Error 80070003: Windows Could Not Search for New Updates


Error 80070003 is one of the most common Windows errors. Your system may throw one of the following messages —

  • Windows could not search for new updates. An error occurred while checking for new updates for your computer
  • “Windows update encountered an unknown error.”

As the error messages clearly state the issue i s related to updates installation.

There may be several reasons including conflicts with Firewall protection, insufficient RAM, or insufficient storage space. It is highly recommended to backup your data before proceeding further.

Download the Diagnostic

There are certain situations when missing entries in your registry and registry corruption causes this problem. Try running a registry scan to identify if there are any such issues.

  1. Click the button below to download and install the Diagnostic
  2. Perform a Registry scan and fix any problems detected.
  3. Restart your computer.

Estimated Download Time: 10 Seconds

Check Date and Time Settings

Your PC should show the correct date and time. If not, it can cause errors during the update process.

  1. Right-click the Date and Time area at the far right corner of your Taskbar.
  2. Select Adjust Date/ Time.
  3. Make sure Set time automatically option is disabled.
  4. Click Change.
  5. Set correct date & time, and then click Change.
  6. Disable Set time zone automatically.
  7. Set the appropriate time zone from the drop-down box.
  8. After completion, restart your PC.

Rename SoftwareDistribution Folder

The SoftwareDistribution folder in your operating system partition contains downloaded Windows updates. Error 80070003 occurs when one or more updates are corrupted. First, you need to terminate the Windows Update service and then delete the corrupted files.

  1. Press Windows Key + R simultaneously.
  2. It opens up the Run command box.
  3. Type services.msc
  4. Press ENTER.
  5. Right-click the Windows Update service.
  6. Select Stop.
  7. Exit the window.
  8. Open This PC or File Explorer.
  9. Open C:\Windows folder.
  10. Select the SoftwareDistribution folder, press F2 key and rename it as SoftwareDistribution_OLD
  11. Press ENTER.
  12. When you’re asked for administrative permissions, click Yes.
  13. Restart the stopped Windows Update service.

Use Troubleshooting For Error 80070003

Troubleshooting is a tool that gathers information about your system and fixes the commonly known issues.

  1. Click on Start.
  2. Type Troubleshooting.
  3. Open it from the Search Results.
  4. Click System and Security.
  5. Click Windows Update.
  6. Make sure you run it as an Administrator.
  7. Click on Next.
  8. Close the window.
  9. Click on Next.
  10. Follow the on-screen instructions.

Perform System Files Scan

System File Checker will find corrupted versions of Windows components and replace the same with original files.

  1. Click Start.
  2. In the Search Box, type CMD and open the Command Prompt as Administrator.
  3. Execute the following command:
    • Sfc /scannow
  4. Scanning your PC will take a while. After successful completion, restart your PC.

Change Proxy Settings

Sometimes, you may encounter this error because of incorrect proxy settings. Correct the proxy configurations through the steps given below:

  1. Press Windows Key + R simultaneously.
  2. Press ENTER.
  3. Open Command Prompt (Admin).
    • Type netsh winhttp import proxy source=ie in the Command Prompt window.
  4. Press ENTER.
  5. Disable proxy in your Network Settings unless direct access (no proxy server) message is displayed on the screen.
  6. Restart your PC.
  7. Check whether the error is fixed or not.

Use the Troubleshooter

An error takes place when updates are not completely installed. Try diagnosing the issue using Windows Update Troubleshooting utility.

  1. Open the Search.
  2. Type Troubleshooting.
  3. Press ENTER.
  4. Click View all.
  5. Click Windows Update Troubleshooter.
  6. Follow the on-screen instructions.

Use System Restore

If none of the above methods work, the last resort is to restore your computer to an earlier point of time. Make sure you save all unsaved data before proceeding further.

  1. Click Start.
  2. Type System Restore and open Create a restore point.
  3. Click System Restore.
  4. Click Next.
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions.


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