Windows Update Error 0x80070020

How To Fix Windows Update Error 0x80070020 That Prevents Windows From Installing Updates

Windows Update is a service for computers that are running the Microsoft Windows operating ssytems. The main purpose of Windows Update service is to keep Microsoft Windows, Microsoft programs and most of the hardware drivers updated. These updates usually come in patches or service packs and they include the latest security updates and feature enhancements. Windows operating system updates itself automatically and usually users do not have to worry about not getting the latest updates. However, sometimes the update process can get problematic and you various different errors can occur.

If you are reading this, then most probably you encountered the Windows Update error 0x80070020 that occurs while you are trying to perform a Windows update and install the downloaded updates. This error can occur if some program is interfering with the update process, in some cases this error could be caused by antivirus programs that use real-time scanning. Also, there could be some system file errors or disk errors.

In order to fix this error you might need to run the built-in Windows Update troubleshooter, perform a DISM scan and run the System File Checker, temporarily disable your antivirus, restart Windows services, perform a clean boot and to check your disk for errors. All these methods are quite easily doable, simply follow our described steps and apply these methods one by one, and see if any of them can help you to fix the Windows Update error 0x80070020.

windows update error 0x80070020

Table of Contents:

Run Windows Update And BITS Troubleshooters

The first thing we recommend you to try is to use one of the Windows troubleshooters which could solve this problem without the need to use more complex solutions. Windows includes a number of troubleshooters designed to quickly diagnose and automatically resolve various computer problems. Troubleshooters cannot fix all problems, but they are a good place to start if you encounter a problem with your computer, operating system or connected devices. In this guide we are going to show you how to run Windows Update troubleshooter. To start troubleshooting, go to Settings and type "troubleshoot", select "Troubleshoot" from the list.

run windows update and bits troubleshooters step 1

Now find the Windows Update troubleshooter under "Troubleshoot" and select it. Click "Run the troubleshooter" button and Windows will start resolving problems that prevent you from properly updating Windows operating system. See if this troubleshooter is able to solve the problem and fix the Windows Update Error 0x80070020.

run windows update and bits troubleshooters step 2

Additionally, we recommend you to run the BITS (Background Intelligent Transfer Service) troubleshooter, its main purpose is to find and fix problems that may prevent background downloads from working. You can see that there is no such option in the troubleshooters list. To find background Intelligent Transfer Service troubleshooter go to Control Panel and click "Troubleshooting" option.

run windows update and bits troubleshooters step 3

Now click the "View all" option in the left pane.

run windows update and bits troubleshooters step 4

Background Intelligent Transfer Service should be the first one on the list, right-click it and select the "Run as administrator" option from the contextual menu. Try to update Windows now and see if the Windows Update Error 0x80070020 still persists.

run windows update and bits troubleshooters step 5

[Back to Table of Contents]

Restart Windows Update Components

In this guide we are going to show you how to stop Windows services like the Windows Update service, Cryptographic services, Background Intelligent Transfer service and Windows Installer service using Command Prompt's commands. All these services are related to Windows Update, Windows Update service enabled the detection, download, and installation of updates for Windows and other programs. Cryptographic services provides there management services: Catalog Database Service, which confirms the signatures of Windows files and allows new programs to be installed; Protected Root Service, which adds and removes Trusted Root Certification Authority certificates from the computer; Automatic Root Certificate Update Service, which retrieves root certificates from Windows Update and enables scenarios such as SSL. BITS (Background Intelligent Transfer Service) transfers files in the background using idle network bandwidth. Windows Installer service adds, modifies and removes applications provided as a Windows Installer package. To restart (stop and start) these services and to rename SoftwareDistribution and Catroot2 folders (these steps are also requires in order to apply this method) you will need to open elevated Command Prompt first. To do so, type "command prompt" in Search and right-click the "Command Prompt" result, select "Run as administrator" option from the contextual menu.

restart windows update components step 1

Now type these commands and press Enter after each:

net stop wuauserv
net stop cryptSvc
net stop bits
net stop msiserver
ren C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.old
ren C:\Windows\System32\catroot2 Catroot2.old
net start wuauserv
net start cryptSvc
net start bits
net start msiserver

restart windows update components step 2

Exit Command Prompt, restart your computer and try to install Windows updates again, see if the Windows Update error 0x80070020 is now fixed.

[Back to Table of Contents]

Temporarily Disable Your Antivirus

As we mentioned in our introduction, it is possible that the installed antivirus software is interfering with Windows Update and causing the Windows Update error 0x80070020. To make sure that the installed third-party antivirus software is not the culprit of this problem we recommend you to try to temporarily disable it, try to update Windows again and check if the problem still persists. If disabling (or uninstalling) your antivirus actually helps, then we recommend you to switch to another antivirus software or to reinstall the currently installed one. If you are not sure how to disable your antivirus, then read this guide. There you will find instructions on how to disable some of the most popular antivirus programs.

[Back to Table of Contents]

Run DISM Scan And System File Checker

DISM stands for Deployment Image Servicing and Management and it can be used to repair and prepare Windows images, including the Windows Recovery Environment, Windows Setup, and Windows PE. To run DISM scan you need to open Command Prompt as administrator again. Once you have the Command Prompt open, type the "DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth" command and press Enter.

run dism scan and system file checker step 1

When the DISM scan is completed, run the System File Checker. It is a utility in Windows that allows users to scan for corruptions in Windows system files and restore corrupted files. This guide describes how to run the System File Checker tool (SFC.exe) to scan your system files and to repair missing or corrupted system files. The "sfc scannow" option is one of the several specific switches available in the sfc command, in order to execute this command type "sfc /scannow" in Command Prompt and press Enter. System File Checker will start and it should take some time to complete the scan. It should take about 15 minutes. Wait for the scanning process to complete and see if the Windows Update error 0x80070020 still persists while you trying to update Windows.

run dism scan and system file checker step 2

[Back to Table of Contents]

Check Your Disk For Errors

There is a built-in tool in Windows tool to check the integrity of disks. It examines disks and corrects many types of common errors. You can run this tool from the command line or through a graphical interface, in our guide we are going to show you to run it through Command Prompt. Open Command Prompt as administrator again and type the "chkdsk C: /f" command and press Enter on your keyboard. Replace "C" with the letter of your hard drive if it is not the C: drive you want to scan (or your Windows operating system is on another drive) on your computer. The "chkdsk C: /f" command detects and repairs logical issues affecting your drive. To repair physical issues, run the "chkdsk C: /r" command as well. You can run both commands at once by typing "chkdsk C: /f /r" Windows will need to restart your computer to finish the scan. Restart your computer, let Windows to finish checking for errors and see if the Windows Update error 0x80070020 still persists while your are trying to update Windows.

check your disk for errors

[Back to Table of Contents]

Perform A Clean Boot

When you start Windows using a normal startup operation, several applications and services start automatically, and then run in the background. These programs include basic system processes, antivirus software, system utility applications, and other software that has been previously installed. These applications and services can cause software conflicts. A clean boot is performed to start Windows using a minimal set of drivers and startup programs. This helps eliminate software conflicts that occur when you install a program or an update. It is possible that some installed third-party software is interfering with Windows Update and prevents Windows from updating, performing a clean boot will help you to find out if that is the case (if some installed software is interrupting the update process) To perform a clean boot, type "system configuration" in Search and click on the "System Configuration" result.

perform a clean boot step 1

In the System Configuration window, click on the "Services" tab and then mark the "Hide all Microsoft services" checkbox. Then, click on "Disable all".

perform a clean boot step 2

Click the "Startup" tab and click "Open Task Manager".

perform a clean boot step 3

Under the Task Manager's Startup tab, select the first enabled application and click "Disable" to disable it. Disable all enabled applications one by one. Once all programs are disabled, close Task Manager and click "OK" in the System Configuration's Startup tab. Restart your computer and try to update Windows again. If Windows Update error 0x80070020 does not occur when in a clean boot state, then you will know that one of the programs was causing the problem.

perform a clean boot step 4

[Back to Table of Contents]

Remove SoftwareDistribution Folder's Contents

Software Distribution folder is a temporary folder in which Windows stores the update files until they are completely downloaded. Then, Windows starts the updating process. Removing SoftwareDistribution folder's contents might solve the problem and fix the Windows Update error 0x80070020. Software Distribution folder is a temporary folder in which Windows stores the update files until they are completely downloaded. You can find this folder by following this path: "C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution". Select all of the contents, right-click them and select "Delete" from the contextual menu.

remove softwaredistribution folder contents step 1

Additionally, you will need to delete the %temp% folder's contents as well. Type "%temp%" in Search and click the %temp% result. You will be directed to the Temp folder where all temporary files and folders are stored. Delete them as well and try to update your Windows again.

remove temp folder contents

That's it, we hope that after applying one of the methods you were able to fix the Windows Update error 0x80070020 and install Windows updates without any other problems. If there is a method that solved this problem for you and it is not mentioned in our guide above - do not hesitate to share it with us and with the others by leaving a comment in our comment section below.

[Back to Table of Contents]

Video Showing How To Fix Windows Update Error 0x80070020:

[Back to Top]