Windows Update error 80071A90

Windows Update error 80071A90 happens when files that are required by Windows are in use (locked) by other programs. Programs, such as antivirus programs that run when Windows starts, can lock system files.

This error can often be corrected by running the Windows Update Troubleshooter, which can automatically find and fix some common problems with Windows Update.

If the Windows troubleshooter doesn't correct the problem, you'll need to restart your computer without running the programs that run when Windows first starts, and then run Windows Update again. To do this, manually start Windows without start up programs (also known as a clean restart).

This method requires you to restart your computer several times, so you might want to read through all steps first, or print these instructions before following them.

Start Windows Update with a clean restart of Windows

  1. Click the Start button Picture of the Start button, type msconfig in the search box, and then click msconfig.exe. Administrator permission required If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
  2. On the General tab, click Selective startup, and then clear the Load startup items check box.

  3. Click Services, click Hide all Microsoft services, and then click Disable all.

  4. Click OK, and then click Restart.

  5. 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.

  6. In the left pane, click Check for updates, and then wait while Windows looks for the latest updates for your computer.

  7. If any updates are found, click Install updates. Administrator permission required If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

  8. Once updates are installed, restart your computer. Click the Start button, type msconfig in the search box, and then click msconfig.exe. Administrator permission required If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

  9. On the General tab, click Normal startup, click OK, and then click Restart.

If you continue to see this error, go to the Microsoft Answers website for more assistance.

Error codes this applies to:

  • WindowsUpdate_80071A90

  • 0x80071A90