Windows Update Error 80240020

The Windows Update utility reportedly fails with 80240020 error in Windows 10 or earlier versions.

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Estimated download time: 10-15 Seconds

Alternative manual troubleshooting steps are given below:

Switch Account

Log in to your machine from the Administrator user account. You may be logged in from a Standard User Account that doesn’t have privileges to install updates which is an administrative process.

For Windows 10:

1. Press Windows Key + X simultaneously.

2. Choose “Shut down or sign out”


3. Choose “Sign out”

4. After your account is logged off, sign in to Administrator user account with a valid password, if any.

For Windows 8.1/ 8:

1. Click the Start button.

2. Click your user account picture.

3. Select “Sign out”.

4. Sign in from Administrator account.

For Windows 7:

1. Click Start.

2. Point to the arrow next to the Shutdown option.

3. Choose “Log off”.

4. Log-in from Administrator account.

Verify Required System Services are Not Stopped

Windows Update, Background Intelligent Transfer and System Event Notification services must be running prior to starting the update download-install process. Make sure none of these services are stopped; and if stopped, restart them again.

For Windows 10/ 8.1/ 8/ 7/ Vista:

1. Press Windows Key + R to open Run.

2. Type “Services.msc”, and click OK. (Right click > Start)


3. Start the services mentioned below:

  • Background Intelligent Transfer Service
  • System Event notification Service
  • Windows Update


4. Exit out of the window; reboot your machine.

Check Problems Pertaining to Name Resolution

Make sure you’ve set a valid name resolution.

For Windows 10/ 8.1/ 8:

1. Open Run dialog.

2. Type “sysdm.cpl” and press ENTER.


3. Click Change button under Computer Name tab.

4. Note down your Computer Name.

5. Exit opened dialogs.

6. Press Windows Key + X; choose Command Prompt (Admin).

7. One by one execute below commands:

  • Nslookup
  • Ns
  • <type your computer name>


8. Now you should see the DNS (Domain Name Server) IP Address.

9. Re-try downloading and installing Windows Updates.

For Windows 7/ Vista:

1. Refer Steps # 1-5 from Windows 10/ 8.1/ 8 section.

2. Open Command Prompt. To do so, type “CMD” in the Search Box of your Start Menu.

3. When “Command Prompt” is displayed in Search Results, right click it and choose Run as administrator.

4. Refer Steps # 7-9 from Windows 10/ 8.1/ 8 section.

Re-download Software Distribution Content

The content downloaded to SoftwareDistribution folder may have corrupted. Do not delete the “Download” folder; only delete its contents.

For Windows 10/ 8.1/ 8/ 7/ Vista:

1. Open File Explorer through its Taskbar icon (in case of Windows 10). Open My Computer, in case of earlier version of Windows.

2. Open following directory:

  • C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download\

3. Empty the contents of “Download” sub folder.


4. Open Command Prompt.

5. Run the following command:

  • Wuauclt.exe /updatenow

6. Exit; restart.

Allow OS Upgrade

There’s a string named AllowOSUpgrade in the Windows Update Registry entries. Make sure relevant sub key and string exists, and its enabled.

For Windows 10/ 8.1/ 8/ 7/ Vista:

1. Open Registry Editor. (Run > RegEdit)

2. Locate following sub key:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE | SOFTWARE | Microsoft | Windows | CurrentVersion | WindowsUpdate | OSUpgrade

If no such sub key is found, create a new one. Click the Edit menu, choose New | Key. Specify the name “OSUpgrade”, and press ENTER.


3. Double click “AllowOSUpgrade” DWORD (32-bit) Value. If it doesn’t exist, create a new one. Click Edit | New | DWORD (32-bit) Value. Type the name “AllowOSUpgrade”.


4. Ensure “AllowOSUpgrade” contains “1” value.

5. Close the window; restart.

Troubleshoot Windows Update Components

Windows comes with a pre-installed tool that detects and repairs problem with the Windows Update utility. The tool, named as Troubleshooter, requires administrative privileges and automatically fixes Windows Update error 80240020. The steps are given as under:

For Windows 10:

1. In the Search Box on your Taskbar, type “Troubleshooting”


2. Open that keyword from Search Results.

3. Click System and Security | Windows Update.


4. It automatically searches for problems, resolves them and might require a system reboot as well.


For Windows 8.1/ 8:

1. Open Start Screen.

2. Type “Troubleshooting” in the Search Box.

3. Click Settings icon.

4. Open that from Search Results.

5. Refer Steps # 3-4 under Windows 10 section.

For Windows 7/ Vista:

You may need to obtain standalone Windows Update Troubleshooter from Microsoft Download Center. Use the Search box.

One thought on “Windows Update Error 80240020

  1. Braulio

    sorry to say but if your using XP, defragmenting your hard drive won’t do anhiytng for your systems speed. The reason why is that XP saves everything on the hard drive fragmented thats how it works. If your using a FAT32 hard drive defragmenting will speed up the system but XP on a Sata hard drive will not.


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