If you saw an error message with 0x800703f9 as a defining term, then the problem you encountered probably prevented you from updating the Windows on your device. Nevertheless, some users are reported to have seen the error during their attempt to upgrade to Windows 10 from an older operating system version (Windows 8.1 or Windows 7, for example), but this event rarely occurs.
Since the error is associated with the failure to download and install Windows updates, its occurrence poses a security risk on many computers. We expect that most users ended up on this page to find out how to remove the Windows error code 0x800703f9, so it is time we moved on to the main business of this guide.
How to fix 0x800703f9 Windows 10 Update error?
Regardless of what you were doing when the error came up, we recommend that you begin with the first fix on the list. If you realize that its operations do not apply to you or if you use it and it fails to resolve your problem, then you are free to move on to the next solution. Follow this guideline until you stumble on the fix that works perfectly for you.
Run the Windows Update troubleshooter:
Generally, troubleshooters are tools or programs (often readily available on the Windows operating system environment) that users can run when they encounter problems they cannot solve. There are numerous troubleshooters for a wide range of issues (especially on Windows 10).
Nevertheless, this time, you are going to use a tool provided by Microsoft to troubleshoot the error code 0x800703f9 on Windows 10. Follow these instructions to download and run the required troubleshooter:
- Launch your web browser. Input the following keywords into the address bar to perform a search for them on Google: Windows Update troubleshooter
The list of results will appear, and you must click on the first link. You will be directed to the Microsoft support page where you will see the options for downloading the troubleshooter for different iterations of Windows.
- We assume you have a computer running Windows 10, so you must click on the Download troubleshooter for Windows 10 button. Your browser will move to fetch the file from the required servers. After the download is complete, you must click on the saved item to open and run it.
- From the options you see, click on Windows Update to select it. Click on the Next button. At this stage, Windows might prompt you to try the Troubleshooting as an administrator option. In that case, you should move on to reselect it. As usual, click on the Next button to continue.
- The troubleshooter should begin its work to diagnose the issues your computer struggled with involving Windows updates. After it completes the necessary tasks, click on the Close button.
- Now, you must move on to reopen the tool you downloaded to rerun it. This time, after its program window appears, you have to select the Windows Networking Diagnostics option. Therefore, the troubleshooter will work to resolve any network issues that have something to do with your system’s inability to download updates
- Follow the necessary steps to initiate the procedure. You must let the troubleshooter do its work without interference. Click on the Close button once everything is done.
- There is one last thing you must do; reboot your PC to let the changes (especially improvements and fixes) become active. After your PC restarts, you must reattempt downloading Windows updates and see how things go.
Check your antivirus:
If you are still struggling to get your computer to download Windows updates even after you ran the required troubleshooter to diagnose and fix issues, then interference from your antivirus is probably to blame for the problems you are experiencing.
Your antivirus is easily one of the most important applications you have running on your computer. However, if it is involved in causing Windows update problems for you, then its presence has become counterproductive in absolute terms.
To fix the problem, you have to stop your antivirus from functioning. Some downsides are associated with such an act, so we will guide you to carry out the necessary operations in successive steps to reduce to chances of disturbing events occurring. Follow these instructions:
- Launch your antivirus app. After its program window opens, you must enter its settings or configuration menu. Turn off any important capability or functionality it employs to do its work. The Real-time protection feature, for example, is one of the capabilities or functionalities we want you to disable.
In fact, if you see the option for disabling your antivirus completely, we recommend you take advantage of it.
- After you finish reducing your antivirus’ powers, you must reboot your PC. After your computer comes on, you must check if you can now download and install Windows updates without Error 0x800703f9 coming up to interrupt the process. If no positive change resulted from the operations you just carried out, then you must continue with the steps below:
- Uninstall your antivirus. You can do this by navigating through the required options in the Settings app or through the menus in the Control Panel program. After you remove the application in view, you must restart your system.
- If you are now able to download and install Windows updates because you moved against your antivirus (or got rid of it), then you are probably surprised to find out that your security app had something to do with the issue you faced.
You will do well to address the security problem that has now arisen due to the uninstallation of your antivirus. You surely understand why your computer cannot be left without any credible form of protection.
Since you are justified in removing your antivirus because of the problems it caused for you, you must avoid employing another security solution with which you could encounter the same issues. You are unlikely to go wrong with Auslogics Anti-Malware.
The recommended app is a top security program capable of providing reliable protection for your computer without it having to interfere with the operations or activities of other programs to cause problems for you.
- On the other hand, if the Windows update problem associated with Error 0x800703f9 persists, then your antivirus probably had nothing to do with the problem you suspected it had caused. You are free to reverse the action you took against it.
Reset Windows Update components:
A good number of services, processes or utilities work together to make Windows Update operations on computers a success. If a single service, process, or utility becomes faulty, then users are bound to experience issues with Windows Update.
For example, Error 0x800703f9 might have appeared because a file used by Windows Update components became corrupted. Or perhaps, it came up because a specific service stopped doing its job. The possibilities are numerous, but you do not have to know all of them or even find out which one is in play in your case.
A restart of a service is usually enough to force enough changes that get rid of problems affecting the service. With this in mind, we are going to guide you to restart a couple of services involved in Windows Update operations to fix issues plaguing them. You will also fix corrupted components by getting rid of the damaged files.
Here are the instructions you need to go through:
- Bring up the Power User menu by pressing (and holding) the Windows button on your keyboard, then tapping the letter X key. Now, from the list of programs or options you see, click on Command Prompt (Admin) to launch an elevated Command Prompt window. You can also open the PowerShell app if you prefer working with this program instead.
- Once you have the Administrator: Command Prompt program window up and running, you must input the following code and hit the Enter button (after each line of code to run it):
- net stop wuauserv
- net stop cryptSvc
- net stop bits
- net stop msiserver
The code you just executed will force Windows to stop some services that are integral to Windows Update operations. In case you are wondering which ones, this should give you an idea: Background Intelligent Transfer, Cryptographic, MSI Installer, and the Windows Update services.
- Now, since the essential services have been rendered inactive, you can move on to deal with the corrupted files or data. Type in the following code and hit the Enter key (after each line of code):
- ren C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.old
- ren C:\Windows\System32\catroot2 Catroot2.old
At this stage, it is time you moved on to restart the services you stopped earlier. Run these commands and hit the Enter key (after each line of command):
- net start wuauserv
- net start cryptSvc
- net start bits
- net start msiserver
Input the following code and follow your action with a tap of the Enter key: exit
Windows will close the Command Prompt window now. You are free to check if the operations you just executed have resulted in Error 0x800703f9 being a thing of the past, which means your system is now able to download and install Windows updates smoothly.
Delete a specific folder:
We came across this fix after going through the reports submitted by some users. They found out that some files prevented their computer from downloading Windows updates. Subsequently, after they got rid of the suspected data, their system finally became able to download Windows updates.
The same or a similar scenario might play out in your case. What you have to do is relatively simple compared to the procedures you carried out already. Go through these steps:
- Open the File Explorer program. You can do this quickly by pressing the Windows button on your keyboard, then tapping the letter E key. After the program window shows up, click on the This PC or Computer folder.
- Now, you must delete the folder associated with this path: C:\$WINDOWS.~BT
If you are skeptical about things, you can create a backup of the deleted folder by simply copying and pasting it into another directory with a path that differs entirely from the one in view.
- It is time you reattempted downloading Windows updates. If the same problem (defined by Error 0x800703f9) persists, then you must restart your PC and check again after the reboot.
Run scans using DISM and SFC:
If you are still struggling to fix Error 0x800703f9 at this stage, then it is fair to assume that the problem in your case is a result of corrupted system files. We know of two built-in tools in Windows that are incredibly effective in terms of the scans you can do with them to fix corruption: The System File Checker (often abbreviated as SFC), Deployment Image Servicing and Management (often abbreviated as DISM).
Follow these instructions to run the stated tools:
- First, you must launch an elevated Command Prompt window. We showed you how to do this earlier in the steps for a previous fix, and now you will learn another method of doing the same thing: right-click on the Windows Start icon. From the list of programs and options that appear, select Command Prompt (Admin).
- We believe you have the Administrator: Command Prompt window up already, so we can move on to the main operation. Type in the following code and follow up your action with a tap of the Enter key to run the code: sfc /scannow
The scan will begin immediately. We advise that you remain patient as the operations involved could take over 15 minutes. Do your best not to interrupt the process. After Windows completes the scan involving the SFC tool, you are free to check if the problem affecting Windows Update persists.
If you could not get Windows to perform the scan or your system carried out the scan but the operation had no effect on your problem, then you will do well to run the DISM tool. Continue with the instructions below:
- Open an elevated Command Prompt window. Perhaps, at this point, we can do without showing you the steps for doing this. After the required program window shows up, you must type in the following command and follow up your action with a tap of the Enter key to run the inputted code: DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
Windows will initiate the scan with the stated tool. The operations here can also take a while, so your patience will come in handy again. After Windows completes the DISM scan, you must check if things have gotten better as regards Windows updates.
Other things you could try to fix Error 0x800703f9 (which prevents the downloading of updates on Windows 10 and older operating system versions)
At this point, if you still cannot download and install Windows updates or upgrade to Windows 10 due to the problem associated with the appearance of Error 0x800703f9, then you might find this list helpful.
- Alter your Windows Update settings.
- Perform an in-place upgrade.