Installing Windows updates is an important part of keeping your PC running smoothly and securely. However, when you’re trying to install the latest update and you receive the 80070103 error code on Windows Update, it can be frustrating not to get specific details on what the error means or how to fix it.
Error code 0x80070103 is technically not serious. This is actually a warning message and you should not panic. The error means that you are trying to install a device driver that is already installed on your computer. It also means that Windows Update is trying to install a device driver with a lower compatibility rating than the one your PC already has – meaning that the driver on your computer is better.
How to Fix the error 80070103:
When you’re trying to upgrade to Windows 10, but you get error code 80070103 that tells me your graphics driver isn’t compatible, and you know your laptop has the latest drivers installed. To handle this situation please follow the below simple and best ways.
1. Run Windows Update, Troubleshooter:
If you haven’t already tried this method you should try it first. The in-built Windows troubleshooter features are a perfect starting point for solving various problems found in Windows. And sometimes these features are successful in fixing issues related to updates. Windows also has a troubleshooting utility for that. You can use this to identify update issues and try to fix them immediately:
- Open Settings from the bottom taskbar.
- Select System on the left and go to Troubleshoot > Other troubleshooters in the right pane.
- Then, find Windows Update and click Run next to it.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to finish the process and restart your PC.
- After this, try to run the update again. If it doesn’t work, go below to try other solutions.
2. Reset Windows Update components:
You can also try resetting Windows Update settings. Statistically, this method has proven to be very effective when handling extensive update problems. The whole process involves restarting BITS, Cryptographic, MSI Installer, and Windows Update services as well as renaming some update folders (Software Distribution and Catroot2). These folders contain temporary files needed to run Windows Update. Based on this, we force Windows to remove corrupted elements and create update-related components from scratch. Although the whole process may seem sophisticated and complicated, it does not require much of your time and knowledge. Follow the steps below:
- Open Command Prompt by typing cmd in the search box next to the Start Menu button.
- Right-click on Command Prompt and select Run as administrator.
- Copy-paste this list of commands one by one, clicking Enter after each one. (This action disables services responsible for Windows updates)
net stop wuauserv
net stop cryptSvc
Net stop bits
net stop msiserver
- Then, we need to rename the above-mentioned folders. Paste these commands by clicking Enter after each.
Ren C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.old
Ren C:\Windows\System32\catroot2 Catroot2.old
- Finally, all that remains is to roll back the disabled services. So apply these commands as we did before.
Net start wuauserv
net start cryptSvc
Net start bits
net start msiserver
- Now we are all done with it. Go to the Windows Update Center and try the installation again.
3. Use Media Creation Tool:
If the problem still doesn’t seem to be resolved, our final suggestion is to try the Media Creation Tool – a great Microsoft utility designed to reinstall Windows and also serve as an alternative tool for getting the latest updates available versus traditional methods. We are going to use the last feature of this tool. Follow the instructions below:
- First, you need to download the utility from the Microsoft website.
- Then, run the downloaded file.
- Choose to keep individual files untouched.
- Finally, start the process and wait for it to finish.
- Hopefully, this method helped you deal with the 0x80070103 error.
4. Skip over the update:
If you don’t mind missing this update, you can use the official Microsoft utility “Show or hide updates”. This allows users to prevent certain problematic or unnecessary updates from appearing again. Although it is not available on the official Microsoft website, you can directly download it here and follow the steps below:
- After downloading the tool, open it.
- Go to Advanced and select Apply repairs automatically.
- Then, click Next and wait until it finishes gathering information about your system updates. This may take some time.
- After another window appears, select Hide updates.
- Hence the utility will show you the list of available updates which will be hidden. Select the one you can’t install and click Next to finish.
After performing these steps, the problematic update will no longer appear. This utility is actually very useful and it is unclear why Microsoft removed it from its official download page. Also, if you ever want to show the hidden update again, you can do it again using the same utility. If you still want to try installing the update that is causing the error, you can check out our last solution below.
5. Flush the SoftwareDistribution folder:
The Software Distribution folder serves as the temporary home for all Windows Update files. But, if these files are ever corrupted, you will experience the above-mentioned error code. To fix the problem you need to remove the software distribution folder. Below are the steps you must take.
- You must first disable Windows Update services. To do this, open a command prompt in administrator mode, enter the commands shown below, and then click OK.
- C: Go to Windows, open File Explorer, and then look for the Software Distribution folder.
- Delete the folder.
- Once again activate the administrator mode in the command prompt.
- Enter the commands listed below as you type them. The Windows Update service will start.
- That’s it. Restart your computer now to see if the problem still exists. If so, try the following method.
Hope these methods are enough to solve the problem. In the worst case, you might even hide the update and not be able to install it eventually as described in the last method above. In theory, the 0x80070103 error can also occur on Windows 10. So feel free to try them if you encounter the error on older OS as well. Regarding this article, if you have any queries feel free to comment in the comment box.