How to get rid of Windows update error 0x80070020?

September 23, 2018 |

greater than 10 minutes

We know too well that Windows updates are important because Microsoft embeds bug fixes for security loopholes (or vulnerabilities) in them to protect the Windows operating system environment. Sometimes, in major feature upgrades (which are rarer than the standard updates), users get access to new features or functionalities.

Windows updates, as far as Windows 10 is concerned, are often associated with problems some of which come up when a user tries to download and install a specific update or those which appear after the installation or implementation of the update.

If you saw an error with the code 0x80070020 as a key term, then you most likely struggled with the downloading or installation of Windows updates. Interestingly, users are often advised to keep their system updated, but far too little attention is paid to the problems they encounter in keeping to this guideline.

The error in view often appears on computers running Windows 10, but we believe that a similar problem can affect PCs running older versions of Windows (like Windows 7). Even if you are a user with an older operating system, you will most likely find what brought you to this page.

In this guide, we will should you how to get rid of the error code 0x80070020 associated with Windows updates. Nevertheless, people who came here to find out how to resolve download errors on Windows 10 might achieve success with the help of some procedures.

How fix Windows 10 Update error 0x80070020?

We cannot help but emphasize the importance of you starting your troubleshooting or problem-fixing journey with the first fix on the list. If it fails to work as expected, then you must move on to the next solution. If the need arises, you are to continue things this way until you arrive at the fix that proves perfect for you as regards the factors, conditions or variables involved in your case.

Move against your antivirus:

This fix should be the most effective one for the vast majority of users who struggled with the updating of their Windows 10 PC due to Error 0x80070020. Security programs (like antiviruses) or setups (like firewalls) tend to have an important place in most computers due to the need to keep threats out.

However, there is a good chance you are getting more than you bargained for (especially counterproductive excesses). Antiviruses, for example, often engage in many activities resulting in software conflicts between two or more programs. Other times, they directly interfere with the operations of other applications they should not be disturbing.

The fight against viruses or malicious programs is incredibly tricky, and the shortcomings of security programs as regards them causing unwanted issues might be seen as a consequence of their job’s difficulty. Perhaps, the disruptions of system operations or functionalities (Windows Update, for example) make up collateral damage.

From what we have said, you can see why a move against your antivirus is necessary. If you take away some of its powers, alter its settings to make it weak or disable it completely, you might end up getting a reprieve from the issues affecting Windows updates.

If you are in doubt on how to act against your antivirus, then we will guide you to carry out the required operations in stages to minimize the risks or downsides that could result from your action. Follow these instructions:

  • Launch your antivirus app. Go through its options to enter its Settings or Features menu. Turn off every important functionality you see. If your antivirus provides an option you can use to disable it, then you must take advantage of it.

In general, do everything you can to ensure that the powers of your antivirus on your computer reduce significantly. If you can, make sure that your security program is no longer operating at all.

  • After you finish the work on your antivirus, you must restart your computer to let the changes resulting from your action become effective. Now, you have to move on to download and install Windows updates. If you fail again due to the error in view, then you must continue with the instructions below.
  • There is one last move you can make against your antivirus, and it is probably the most extreme and effective procedure of the lot. An uninstallation is what you must consider. On Windows 10, you can uninstall applications through the Apps and Features menu in the Settings program or through the Programs and Features menu in the Control Panel application.
  • After you finish uninstalling your antivirus, restart your system. After your computer comes on and Windows settles down, launch the Windows update program and check if you can now download and install updates without issues.
  • If you realize nothing changed even with the series of moves you made against your antivirus, then the suspected program most likely had nothing to do with the issues you are still struggling with on your computer.
  • On the other hand, if you are now able to download and install Windows updates because you reduced the capabilities of your antivirus or got rid of it altogether, then you should have no regrets as regards the decision you made. Nevertheless, the solution you employed has given rise to a new problem (one which has something to do with the current state of your device).

Your PC needs a new security program since your antivirus has lost its place. You might want to consider Auslogics Anti-Malware.

Considering the events that lead to the removal of your antivirus, we believe that you should be on the lookout for a security program that is capable of doing an excellent job without it having to interfere with or disturb the work of other essential applications. In that case, the recommended app is a superb fit.

  • Restart a specific service:

At any given point in time, a good number of services are always running on Windows for different reasons. Your PC starts some of the crucial services at bootup automatically. The Background Intelligent Transfer Service (abbreviated sometimes as BITS), in particular, is the service that manages the delivering of Windows updates on your computer.

If the service in view becomes corrupted, you will experience problems with Windows updates (the one defined by Error 0x80070020, for example). Fortunately, a restart of a troubled service is all you need to fix it. Here are the instructions you need to follow:

  • Hit (and hold) the Windows button on your keyboard, then tap the letter R key. The small Run program window should be up and running by now, and you will see the text field where you have to type in the following code: services.msc

Hit the Enter key to force the execution of the inputted code.

  • The Services program window should be up and running by now. From the list of services you see, you must (scroll down to) locate Background Intelligent Transfer Service. Right-click on it, then select Properties from the short menu list that appears.
  • The Background Intelligent Transfer Service Properties window must have come up by now. Under the General tab (your current location), you should see Startup type. Click on the drop-menu beside it to view the options available for this functionality, then select Automatic.
  • If you notice that the Background Intelligent Transfer Service is currently not running (or in an inactive state), you must click on the Start button to force Windows to initialize its operations. Click on the OK button.
  • Exit the program windows you opened, then try to update your system and see what happens. If Error 0x80070020 comes up again to disturb the operations involving Windows updates, then restart your system and watch out for changes after the reboot.

Reset Windows Updates components:

The service you worked on in the previous procedure is integral to Windows Update operations, but besides it, we know of a couple of other services or processes without which your system cannot download and install Windows updates.

The appearance of Error 0x80070020 might have something to do with problems affecting any of those services or a combination of them. We cannot identify which exact service is faulty, but even if we could, we would have to go through too many of them for such a little reward, and we will still end up having to fix the problem. A more direct approach to things is useful here.

Since we know that a reset of a specific service gets rid of the problems affecting it, we will guide you to reset almost all the services or components that have something to do with Windows Update, and this way, nothing gets left out. All you have to do is run a couple of codes on Command Prompt. Follow these steps:

  • First, you must open an elevated Command Prompt. Press (and hold) the Windows button on your keyboard, then tap the letter X key. The Power User menu consisting of some essential programs or features should appear, and you must select Command Prompt (Admin) from the list you see.
  • After the Administrator: Command Prompt program window shows up, you must type in the following codes (one after the other) and hit the Enter key (after inputting each one to run it):

• 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

  • After you finish inputting and executing all the listed commands successfully, you are free to exit the program windows you have running and check if everything now works fine as regards the downloading and installation of updates on Windows 10. If the problem represented by Error 0x80070020 persists, then you must restart your PC, then try out the necessary operations again.

Run the Windows Update Troubleshooter:

Troubleshooters are tools users run to diagnose a problem and resolve it (if possible). Microsoft provides a good number of such utilities on its operating system. Therefore, if you encounter a problem, the probability of you finding a troubleshooter that can help fix it is incredibly high.

At this stage, if you are still struggling to resolve Error 0x80070020 affecting Windows updates after you have gone through and applied a good number of fixes, then a call for help from the Windows Update Troubleshooter is very much in order.

You must open the Settings app, then navigate through the necessary menu or options to access and use the troubleshooter for fixing issues affecting Windows updates. Furthermore, Microsoft provided a special tool (more or less a troubleshooter) for users to download and run if they are struggling with extensive problems involving the Windows Update program.

Follow these instructions to fetch and run the Windows Update Troubleshooter from Microsoft:

  • Open your web browser. Type in the following keywords into the text field present: Download Windows Update Troubleshooter

Hit the Enter key to perform a search for the inputted keywords on Google

  • After the Google search results page appears, from the list you see, you must click on the first item (a link to a topic on Microsoft support page). Click on the Download troubleshooter for Windows 10 link to request the needed file.
  • The download should commence immediately (if everything is in order). After your browser fetches the file, click or double-click on the saved item to run it. Follow the instructions that appear on your screen.

The troubleshooter will try to identify the issues plaguing Windows Update on your device. Most times, it carries out numerous operations without demanding any input from users. Nevertheless, the tool might ask you to do something; take note of this and everything else to ensure that the process is successful.

  • After the troubleshooter completes its diagnosis and problem-solving work on your system, you must launch Windows Update and check the state of things as you have done numerous times before now.

Do an in-place upgrade:

You have tried out a good number of direct fixes to the problem associated with Error 0x80070020, but nothing has come off in your favor. It is time you tried things differently. A workaround to the issue might succeed in places where the known solutions have failed.

An in-place upgrade might be what you need. This way, instead of resolving the problem head on, you will circumvent it by carrying out an operation to install the latest version of Windows. This fresh installation often does enough to force changes that eliminate issues affecting Windows updates; you could also take advantage of an exclusive option to ensure that Windows updates are embedded.

In case you are wondering, your personal files and data will not be affected by this operation. At least, this is the case, as far as we know. We recommend that you back up everything, anyway, because you never can tell how things might go.

Once you are ready, follow these instructions to do an in-place upgrade:

  • Open your web browser. Search for the following keywords by typing them into the address bar or text field available and hitting the Enter key: Media Creation Tool

From the list of results that appears on the Google page, click on the first link. You will end up the Microsoft Download Windows 10 page.

  • Click on the Download tool link to get the file. Your browser will fetch and save the executable file, which you must click or double-click to run. After the tool’s program window appears, you must click on Upgrade this PC now.
  • The Media Creation Tool should move on to prepare the files or items it needs to do its work, so you have to be patient. After this, you have to select Download and install updates. Click on Next. Of course, you must now wait for the downloading of the required updates.
  • We expect you to follow the instructions as they appear on the screen. They will guide you until you arrive at the Ready to install screen, and there, you must click on Change what to keep.
  • For obvious reasons, you must select Keep personal files and apps. Click on the Next button, and we believe you have just exited the final screen involving user input. The installation process should begin anytime soon. If any other instruction comes up, make sure you follow it correctly to ensure that the ongoing operation is successful.

After Windows completes the installation, your computer will boot up, and you end up on a Windows operating system environment that has all the latest updates (if you selected the right option) or one where the issues preventing the downloading and installation of Windows updates are non-existent.

Other things you could try to resolve Error 0x80070020 affecting updates on Windows 10

If you are yet to solve the problem in view, then you will be interested in trying out these additional fixes or procedures.

Check for and fix corruption in system files and related data through scans carried out with the SFC and DISM tools.

Do a clean boot to find out if external influences (especially those from third-party apps) have something to do with the Windows Update problem.

Surely by now, given the fixes we provided or the knowledge you acquired in this guide, you must have resolved the problem affecting Windows updates associated with Error 0x80070020 on Windows 10 PCs.

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