Windows Update error 80070003


If you receive Windows Update error 80070003 while checking for updates, you need to remove the temporary 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.

The Windows Update Troubleshooter is available that fixes some problems with Windows Update, and it might resolve this error for you.

If that didn't work, try the following steps.

Show all

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. 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 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, delete all files in the folder, and then close the window. 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. Find the Windows Update service, right-click it, and then click Start.

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

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

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.

To see which updates are installed on your computer

  • 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.

Help and Support search term: WindowsUpdate_80070003