What is error 0x800f0801

0x800f0801 is an error code faced by some users while trying to install a new system update. It is classified as a CBS_E_NOT_APPLICABLE issue meaning your system is stopped by certain incompatibilities or that the update you are trying to install is simply not designed for it. In the majority of cases, it is an incompatibility related to .NET Framework components, forcing the system to struggle with updating. The reason could be their complete absence or lack of certain system files involved in the function of updating. In addition to this, it is also worth mentioning that users may stumble on other similar errors (0x800F0906; 0x800F0907; 0x800F0922; 0x800F081F) that have an almost identical root of appearance. The biggest traffic of reports was seen across Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows Server 2012 R2, and Windows Server 2012 operating systems. Whatever the code you received, we encourage you to follow our list of instructions below and potentially fix it. Each method presented below is generic and can be used for other similar errors as well.

windows update error 0x800f0801

Download Windows Repair Tool

Download Windows Repair Tool

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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 to fix the “Windows Update error 0x800f0801” in Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Vista, or XP.

1. Use Windows Update Troubleshooter

Despite being taken as ineffective by many, in-built Windows Troubleshooter abilities can sometimes address issues like the CBS_E_NOT_APPLICABLE (0x800f0801 error). Windows has a native set of troubleshooting utilities designed to find and remove existing problems in various segments. You can use it to detect update issues and try to fix them immediately. This is how:

  1. Open Settings from the bottom taskbar.
  2. Choose System on the left and go to Troubleshoot > Other troubleshooters on the right pane.
  3. Then, find Windows Update and click Run next to it.
  4. Finish the process following the on-screen instructions and restart your PC.

After this, try to perform the update again. If this does not work, you may benefit from other solutions in our tutorial further below.

2. Check integrity of the system files

As mentioned, one of the things you could be dealing with is the lack of some essential system components. This is why we recommend you use SFC (System File Checker) and DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management) scanning utilities, which will detect and restore absent components if any. Make sure to use both utilities as they may have a different impact on solving the problem. This is how:

Using SFC

  1. Open Command Prompt by typing cmd into the searching loop 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 try to open the problematic program again.

Once both of these scans are performed, attempt to install the same update again.

3. Enable the .NET Framework

We have already said that the reason why the update process may fail is due to disabled .NET Framework components. The solution is quick and that is to access Windows and Features and enable them back if applicable. Here is how:

  1. Find Control Panel using the search bar next to Start Menu and open it up.
  2. Set View by to Small or Big Icons and choose Programs and Features from the list.
  3. Once opened, navigate to Turn Windows features on or off on the right pane of the window.
  4. If .NET Framework 3.5 (this package includes .NET 2.0 and 3.0) does not have a box next to it enabled, make sure you tick it.
  5. You should also do the same with its subcomponents. Just click onto the plus icon next to .NET Framework 3.5 (this package includes .NET 2.0 and 3.0) and select other components as well.
  6. Finally, click OK to save changes and wait until your system resotres the missing components, if any.

Check if this helped you install the update again. If not, follow the rest two solutions we have left down below.

4. Reset Windows Update components

One more recommendation to try is resetting Windows Update settings. Statistically, this method has proven itself to be very effective when tackling a vast range of update problems. 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 temporary files necessary for implementing Windows Updates. Based on this, we will force Windows to delete corrupted elements and create update-related components from scratch. Below, we will show you two ways of performing this method. The first requires typing and executing each console command in a manual sequence. The other is done using a so-called batch script written in Notepad and saved as WUReset.bat. There is no real difference in which one you choose. Although the entire procedure may seem advanced and complicated, it will not deprive too much of your time and knowledge. Just follow the sequence listed below:

Using manual steps

  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.

Using the Batch Script

This is an alternative method to the above. A batch script is used to execute the same range of commands to reset all Windows Update components, Cryptographic services, and folders like SoftwareDistribution. It is not as hard as you could imagine, but rather easier than the previous one. All you need is a Windows Notepad and a bit of copy-paste magic. Batch scripts hold an upper hand over manual typing as they allow you to execute all the necessary commands at once. If you ever stumble into similar issues in the future, you can execute the already-created .bat file and reset update components:

  1. Open a new Notepad file. For this, right-click on any free area over your desktop, choose New and Text document.
  2. Then paste this list of commands into your notepad:
  3. @ECHO OFF
    echo Simple Script to Reset / Clear Windows Update
    echo.
    PAUSE
    echo.
    attrib -h -r -s %windir%system32catroot2
    attrib -h -r -s %windir%system32catroot2*.*
    net stop wuauserv
    net stop CryptSvc
    net stop BITS
    ren %windir%system32catroot2 catroot2.old
    ren %windir%SoftwareDistribution sold.old
    ren "%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Application Data\Microsoft\Network\Downloader" downloader.old
    net Start BITS
    net start CryptSvc
    net start wuauserv
    echo.
    echo Task completed successfully...
    echo.
    PAUSE

  4. Once pasting is done, click File > Save as and name it WUReset.bat. Make sure to set Encoding to ANSI and save the file to any location you want.
  5. Finally, you can right-click on the file, select Run as administrator and enjoy automatic reset of Windows Updates.

5. Use Media Creation Tool

If there is still no ringing in favor of having the issue resolved, then our last recommendation comes down to trying Media Creation Tool – a great Microsoft utility designed to reinstall Windows and also act as an alternative tool for obtaining the latest available updates against traditional methods. Follow the instructions below:

  1. At 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 0x800f0801 error.

Summary

We hope error 0x800f0801 is finally solved and no longer triggers any messages in your Windows Update center. Such issues are quite ubiquitous and oftentimes solvable using even the most generic solutions. You can save them somewhere and use anytime something similar turns up in the future.

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