How to fix 0xe0000003 Windows update error? (Updated)

Windows Update install error 0xe0000003 mainly occurs due to the corrupted files of Windows update stored in the software distribution folder. A software distribution serves as a temporary storage for Windows update files before they get installed on Windows.

In some cases, the content in the software distribution folder gets corrupted for several reasons, which leads to Windows update error messages such as this one. 

Furthermore, interference from third-party applications or having stopped Windows update services can also lead to this error message. Now, let’s talk about the solutions that actually worked for several affected users.

1. Reset the Windows Update Component

Resetting the Windows update component includes clearing the software distribution folder, restarting the Windows update services, and re-registering the Windows update DLL files. Since we know this install error is often caused by corruption in the software distribution folder, we should start by resetting the Windows update component.

There are two ways to reset the Windows update component: either you can run the script or manually put the commands in the command prompt. Both methods are intended to reset the Windows component. Thus, you can choose either way to reset the Windows update component.

1.1 Run a script

The script includes all the commands that will be used to reset the Windows update component. We have provided instructions for each command that will be executed.

Stopping update services
Removing pending update Files
Backing-up critical update files
Resetting permissions to default
Re-registering update DLLs
Configuring update services startup settings
Starting the update services
Cleaning-up cached data

  1. To run the script, download the batch file of the Windows update reset using the drive link.
  2. Once it is downloaded, right-click on it and select Run as Administrator.
  3. Wait for all the commands to be executed properly.
  4. Once done, verify if the error is fixed or not.

1.2 Do Manually

In a manual way, you will have to put all the commands required to reset the Windows update component. To do so, follow the instructions:

  1. Simply open the Start Menu by pressing the Win key.
  2. Here, type Command Prompt and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open it as an administrator.
  3. Now copy the following commands and paste them into the Command Prompt.
    net stop bits
    net stop wuauserv
    net stop appidsvc
    net stop cryptsvc
    taskkill /im wuauclt.exe /f
    del /s /q /f "%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Application Data\Microsoft\Network\Downloader\qmgr*.dat"
    del /s /q /f "%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Network\Downloader\qmgr*.dat"
    del /s /q /f "%SYSTEMROOT%\winsxs\pending.xml.bak"
    rmdir /s /q "%SYSTEMROOT%\SoftwareDistribution.bak"
    rmdir /s /q "%SYSTEMROOT%\system32\Catroot2.bak"
    del /s /q /f "%SYSTEMROOT%\WindowsUpdate.log.bak"
    takeown /f "%SYSTEMROOT%\winsxs\pending.xml"
    attrib -r -s -h /s /d "%SYSTEMROOT%\winsxs\pending.xml"
    ren "%SYSTEMROOT%\winsxs\pending.xml" pending.xml.bak
    attrib -r -s -h /s /d "%SYSTEMROOT%\SoftwareDistribution"
    ren "%SYSTEMROOT%\SoftwareDistribution" SoftwareDistribution.bak
    attrib -r -s -h /s /d "%SYSTEMROOT%\system32\Catroot2"
    ren "%SYSTEMROOT%\system32\Catroot2" Catroot2.bak
    attrib -r -s -h /s /d "%SYSTEMROOT%\WindowsUpdate.log"
    ren "%SYSTEMROOT%\WindowsUpdate.log" WindowsUpdate.log.bak
    sc.exe sdset cryptsvc D:(A;;CCLCSWRPWPDTLOCRRC;;;SY)(A;;CCDCLCSWRPWPDTLOCRSDRCWDWO;;;BA)(A;;CCLCSWLOCRRC;;;IU)(A;;CCLCSWLOCRRC;;;SU)(A;;CCLCSWRPWPDTLOCRRC;;;SO)(A;;CCLCSWLORC;;;AC)(A;;CCLCSWLORC;;;S-1-15-3-1024-3203351429-2120443784-2872670797-1918958302-2829055647-4275794519-765664414-2751773334)
    cd /d %SYSTEMROOT%\system32
    regsvr32.exe /s atl.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s urlmon.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s mshtml.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s shdocvw.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s browseui.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s jscript.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s vbscript.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s scrrun.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s msxml.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s msxml3.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s msxml6.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s actxprxy.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s softpub.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s wintrust.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s dssenh.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s rsaenh.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s gpkcsp.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s sccbase.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s slbcsp.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s cryptdlg.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s oleaut32.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s ole32.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s shell32.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s initpki.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s wuapi.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s wuaueng.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s wuaueng1.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s wucltui.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s wups.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s wups2.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s wuweb.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s qmgr.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s qmgrprxy.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s wucltux.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s muweb.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s wuwebv.dll
    netsh winsock reset
    proxycfg.exe -d
    sc.exe config wuauserv start= auto
    sc.exe config bits start= delayed-auto
    sc.exe config cryptsvc start= auto
    sc.exe config TrustedInstaller start= demand
    sc.exe config DcomLaunch start= auto
    net start bits
    net start wuauserv
    net start appidsvc
    net start cryptsvc
    net start DcomLaunch
    del /s /f /q "%TEMP%\*.*"
    del /s /f /q "%SYSTEMROOT%\Temp\*.*"
  4. Wait for all the commands to be executed.
  5. Then, check if the error is fixed or not.

2. Run the Windows Update Troubleshooter

Running the Windows update troubleshooter is an automatic way to fix the Windows update errors. The Windows update troubleshooter first checks for the pending restarts and then checks for the Windows update services and registry files. Thus, if you haven’t tried running the Windows Update troubleshooter, doing so might fix this error. Follow the steps to do so:

  1. Press the Win key and type Troubleshoot Settings.
  2. Hit Enter to open the troubleshooting settings.
  3. Navigate to Other troubleshooters.
  4. Here, run the Windows Update Troubleshooter.
  5. Then, follow the simple instructions to fix the Windows update error.

3. Download the Windows update from Catalog

You can also directly download the Windows update from the Microsoft Catalog. Microsoft provides the link to download the update ever released for Windows. Sometimes, downloading the update from the catalog is more reliable than the Windows update utility, especially if the Windows update utility is struggling to install the updates. To download the update from the catalog, follow the steps:

  1. Go to the Microsoft Catalog and search for the update.
  2. Now click the Download button associated with the update.
  3. Then, click the link to download the update.
  4. Once done, run the update file to install the update.

4. Hide the Windows Update

If you are still facing the Windows update error, keep in mind it is not necessary to download every update released by Microsoft for Windows. Therefore, in this step, we recommend to hide the Windows update by following the steps:

  1. Download the Show or Hide Updates using the link.
  2. Once it is downloaded, run the troubleshooter.
  3. Click Next and select Hide Updates.
  4. Here, select the update that keeps failing and click Next to hide the update. 

5. Upgrade Windows via Windows Update Assistant

Windows Update Assistant is a Microsoft utility available for Windows 10 & 11 that can be used to upgrade Windows. Running this utility can be helpful, especially if the Windows update utility is not installing the update. To update the Windows via the Windows update assistant, follow the steps:

  1. Download the Windows Update Assistant according to your Windows version.
  2. Once it is downloaded, simply run it to update the Windows.

6.  Perform a Clean Boot

A clean boot refers to a process in which Windows boots up without third-party applications and services. Performing a clean boot can be helpful when it comes to diagnosing which application or service is interfering. So if the third-party applications and services are interfering with the Windows update process. To perform a clean boot, follow the steps:

  1. Press the Win + R keys simultaneously to open the Run Window.
  2. Here, type msconfig in the input box and click OK to open the System Configuration Window.
  3. Here, make sure the Selective startup is selected, then go to Services.
  4.  Tick Hide all Microsoft Services and click Disable All.
  5. Once done, go to Startup and click Open Task Manager.
  6. Here, right-click the unnecessary or third-party applications and click Disable.
  7. Once done, restart your computer to perform a clean, then try updating Windows.

6. Use a System Restore utility or Reinstall Windows

If the Windows Update error still persists and you are desperate to update Windows, we recommend trying reinstalling or restoring Windows. If you have previously created a System Restore point, you can utilize it. Otherwise, resetting or reinstalling Windows might be the final solution remaining for you.

So, if your plan is to reset or reinstall Windows, you can follow the steps composed in the articles. Otherwise, you can proceed to restore Windows:

  1. Press the Win key and type rstrui in the search box.
  2. Hit Enter to run the System Restore utility.
  3. Then, click Next, select a Restore Point, and click Next.
  4. Click Finish to restore Windows to its previous state.
  5. Once done, try updating Windows to check whether the error is fixed or not.

Exception Access Violation- FAQs

What is Windows Update Error 0xe0000003?

Windows Update Error 0xe0000003 means you have corruption in the Windows update files saved in the software distribution folder. In this case, you will have to clear the software distribution folder and try to install Windows updates.

How do I Fix Windows Update Error 0xe0000003?

To fix the Windows Update error 0xe0000003, you will need to clear the software distribution folder. The software distribution folder is used by the Windows update utility to store the files so that Windows can install the update using those files. When the Windows update files get corrupted, it causes the Windows update error 0xe0000003.


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.