How to fix error 0x80073701 and enable updates

You might see error code 0x80073701 when some essential system files aren’t there or are damaged. To get your updates working again, you can use the troubleshooter or fix the files yourself.

What is Windows update error code 0x80073701?

If you see error code 0x80073701 while updating, it often means some important system files are missing or damaged. Since these files are needed for updates, the process stops altogether. While restarting might help fix 0x80073701, it’s unlikely. The error 0x80073701, also known as error_sxs_assembly_missing, tends to keep coming back and blocking the update. Luckily, there are ways to fix this problem, and we’ll tell you about them.

Use the troubleshooter to solve 0x80073701

The initial approach you can take to address 0x80073701 is applicable to many other error codes as well. Windows features its own troubleshooter that scans your entire system and automatically fixes errors. Before attempting other solutions, this method could prove effective for resolving error code 0x80073701. Follow these steps:

  1. Open your settings.
  2. Select ‘Troubleshooting’.
  3. Click on ‘Additional troubleshooting’.
  4. Look for the ‘Windows Update’ option, then run the troubleshooter.

If the system identifies a solution for 0x80073701, it’ll automatically carry out the necessary repair. After the process is finished, restart your computer and then attempt the update again.

Disable third-party security software

If the previous option doesn’t work, there’s another simple method that you can use to fix 0x80073701. Sometimes, the error is triggered by a third-party firewall or the antivirus program of a third-party vendor. These can prevent the connection to Microsoft servers. Solution: Turn off the security software temporarily and then run the update again. Afterwards, reactivate all programs to continue having the best possible protection.


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Clean up WinSxS

Error code 0x80073701 can sometimes be caused by faulty system files that the previously mentioned solutions may not fix. In such cases, you can consider cleaning up the WinSxS folder, which removes outdated and potentially harmful files. Follow these steps:

  1. Press [Windows] + [R] key combination to open the ‘Run’ dialogue.
  2. Type ‘cmd’ and press [Ctrl], [Shift], and [Enter] together. If you confirm with ‘Yes’ afterward, you’ll continue as an administrator.
  3. The console will open; enter the following command and execute it by pressing [Enter]:
dism /online /cleanup-image /startcomponentcleanup
  1. When the command has finished, restart your PC and then try to run the update again. The error code 0x80073701 should now no longer appear.

Terminate 0x80073701 with the System File Checker

Using the System File Checker (SFC) is another method to address 0x80073701. This option involves just a few steps:

  1. Open the ‘Run’ dialogue once more with [Windows] + [R].
  2. Log in as an administrator.
  3. Enter the following command into the console and execute it:
sfc / scannow
  1. Wait for the command to finish executing. Afterward, restart your PC and try running the update again, which was previously blocked by error code 0x80073701.

Reset update components

Manually resetting Windows update components can also resolve 0x80073701. Follow these steps:

  1. Log in as an admin. Open ‘Run’ with [Windows] + [R], then execute the command ‘cmd’.
  2. Enter the following four commands one after another and execute each with [Enter]:
net stop wuauserv
net stop cryptsvc
net stop bits
net stop msiserver
  1. These commands halt the specified Windows services. In the subsequent step, you’ll rename the update folders. Execute the corresponding commands listed below one by one with:
ren C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.old
ren C:\Windows\System32\catroot2 catroot2.old
  1. Finally, restart the services using these commands:
net start wuauserv
net start cryptsvc
net start bits
net start msiserver
  1. Restart the computer and run the update again. 0x80073701 should no longer be a problem.

We’ve compiled the top solutions for various error codes in our Digital Guide. Here’s a brief list of some of the articles available:

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