Fix 0x800f0988 Windows Update Failed, Error on Windows 11/10

When updating Windows 11/10, if you receive error 0x800f0988, then this post will help you resolve the problem. Here is the exact error message — Updates Failed, Error 0x800f0988, There were problems installing some updates, but we’ll try again later. You may also see error code 0x80073701 or 0x800f08a instead of 0x800f0988.

Fix 0x800f0988 Windows Update Error

If you receive Updates Failed, Error 0x800f0988 message, here are two things you should do:

  1. Clear the contents of the SoftwareDistribution folder
  2. Run Windows Update Troubleshooter
  3. Run StartComponentCleanup Task using DISM or Task Scheduler

1] Clear the contents of the SoftwareDistribution folder

Clear the contents of the SoftwareDistribution folder and run Windows Update and see if that helps.

2] Run the Windows Update Troubleshooter

Windows Update Troubleshooter can fix a variety of problems that we used to do it manually previously. If you face any problem, including Error 0x800f0988 and 0x80073701, it is an excellent idea to run the troubleshooter.

  • Open Windows 10 Settings using Win + I
  • Click on Update and Security and then navigate to Troubleshoot
  • Locate Windows Update, and click on it, and then click on the button which says Run the troubleshooter.
  • It will check for any pending restart, initialize the diagnosis and restart services like BITS.

Check for the update again, and you should not face error 0x800f0988 and 0x80073701 any more.

3] Run StartComponentCleanup Task using DISM or Task Scheduler

Before we manually run, let’s learn a bit about the StartComponentCleanup task. The task was introduced in Windows 10 to regularly clean up Windows components when they are not in use. It is expected to be triggered by the operating system. When it does that, it will wait for at least 30 days after an updated component has been installed before uninstalling the previous versions of the component.

According to Microsoft, we can run this task either using Task Manager or using DISM. There is a difference between the two methods. While running via Task Manager, the timeout is only for an hour. It is possible that some of the cleanups might be left out. When using DISM, updated components will be immediately deleted without the 30-days grace period, and you will not have a 1-hour timeout limitation.

How to run StartComponentCleanup Task using TaskManager-

  • Open the Run prompt and type taskschd.msc and hit Enter to open Task Scheduler
  • Navigate to LibraryMicrosoftWindowsServicing
  • Select StartComponentCleanup, right-click and run
  • Wait for the process to complete, and check for the update again

How to run StartComponentCleanup Task using DISM

Open Command Prompt with admin privileges. Type or copy and paste the following command into the Command Prompt window:

dism /online /cleanup-image /startcomponentcleanup

Hit the Enter key and wait for the command to complete.

Restart the computer and check for the update again.

Along with this, you may well use another switch  /ResetBase to remove all superseded versions of every component in the component store. The command will then look like

Dism.exe /online /Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup /ResetBase

Let the task complete and once done, reboot your computer and see if it has helped.

I hope the steps were easy to follow and you were able to fix Error 0x800f0988 on Windows 11/10.  Mostly the cause of the error is an old component, and using Start Component Cleanup will fix the issue.

— Update: 11-03-2023 — found an additional article Fix Windows 11 Update Error 0x800f0988 from the website for the keyword how to fix windows 11 updates failed install error 0x800f0988.

Microsoft has started rolling out Windows 11 updates. It is estimated that around 5% of all Windows PCs are already running Windows 11. However, according to various reports, many Windows customers have been unable to update their Windows 11 computers due to update failed error 0x800f0988. An update failure is usually readily fixed by Windows itself, and very rarely, does it require user intervention. However, this is not the case with this error code. Hence, we have written this article to guide you on how to fix update error 0x800f0988 in Windows 11.

How to Fix Update Error 0x800f0988 in Windows 11

There are five ways to fix or even, avoid this error code altogether. These have been discussed in detail below.

Method 1: Download Updates Manually

If you cannot update Windows normally then, you can install the update manually by following these steps:

1. Open Microsoft Update Catalogue on your web browser.

2. Enter the Knowledge Base (KB) Number in the search bar in the top right-hand corner and click on Search.

3. Select the Desired Update from the given list, as shown.

Note: The complete information about the update can be viewed on the Update Details screen.

4. Once you have chosen which update you want to install, click on the corresponding Download button.

5. In the window that appears, right-click on the hyperlink and select Save the linked content as… option.

6. Choose the location to save the installer with the .msu extension, and click on Save

7. Now, press Windows + E keys simultaneously to open File Explorer and locate the Downloaded file.

8. Double click on the .msu file.

9. Click on Yes in the installer prompt.

Note: It may take a few minutes for the installation to be completed and after that, you will receive a notification regarding the same.

10. Restart your computer after saving your unsaved data.

Also Read: How to Download and Install Windows 11 Updates

Method 2: Run DISM Tool

Deployment Image Servicing and Management or DISM is a command-line tool used for fixing corrupt system files along with other system related functions. Here’s how to fix update error 0x800f0988 on Windows 11 or Windows Update 0x80070057 Error using DISM commands:

1. Press Windows + X keys together to open the Quick Link menu.

2. Select Windows Terminal (Admin) from the given list.

3. Click on Yes in the User Account Control prompt.

4. Press Ctrl + Shift + 2 keys together to open Command Prompt.

5. Type the given command and press the Enter key to execute it:

DISM /online /cleanup-image /startcomponentcleanup

Note: Your computer must be connected to the internet to execute this command properly.

Method 3: Uninstall Additional Languages

Uninstalling additional languages might help fix update error 0x800f0988 in Windows 11, as follows:

1. Press Windows + I keys together to open the Settings app.

2. Click on Time & Language in the left pane.

3. Click on Language & region in the right pane, shown highlighted.

4. Click on the three-dotted icon next to the language which you want to uninstall.

5. Click on Remove as depicted below.

6. After uninstalling, restart your PC and try updating it once again.

Also Read: How to Repair Windows 11

Method 4: Clear Windows Update Cache

Clearing Windows updates cacge can help you to fix update error 0x800f0988 in Windows 11 by making more space for new updates. To clear Windows update cache:

1. Press Windows + X keys together to open the Quick Link menu.

2. Select Task manager from the menu, as shown.

4. Type wt.exe. Then, check the box marked Create this task with administrative privileges and click on OK.

5. Press Ctrl+Shift+2 keys together to open Command Prompt in a new tab.

6. Type net stop bits and press the Enter key.

7. Type net stop wuauserv as shown and press the Enter key.

8. Type net stop cryptsvc and hit Enter to execute to fix update error 0x800f0988 in Windows 11.

9. Then, press Windows+R keys together to open Run dialog box.


10. Type C:WindowsSoftwareDistributionDownload and click on OK, as depicted below.

11. Press Ctrl + A keys to select all files and folders present in the said folder. Then, press Shift + Del keys together to delete them permanently.

12. Click on Yes in the Delete Multiple Items confirmation prompt.

13. Go to the SoftwareDistribution folder by clicking on it in the address bar at the top.

14. Open DataStore folder by double-clicking on it.

15. Once again, use Ctrl + A keys and then hit Shift + Del keys together to select and delete all files and folders, as illustrated below.

Note: Click on Yes in the Delete Multiple Items confirmation prompt.

16. Switch back to the Windows terminal window.

17. Type the command: net start bits and press the Enter key.

18. Then, type the command: net start wuaserv and press the Enter key.

19. Type the command: net start cryptsvc and hit Enter to restart update related services.

20. Close all windows and restart your Win 11 PC.

Also Read: How to Create Bootable Windows 11 USB Drive

Method 5: Perform In-place Upgrade

You can install updates using Windows ISO files instead of doing it in the traditional way to prevent updates failed error 0x800f0988.

1. Download Windows 11 ISO file from Microsoft website.

2. Open File Explorer by pressing Windows + E keys together.

Via @:

3. Right-click on the downloaded ISO file and click on Mount from the context menu, as shown.

4. Click on This PC from the left pane.

5. Double-click on the Mounted ISO file which is now shown as a DVD drive.

6. Click on Yes in the User Account Control prompt.

7. Click on Next in the Windows 11 Setup window. Wait for the setup to finish downloading the latest updates from Microsoft update servers.

8. Click on Accept after reading the Applicable notices and license terms.

9. Let the Windows 11 Setup wizard configure the installation for your computer.

10. After the setup is ready, it will show the Windows version which is going to be installed on your PC and whether your files will be safe during this process or not. Once, you are satisfied, click on Install button, as shown.


  • How to Download and Install Optional Updates in Windows 11
  • How to Pin Apps to Taskbar on Windows 11
  • How to Update Apps on Windows 11
  • How to Change PIN in Windows 11

We hope you found this article interesting and helpful on how to fix update error 0x800f0988 in Windows 11. You can drop your suggestions and queries in the comment section down below. We would love to know which topic you want us to explore next.

— Update: 19-03-2023 — found an additional article Fix Windows 11/10 update error 0x800f0988 from the website for the keyword how to fix windows 11 updates failed install error 0x800f0988.

Microsoft rolls out its cumulative updates for Windows almost every month. We have often seen that pending updates notification on the bottom right corner of our screen and kept postponing it. The updates are often invariably bug-free and are quite efficient for the performance of our PC. However, it’s not the same in some cases and it has been noticed that the update fails to load and an error message is displayed. The message might appear something similar to this – There was a problem installing some updates, but we’ll try again later Error: 0X800f0988, but often it changes too.

Basically, this Windows 11 or 10 update error could have emanated due to a number of reasons. Most common reasons are buggy patches, interference of some application, an external hindrance to the PC in between the updating process. Installation of third party shady application may also lead  Error 0x800f0988 to come up. However you don’t need to bother, what may be the cause, we have the solutions ahead.

Windows 10 or 11 update error 0x800f0988

Here is How to fix or repair Windows 11/10 update error 0x800f0988 –

1] Manually install the update

One of the ways to fix the Error Code 0x800f0988 is to install the updates manually instead of the automatic process. Microsoft releases patches and builds with upgraded features and bug fixes quite often. These updates, following built-in configurations, are automatically downloaded and installed in the availability of an internet connection. However, sometimes the settings become a reason for Windows update not working issue the situation might fit with this the occurrence here.

Therefore, Downloading updates manually helps in eradicating this error. Follow the steps ahead –

  1. Click the Search icon or bar from Taskbar and type the – update.
  2. Press the – Enter.
  3. Select the – View update history.

  1. Find and copy the failed update KB number.
  2. Click this link and go to Microsoft Update Catalogue.
  3. Paste the KB number in the search box and then hit the – Enter.
  4. Find and download compatible architecture.
  5. Double click the MSU file and follow the onscreen guidelines until the end.

This way you can avoid the Error Code 0x800f0988 during the installation of updates.

2] Use the Windows Update Troubleshooter

Microsoft has designed this troubleshooter utility to help users to deal with any update and installation errors. This tool deeply checks the system to detect issues and presents on-screen guidance to ending up with resolving them. Same with the update problems as the troubleshooter dig out the proper reason and repair once executed. The built-in tool allows solving some common windows issue quite easily and in a hassle-free manner.

So run the Windows Update TroubleShooter to fix Error Code 0x800f0988 using the following guidelines –

  1. Press Win+S, type troubleshoot and then hit the – Enter.
  2. After the settings page appears, select the – Additional troubleshooters.
  3. Find and click the – Windows Update.
  4. Finally, click the – Run the troubleshooter.

3] Uninstall additional language packs

Windows comes with a feature to install and use the operating in different prominent languages around the globe. The feature helps make windows more feasible and render an immersive experience to its users. But sometimes during the installation of updates, if you have selected English as your default language, it may cause some trouble. This could result in the Error: 0x800f0988 to arrive on your system screen.

Here’s how you can uninstall the additional language packs using a few simple instructions –

  1. Type language in the search on Taskbar and hit the – Enter.
  2. Under the Preferred languages section, there would be some language pack showing.
  3. Click to expand and select Remove.

  1. Reboot the computer and see if error Code 0x800f0988 still persists.

See – How to Reinstall Windows 10 Language Pack.

4] Evacuate the WinSxS folder to fix Windows 10 update error 0x800f0988 Windows 11

Excessive accumulation of unwanted data in the Winsxs folder could also be one of the reasons for error 0x800f0988 to appear. The folder prevents installing any sort of cumulative update patches on the system. A great number of users have come forward to tell us that cleaning this directory using DISM could solve this glaring issue.

Here’s how you can proceed with this method –

  1. Type in CMD in the windows search box on the taskbar
  2. From the result window, select the – Run as administrator.
  3. In the command prompt window type in the following code exactly as it is and hit enter –

  1. When the process gets over and the directory is cleaned, reboot your system and try to reinstall the pending updates.

5] Purge the Windows Update Components

A corrupted or mismanaged windows update component has often come out as one of the major causes why Error: 0x800f0988 trouble us all. An online survey reveals that 6 out of 10 people would face this issue because of a corrupt windows update component only. Let’s see how we can resolve this nagging issue in a few simple steps –

  1. Hit Win+Q and Type in – CMD.
  2. Once the result pop up appears, click the – Run as administrator.
  3. On the command prompt window type in the following syntax exactly as it and don’t forget to hit enter after each line.

net stop wuauserv
net stop cryptSvc
net stop bits
net stop msiserver

  1. These commands will render the above of the services running in the background disabled temporarily.
  2. Now, what you need to do is rename the SoftwareDistribution and catroot2 folder using these two different commands in the command prompt

ren C:windowsSoftwaredistribution SoftwareDistribution.old
ren C:windownsSystem32catroot2 catroot2.old

  1. After you are done with that, you must restart the services that you disabled earlier. In order to do that type in the following command exactly as it is and hit enter after each line –

net start wuauserv
net start cryptSvc
net start bits
net start msiserver

Once you have concluded this method your system would have successfully reset the windows update components and now you’ll be able to install the pending.

6] Reset the Windows 10 to repair Windows 10 or 11 update error 0x800f0988

In some rare cases where all of the above four solutions don’t seem to help then resetting your PC is the only way out of this mess. This should always be your last resort as it could wipe your data from the C drive or on the particular drive where your windows is installed.

Let’s see how you can do that in a few simple steps

  1. Type in “Reset this PC” in the windows search box present on the bottom left side of your taskbar
  2. Hit the – Enter.
  3. Click on the Get Started button under from within Reset this PC section.

  1. Select the – “Keep my files” option and then move ahead
  2. On the next prompt click on “Reset” and then Confirm to get the process started.

This would have most certainly resolved the persisting issue of Error: 0x80040988 and you will be able to install your pending updates now.

Methods list
1] Manually install the update2] Use the Windows Update Troubleshooter3] Uninstall additional language packs4] Evacuate the WinSxS folder5] Reset the Windows Update Components6] Reset the Windows 10

That’s all!!


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