Sometimes you may not be able to install Windows Updates in your system. If you ever get a message that says update files are missing or couldn’t be installed, it will likely also show the error code 0x80073712.
Just as stated, it occurs due to problems in the update files. You can easily fix it by removing the downloaded update components. This allows your system to download them again, but this time without errors. For more serious cases, you might need to perform an in-place repair to overhaul all system file errors.
In this article, we mention the factors responsible for this error along with the most effective solutions.
Table of Contents
Causes of 0x80073712 Error
Here are some of the causes for the 0x80073712 error:
- Corrupted temporary Windows Update files.
- Corrupted or missing system files.
- Power failure while installing updates.
- Malware infection.
Solutions for Error 0x80073712
There are a few possible solutions to resolve this error. Please try the fixes mentioned below.
Make sure to back up any vital data on an external drive before trying out the following solutions. You can also back up your files on cloud storage like Google Drive, OneDrive, etc.
Before you begin, properly restart or shut down and turn on your PC. Also, please check your internet connection to prevent update errors due to connectivity issues.
Windows Update Troubleshooter
It is possible to fix most Windows Update errors with its Troubleshooter. Use this utility before trying out any advanced solutions. Here are the steps to launch this Troubleshooter:
- Open Settings (press Windows + I) and go to Update & Security > Troubleshooter.
- Then, click on Windows Update Troubleshooter or Additional troubleshooters > Windows Update.
- Select Run the troubleshooter.
Restart your PC and check if the Troubleshooter fixes this issue. If not, move to the next solution.
Repair System File Corruption
One reason for this update error might be corruption in the necessary system files. You can use the System File Checker (SFC) and the Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) to scan and repair corrupt files. Follow the directions below to use these features through the elevated Command Prompt:
- Search for Command Prompt in the search bar.
- Right-click on it and select Run as administrator.
- Type the commands below and press enter after each to execute them.
dism /online /cleanup-image /scanhealth
dism /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth
- Restart your PC if they find and repair any error. Then check if the issue remains.
If the SFC finds but can’t fix the corrupt files, you might have to replace the corrupt files manually. To know more about this issue, check out our article on Windows Resource Protection Found Corrupt Files.
Delete Pending.xml File
Your system creates a
Pending.xml file if an update requires any further actions after a reboot. Your system checks this file and performs relevant actions after the restart.
Sometimes because of this file, it causes an endless loop of update installation which can’t complete because of this error. You can delete this file so that Windows builds a fresh update.
Before you can remove or rename this file, you’ll need to take its ownership. But sometimes, you can’t delete the
pending.xml file even after taking ownership. So, it is better to use this method in safe mode to bypass this issue.
Here are the steps to delete the pending.xml file:
- Go to Start > Power.
- Click Restart while pressing the Shift key. It will direct you to Windows Recovery Environment.
- Go to Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings > Restart.
- Press 4 or F4 to boot in safe mode.
- After booting, open the elevated Command Prompt.
- Paste the following commands and hit Enter after each to execute them:
net stop trustedinstaller
takeown /f pending.xml /a
cacls pending.xml /e /g everyone:f
Restart your PC and try updating your OS again.
Reset Windows Update Components
You can fix most Windows Update errors by resetting the update components. Generally, you perform the following activities during this method:
- Resetting services necessary for Windows Updates.
- Deleting previously downloaded update files.
- Restoring other update cache files.
Follow the instructions below to execute these processes:
- First, click on the Wi-Fi icon on the notification bar and select Airplane Mode.
- Then, launch the elevated Command Prompt.
- Type the following commands and press Enter after each:
net stop bits
net stop msiserver
net stop appidsvc
net stop wuauserv
net stop cryptsvc
del "%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Application Data\Microsoft\Network\Downloader\qmgr*.dat"
ren C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.old
ren C:\Windows\System32\catroot2 catroot2.old
net start cryptsvc
net start wuauserv
net start appidsvc
net start msiserver
net start bits
netsh winsock reset
Scan for Malware
Some malware threats can infect the update files or tools used to install those files. It’s best to enable real-time protection on your antivirus program to prevent such issues.
Scan your computer for threats if you encounter this error. We also recommend enabling cloud-based protection on your antivirus applications.
Follow these steps to scan your computer with the Virus & Threat Protection,
- Click on the Windows Security icon (Shield icon) from the notification tray.
- Click on Options (triple-lines) and select Virus & threat protection.
- Under Current threats, click Scan options.
- Check on Full scan and select Scan now.
- Scanning may take a while. Please patiently wait for it to complete.
Temporarily Disable Third-Party Security Software
Another possible solution is to temporarily disable any third-party antivirus or firewall before retrying the update. Some security software can cause such errors while installing updates if they falsely recognize them as threats to your system.
We also recommend using antivirus programs compatible with Windows to prevent this issue. The software manufacturer’s website should provide information about any compatibility issues.
In-place Repair Upgrade
An in-place repair reinstalls the Windows OS over your previous installation without affecting your application and user files. This will repair your corrupted system and remove all the updates installed.
You can use an ISO file or USB installation media for this process. However, we recommend using the ISO file over the latter option. Keep in mind that the installation software must contain the same build as your current system version for the repair to succeed.
Also, make sure that the base language of the installation media matches that of your system build.
- Download and mount the ISO file or insert a bootable USB drive.
- Open the installation drive and run
- Click Change how Windows Setup downloads updates.
- Check Not right now and click Next. If you want to download updates and optional features, you can do so after the error resolves.
- Hit Accept to agree with the terms.
- Click Install after everything is ready. You will also find an option to change what you want to keep.
After the repair, log in to your account and perform windows update.
Perform System Restore
If the previous methods don’t work, you can try restoring your system to a previously created restore point. You can only perform a system restore if you have enabled it and also set up a restore point.
Here’s how you can perform a system restore:
systempropertiesprotectionin the Run command. It will direct you to the System Protection tab in System Properties.
- Click on System Restore.
- Select an appropriate restore point and follow the on-screen instructions.
- You will also get an option to check for affected programs. Please click on the option to find out which programs you’ll need to reinstall.
Reset Your PC
This is the last resort if all previous methods prove useless and you don’t have an appropriate restore point. It will restore your PC to the default factory settings and remove all errors from your system.
Please follow the instructions below to perform a system reset:
- Launch Settings and click on Update and Security.
- Select Recovery.
- Under Reset this PC, click Get started.
- Choose Keep my files when prompted and click Ok.
- Follow the on-screen instructions.