If you receive Windows Update error 80070002 while checking for updates, you need to remove the temporary update files that Windows uses to identify updates for your computer. To remove the temporary files, stop the Windows Update service, delete the temporary update files, restart the Windows Update service, and then try to check for Windows updates again.

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To stop the Windows Update service

You must be logged on as an administrator to perform these steps.

  1. Open Administrative Tools by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, and then clicking Control Panel. In the search box, type administrative tools, and then click Administrative Tools.

  2. Double-click Services. Administrator permission required If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

  3. Click the Name column heading to sort the names in reverse order.

  4. Find the Windows Update service, right-click it, and then click Stop.

To delete temporary update files

  1. Open Computer by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, and then clicking Computer.

  2. Double-click the local hard disk where Windows is installed, typically drive C.

  3. Double-click the Windows folder, and then double-click the SoftwareDistribution folder.

  4. Double-click the DataStore folder to open it, and then delete all files and folders in the folder. Administrator permission required If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

  5. Click the Back button. In the SoftwareDistribution folder, double-click the Download folder to open it, and then delete all files in the folder. Administrator permission required If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

To restart the Windows Update service

You must be logged on as an administrator to perform these steps.

  1. Open Administrative Tools by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, and then clicking Control Panel. In the search box, type administrative tools, and then click Administrative Tools.

  2. Double-click Services. Administrator permission required If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

  3. Click the Name column heading to sort the names in reverse order.

  4. Find the Windows Update service, right-click it, and then click Start.

  5. Close the Services window and the Administrative Tools window.

To see which updates are installed on the computer

Deleting temporary update files will help solve the problem, but it will also delete the history in Windows Update. You can still see which updates are installed on your computer by going to Installed Updates.

  • Open Installed Updates by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking Programs, and then, under Programs and Features, clicking View installed updates.

To use the System Update Readiness Tool

If the problem continues after you have followed the steps above, check for updates again using the following steps. When checking for updates again, if you are offered the option to download and run the System Update Readiness Tool, do it. The System Update Readiness Tool is only offered to computers that have a condition that the tool might be able to resolve. To learn more about this tool, go to What is the System Update Readiness Tool? on the Windows website.

  1. Open Windows Update by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button. In the search box, type Update, and then, in the list of results, click Windows Update.

  2. In the left pane, click Check for updates.

If you are offered the System Update Readiness Tool, but you encounter a problem using Windows Update, you can manually download and run the tool. You'll need to know the version of Windows and system type you are using.

To run the System Update Readiness Tool manually

  1. Open System by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, right-clicking Computer, and then clicking Properties.

  2. Under System, note whether the computer's System type is a 32-bit or 64-bit version of the Windows operating system.

  3. Go to What is the System Update Readiness Tool? on the Windows website. Find the Windows version and system type of your computer, and then click the link to download the System Update Readiness Tool.

  4. After you download the System Update Readiness Tool, restart your computer, and then check for updates again.

If you continue to see this error, see this automatic troubleshooter on the Microsoft Support website, or go to the Microsoft Answers website for more assistance.

Error codes this applies to:

  • WindowsUpdate_80070002

  • 0x80070002