How to Fix Windows Update Error Code 0x80073712


Microsoft frequently releases updates to fix security issues, and introduce new features and stability to the Windows OS. But not all updates install smoothly on your system and trigger an error code while doing so. Many users share their woes with the 0x80073712 update error code with the error message that some files are missing from the system.

If you experience the same update error code and are unable to install the latest Windows update, don’t worry. We will list out all the possible fixes that you can try to resolve the 0x80073712 error code.

1. Use the Windows Troubleshooter

Before jumping onto major fixes, leverage the in-built troubleshooter on Windows 10 and 11. It tries to find out existing problems with Windows Update and try to fix them. Repeat the following steps:

  1. Press Win + I to launch the settings app.
  2. Navigate to the System > Troubleshoot section.
  3. Click on the Other Troubleshooter option.
  4. Locate the Windows Update troubleshooter option from the list.
  5. Then, click on the Run button to start the troubleshooter.
    Windows Update Troubleshooter

  6. Wait for the Windows Update troubleshooter to identify problems. Click on the Next button.
  7. Close the troubleshooter window and reattempt the Windows update installation.

2. Perform a Complete system shutdown

Windows OS enables the fast startup option by default. Even if you restart your system, or shut it down, it preserves the system state using hibernate. So, you need to perform a complete system shutdown and then power it back on to close and restart all background services.

Here’s how to perform a complete system shutdown:

  1. Press Win + X to launch the Power user menu. Scroll down and select the Terminal (Admin) option from the list.
  2. The Terminal app will open with an instance of a command prompt with admin privileges.
  3. Type the shutdown /s /f /t 0 command and press the enter key.
  4. Your system will power off. It will take a tad bit longer that a normal shutdown procedure.
  5. Now, restart your Windows PC and try to install the Windows update.

3. Restart Windows Update services

Windows Update uses a bunch of background services to fetch and download updates. If these services aren’t running automatically, you will encounter an error. These include Windows Update Service, Windows Installer Service, Cryptographic Services, and Background Intelligent Transfer Service.

Repeat the following steps to start the necessary services:

  1. Press Win + R to launch the Run dialog box. Type services.msc and press the enter key
  2. Services utility will launch on your system. Now locate the Background Intelligent Transfer service in the list.
  3. Double-click on the BITS service to open the properties window. Set the Startup Type as Automatic and click on the Apply button.
    Disabling Windows Update Services

  4. Click on the OK button and close the Properties windows. Now, right-click on the service and select the Start option from the context menu.
  5. Similarly, set all the services as automatic and manually start them.
  6. Close the Services window and reattempt the Windows update.

Disk Cleanup can wipe the delivery optimization files, old Windows update files as well as the Temp folder. If files in these locations are corrupted, they can interfere with the normal update process. Here’s how to run disk cleanup on Windows:

  1. Press Win + S to open the search utility in Windows.
  2. Type cleanmgr.exe and press the enter key to open the Disk Cleanup tool.
  3. It will select the system drive (C) by default. Click on the OK button to continue.
  4. Select the checkboxes of files that you want the tool to clean up. Then, click on the Clean up system files button.
    Disk Cleanup App in Windows 11

  5. Disk Cleanup will close and redirect you to pick the appropriate drive. Click on the OK button.
  6. Lastly, click on the Delete files button.

5. Rename the SoftwareDistribution Folder

Windows update stores its content in the SoftwareDistribution folder. Since it is located inside the Windows folder in the C drive, you mustn’t delete it. Instead, you can rename the folder to force the update service to recreate the folder again.

Repeat the following steps:

  1. Open the Start menu and search CMD. Press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open the command prompt with admin privileges.
  2. Type the following commands to stop all the Windows update-related services:
     net stop wuauserv net stop cryptSvc net stop bits net stop msiserver 
    Rename the SoftwareDistribution Folder

  3. Once these services stop running, type cls in the command prompt windows. Then enter the following commands:
     ren C:\\Windows\\SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.old ren C:\\Windows\\System32\\catroot2 Catroot2.old 
    Rename the SoftwareDistribution Folder 2

  4. Both the above commands rename the SoftwareDistribution folder and Catroot2 folder.
  5. Now, you need to restart all the Windows services you stopped in step 3. Enter the following commands:
    net start wuauserv net start cryptSvc net start bits net start msiserver
    Rename the SoftwareDistribution Folder 3

  6. Lastly, restart your system and visit the following folder location: C:\Windows. You will notice that there is a new SoftwareDistribution folder in that location.
  7. Open the Windows update in Settings and try to download and install updates.

6. Delete the Pending.xml file

The pending.xml file contains all the pending Windows update tasks. Oftentimes, it can interfere with installing new updates because there are already multiple incomplete old update tasks. So, you must delete this file and proceed with the Windows update.

Retrace the following steps to delete the pending.xml file:

  1. Log in with an administrator account. Then, press Win + E to launch the file explorer.
  2. Navigate to the C:\Windows\WinSxS folder.
  3. Locate the pending.xml in the WinSxS folder and right-click on it.
  4. Press the Shift key and click on the Delete option.
  5. Restart your computer.

7. Manually Download Windows Updates

If you are unable to download a specific Windows update using the Settings page, consider a direct download and install approach. Visit the Microsoft Update Catalog website and search for the KB update you want to download. However, you first have to check the corresponding update number which is failing to download and install on your system.

Manually Download Windows Updates

8. Reset Windows

Resetting Windows is the last resort you have if none of the above methods work in your favor. However, before learning how to perform a Windows system reset, try out general fixes such as SFC, CHKDSK, and DISM scans on your system. Also, disable Windows Defender and try updating your system before hitting the reset button.

Update Windows Without Hiccups

Windows updates can be tricky to install sometimes. Use the inbuilt troubleshooter to identify and fix problems. After that restart, all the crucial Windows update services and run the Disk Cleanup tool. If everything else fails, try doing a manual update or performing a Windows Reset.


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