.
  3. Then, click Next to upgrade your Windows.

6. Ignore the Windows update

It is not necessary to install every Windows update. You can skip the update by configuring Windows using the Microsoft Show or Hide Updates Troubleshooter. It is a troubleshooter that you need to download in order to ignore the update. To do so, follow the steps:

  1. Download Microsoft Show or Hide Updates troubleshooter from the link.
  2. Once it is downloaded, run the utility by double-clicking on it.
  3. Then, click Next and select Hide updates.
  4. Here select the update that you want to hide and click Next.
  5. Once done, close the troubleshooter and check if Windows is installing the update or not. 

In case you desperately want to update your Windows but none of the solutions have worked for you. In this case, you can either use a system restore utility to get back to the previous state or reset the Windows without losing the data. Both methods can help fix this error. You can use one of them by visiting the article using the link.

Windows Update Error 0x8024a21e- FAQs

How Do I Fix Windows update error 0x8024a21e?

To fix this error, go to the troubleshooting settings and run the Windows Update troubleshooter. If the error persists, configure the Windows update services to start automatically by following the 1st method of this article.

What causes the Windows Update error 0x8024a21e to occur?

This error is caused by the stopped Windows update services that run in the background to install the Windows updates. When these services get stopped, Windows displays error messages. Therefore, make sure that all Windows update services are running properly


Hamza Mohammad Anwar

Hamza Mohammad Anwar is an intermediate JavaScript web developer with a focus on developing high-performance applications using MERN technologies. His skill set includes expertise in ReactJS, MongoDB, Express NodeJS, and other related technologies. Hamza is also a Google IT Certified professional, which highlights his competence in IT support. As an avid problem-solver, he recreates errors on his computer to troubleshoot and find solutions to various technical issues.