What is Windows Update error 0x80240031

0x80240031 is an update-related issue that pops whilst trying to download fresh updates. Most users have seen it appear after attempting to install Windows 10 Insider Preview 14257, 14332, and 14986 updates. Despite this, error 0x80240031 can be linked to other updates as well. As it was reported by users, the update gets stuck at 40% resulting in the corresponding error. Unfortunately, there is no single reason identified for its appearance. However, most cases show that such problems arise due to damaged or missing files, corrupted registry, wrong configuration, malware, and countless others to finish the list. Being unable to update your system may be heartbreaking for users anticipating new features. Although this has been a problem indeed, we are happy to say that 0x80240031 can be eventually solved. Follow our guide below to learn how with the help of detailed instructions.

windows update error 0x80240031

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 0x80240031” in Windows 10.

1. Use Windows Update Troubleshooter

The most advisable thing to do in the first order is Update Troubleshooter. Most people underestimate this feature saying that it has no influence on solving the issue. In most cases, they will be true as there are usually broader reasons that have to be dug deeper in order to resolve the problem. However, it is still worth trying this simple, yet sometimes effective method to get rid of the popping error. The in-built utility will scan out your system for potential problems and try to fix them on its own.

  1. Open Settings 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. Run a Clean Bootup

We have not mentioned it yet, but 0x80240031 error may be also be caused by incompatibility issues Antimalware or any other third-party software may conflict with native Windows services causing the error.. Clean bootup ensures your PC is started only with in-built apps and services to find out whether some secondary app prompts the issue. Follow the steps below:

  1. Press Windows key + R combination and paste msconfig.
  2. Then in the opened window go to the Services tab located on top.
  3. Check the box next to Hide All Microsoft Services and click on the Disable all button.
  4. Now choose the General tab and select the Selective startup option. Make sure that the box is checked only next to the Load System Services.
  5. Click Apply and OK. Then reboot your PC.

Now you can try to update your system by being in Clean Boot mode. No matter whether you failed or succeeded in installing the updates, you should turn Windows back to Normal Startup settings. To do this, simply redo all the steps you implemented above by enabling the disabled services and changing your startup option from Selective to Normal.

3. Check integrity of the system files

As stated in the beginning, update problems can end up breaking your mood due to missing or damaged files. Such files are usually inherently linked between many Windows services that ensure sustainable update performance. If some of these files are out of their native environment, 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, move on to the other steps mentioned below.

4. Reset Windows Update components

Whenever users are up to face update-related issues, a good method to try is resetting Windows Update settings. It is very helpful and proven to be effective in many cases. 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, yet will not take too much time and knowledge to do it. Simply 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.

5. Clean up unnecessary system files

There is a number of users who capitalized on deleting redundant system files. This method involves wiping out recovery copies and cached files stored by your PC. It may be quite risky, as there will be no way to roll back to the previous version backed up on your system. Despite this, using such a measure helped users get rid of the error and install the necessary update eventually.

  1. Open This PC.
  2. Right-click on your main disk and choose Properties.
  3. Find and click on Disk Cleanup.
  4. Then select Clean up system files, check all the boxes, and click OK.
  5. Once done, restart your PC and try to install the update again.

6. Download a conflicting update from Microsoft Catalog

It is possible that errors like 0x80240031 can be related to network problems that do not let Windows establish proper connection with Microsoft servers. You can work around this issue simply by downloading the problematic update yourself. Just go through the steps teased out below:

  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 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

Last, but not least is using Media Creation Tool to obtain the latest portion of updates. This utility acts as a great alternative to the default Windows Update Center. This procedure will not touch your personal data but simply update the PC. In order to do it, follow the steps listed 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 0x80240031 error.

Summary

We hope you are no longer dealing with the 0x80240031 update problem. By the end of this guide, you should already be able to enjoy all the gizmos of new updates that could not be installed previously. Before closing this article, It is also worth mentioning that all of these methods are versatile, which makes them fit the solution of similar errors during future usage.

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