What is Windows Update error 0x80073701

Error 0x80073701 is usually seen when trying to install fresh Windows updates. The error is followed by failure messages stating that Windows did not manage to install the update. Forum users reported it is related to Cumulative update patches released for Windows 10 Version 1903/1607 x64 or x86-based Systems. A list of updates causing such issues have been KB4512508, KB3206632, KB4507453, KB3213986, and other similar patches. Error 0x80073701 is also transcribed as ERROR_SXS_ASSEMBLY_MISSING, which means it is related to problems with system files. There is a chance that some of them are falling off their proper location, which leads to update malfunctions. In order to find the right solution to the update problem, make sure to perform each step of instructions down below.

windows wpdate error 0x80073701

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There are special repair utilities for Windows, that can solve problems related to registry corruption, file system malfunction, Windows drivers instability. We recommend you to use Advanced System Repair Pro to fix the “Windows Update error 0x80073701” in Windows 10.

1. Use Windows Update Troubleshooter

When dealing with update-related issues, the very first and easiest thing to try is Windows Troubleshooter – a problem-solving utility already in-built to your system. In order to use it, follow the step mentioned below.

  1. Open settings as we did above and navigate to Update & Security > Troubleshoot.
  2. On the right pane, locate Windows Update and click Run the troubleshooter.
  3. Finish the process following the on-screen instructions and restart your PC.

2. Turn off/delete third-party software

Third-party software like antivirus may be able to cause some issues in Windows services. Sometimes it tends to mistake and block a suspicious process running over your system. For some reason, even Windows services tend to become part of this list getting restricted by anti-malware software. As we cannot identify it without a manual check, try to disable a third-party antivirus if you have it installed. Also, it is worth mentioning that unwanted or malicious programs can lead to the same consequences as well. If you remember installing something new recently, try to remove it and download the update again. If you are unsure how to get rid of malicious programs properly, we recommend you to download a great and trusted antivirus developed by Malwarebytes (use the button below).

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3. Install the necessary update in Safe Mode

Instead of deleting third-party software that raises a conflict with Windows Updates, you can boot up your PC in Safe Mode. This option will launch your system only with the default configuration settings, which will prevent third-party programs from interacting with Windows processes. Here is how:

  1. Open Settings via the Start menu or press Windows key + I buttons together.
  2. Navigate Update & Security > Recovery > Advanced Startup.
  3. Then, click Restart Now.
  4. Your system will restart and boot with the Windows Recovery Environment.
  5. Whilst there, choose Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings.
  6. Now click on Restart and choose Enable Safe mode with Networking once it reboots.
  7. Finally, being in Safe Mode, try to install the conflicting update as usual.

4. Check integrity of the system files

As we wrote in the beginning, most update problems often result from missing or damaged files. Usually, these files are vital system components securing the proper connection between multiple services. If some of these files are missing, more likely it will be the reason for update errors. Below, we are going to use both SFC (System File Checker) and DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management), which will detect and restore absent components. Here is how:

Using SFC

  1. Open Command Prompt by typing cmd into the searching box next to the Start Menu button.
  2. Right-click on Command Prompt and choose Run as administrator.
  3. Once the console is opened, type the sfc /scannow command and click Enter.
  4. When the fixing process is done, restart your computer.

Using DISM

  1. Open Command Prompt as we did in the previous step.
  2. Copy and paste this command DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth.
  3. Click Enter and wait until Windows ends the scanning and fixing.
  4. Once done, restart your PC and install the update again.

After performing both of these scans, attempt to install a problematic update again. If this does not work, get down to the other steps below.

5. Restart Windows components and Update service

This method helps you reset Windows Update settings. It is very helpful and recommended by experts if you want to resolve the issue. The whole procedure involves restarting BITS, Cryptographic, MSI Installer, and Windows Update services as well as renaming some update folders (SoftwareDistribution and Catroot2). These folders contain special signatures for Windows Updates. Based on this, we will force Windows to delete corrupted elements and create update components from scratch. We are going to use the console to run the necessary commands. This is more advanced, but will not take too much time and knowledge to do it. Just follow the steps below:

  1. Open Command Prompt by typing cmd into the searching box next to the Start Menu button.
  2. Right-click on Command Prompt and choose Run as administrator.
  3. Copy-paste this list of commands one by one clicking Enter after each. (This action will disable services responsible for Windows Updates)
  4. net stop wuauserv
    net stop cryptSvc
    net stop bits
    net stop msiserver

  5. Then, we have to rename the above-mentioned folders. Simply paste these commands by clicking Enter after each.
  6. ren C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.old
    ren C:\Windows\System32\catroot2 Catroot2.old

  7. Finally, all left to do is to turn the disabled services back. So apply these commands likewise we did previously.
  8. net start wuauserv
    net start cryptSvc
    net start bits
    net start msiserver

  9. Now we are all done with it. Go to the Windows Update center and try to perform the installation again.

6. Try to download a conflicting update from Microsoft Catalog

Sometimes Windows may have a problem receiving KB updates from the server. If nothing else helps, we can suspect it is the reason. Before doing so, we will have to note which update you need to install. For this:

  1. Press Windows key + I at the same time.
  2. Then navigate to Update & Security.
  3. On the right side of the window, choose View update history.
  4. After this, find and note the most recent KB update (on top of the list).
  5. Once done, search and download the noted update in the Microsoft Update Catalog.

7. Use Media Creation Tool

The guarantee option to install updates is via Media Creation Tool. This is an official Microsoft utility allowing users to upgrade their systems to the latest version available. Do not worry, this procedure will not delete your personal data but simply update the PC. In order to do it, follow the steps listed below:

  1. First, you have to download the utility from the Microsoft website.
  2. Then, execute the downloaded file.
  3. After agreeing with the Terms of use, there will be two options to choose from. Select Upgrade this PC now.
  4. Choose to Keep Personal Files to ensure they will be untouched.
  5. Finally, launch the process and wait until it ends.
  6. Hopefully, this method helped you combat the 0x80073701 error.


This guide contains all steps that have been tested and proved to be efficient in solving the 0x80073701 code. Usually, the most ultimate solution is reinstalling the Windows system from scratch, but this should not be a necessity when dealing with update issues. Also, if you stumble into other update-related issues someday in the future, you can use the same steps to fix the popping-up errors. On our website, you can also find articles dedicated to other errors as well as malware removal to delete viruses and establish protection of the entire system.

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James Kramer
Hello, I'm James. My website Bugsfighter.com, a culmination of a decade's journey in the realms of computer troubleshooting, software testing, and development. My mission here is to offer you comprehensive, yet user-friendly guides across a spectrum of topics in this niche. Should you encounter any challenges with the software or the methodologies I endorse, please know that I am readily accessible for assistance. For any inquiries or further communication, feel free to reach out through the 'Contacts' page. Your journey towards seamless computing starts here