How to fix Windows update error 0x800736B1?

Issue: Hello, I was trying to install the latest Windows update but I received an error 0x800736B1. The message said I should wait a bit and try again, which I did, but nothing changed for a few days now. Please advise.

Solved Answer

Windows, with its complex architecture, stands as the predominant operating system for desktop computing environments. This complexity arises from the multitude of files, processes, and critical elements required for its seamless operation. Despite its robustness, Windows is not immune to issues such as errors, system crashes, update failures, and other malfunctions.

Regular updates are a cornerstone of Microsoft's service to Windows users, typically rolled out on the second and occasionally on the fourth Tuesday of each month. These updates serve a variety of purposes, including system enhancements, bug resolutions, and crucial security patches. Given the importance of these security updates, turning off automatic updates is generally discouraged.

A common hurdle that some users face is the inability to complete updates due to specific errors, with 0x800736B1 being among them. This error offers little information about its cause upon occurrence – it only mentions that the updates couldn't be installed, and the user needs to try again later, which often brings no positive results.

The causes behind error 0x800736B1 are diverse and may include corrupted system files, issues with fetching the necessary update files, or problems within the Windows update cache, among others. The intricate nature of Windows makes pinpointing the exact cause of an error challenging without thorough troubleshooting, which can be a demanding process.

How to fix Windows update error 0x800736B1?

Hence, before attempting any manual interventions to resolve error 0x800736B1, it is highly advised to examine your system for any underlying problems using a dedicated FortectMac Washing Machine X9 PC repair tool. If the error is rooted in system file corruption or similar issues, this tool can facilitate an automatic correction. Additionally, it proves beneficial for addressing other issues, such as Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) crashes, DLL discrepancies, registry errors, and more, making it a valuable asset in maintaining the health and performance of your Windows OS.

Fix 1. Make sure relevant services are running

This solution involves ensuring that all necessary Windows Update services are active and running, as these services are crucial for downloading and installing updates. If these services are disabled or not running, Windows might not be able to apply updates, leading to error 0x800736B1.

  • Type in Services in Windows search and press Enter.
  • Find Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS).
  • If it is already running, right-click and pick Restart.
  • If the service is not running, double-click it, and select Automatic under the Startup type from the drop-down menu.
  • Click Start, Apply, and OK.
  • Repeat this process for Windows Update and Cryptographic services.

Check services

Fix 2. Check the system for corruption

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System File Checker (SFC) and Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) are tools designed to fix corrupted system files and Windows images. Corrupted files can be a reason for update errors, and running these scans can repair the files, potentially resolving the error.

  • Type cmd in Windows search
  • Right-click on Command Prompt and pick Run as administrator
  • When User Account Control shows up, click Yes
  • Use the following command lines, pressing Enter after each:
    sfc /scannow
    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth
    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
  • Restart your system.

SFC and DISM

Fix 3. Run Windows update troubleshooter

The Windows Update Troubleshooter is a built-in tool that diagnoses and fixes common issues with the update process. Running this tool can help resolve errors by resetting update components and clearing caches.

  • Type Troubleshoot in Windows search and press Enter.
  • On the right side of the window, click Additional troubleshooters/Other troubleshooters.
  • Scroll down and select Windows update.
  • Click Run the troubleshooter/Run.
  • Wait for the troubleshooter to finish.
  • Restart your system once done.

Troubleshoot

Fix 4. Use Disk Cleanup

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Disk Cleanup helps free up space on your hard drive by removing temporary files and system files that might interfere with the Windows update process. A lack of sufficient disk space can cause update errors.

  • Type Disk Cleanup in Windows search and hit Enter.
  • If your Windows is installed on drive C, pick it from the list (should be by default) and press OK.
  • Click Clean up system files.
  • Select your main drive again and click OK.
  • Here, select the largest portions of the data used – these typically include Temporary Internet Files, Windows Update, Temporary Files, Recycle Bin, Delivery Optimization Files, and others. Marking Windows Update is vital here.
  • Click OK – the process should be finished shortly.

Disk Cleanup

Fix 5. Reset Windows update components

Resetting Windows Update components involves stopping the update service, clearing the cache, and then restarting the service. This can resolve issues by removing any corrupt files in the update cache.

  • Open Command Prompt as administrator.
  • Stop the Windows Update-related services by running the following commands one at a time, pressing Enter after each one:
    net stop wuauserv
    net stop cryptSvc
    net stop bits
    net stop msiserver
  • Rename the SoftwareDistribution and Catroot2 folders by running the following commands:
    ren C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.old
    ren C:\Windows\System32\catroot2 Catroot2.old
    Note: If your Windows installation is not on the C drive, replace “C” with the appropriate drive letter.
  • Restart the Windows Update-related services by running the following commands:
    net start wuauserv
    net start cryptSvc
    net start bits
    net start msiserver
  • Reboot your system.

Reset Windows update components

Fix 6. Install the update manually

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If automatic updates fail, you can manually download and install the problematic update. This requires knowing the specific update code (KB number) that is failing.

  • Type Updates in Windows search and hit Enter.
  • Click View update history.
  • Here, note down the KB number which failed to be installed.
  • Go to the official Microsoft Update Catalog website.
  • Type the KB number into the search bar, and press Enter or click Search.
  • You will find many different versions on the update – you need to find the one that matches your PC specs and Windows version (as a home user, ignore Windows server versions).
  • Right-click on Start and pick System.
  • Under Device specifications, check the System type section: it should either be 64-bit or 32-bit.
  • Scroll down to Windows specifications and check the Version section.
  • With all this information, pick the correct version for your device.
  • Go back to the Microsoft Update catalog, download the appropriate version, and install it.

Install the update manually

Fix 7. Use Media Creation Tool

The Media Creation Tool can be used to perform an in-place upgrade or reinstall Windows while keeping files and applications intact. This method can resolve deeper issues causing the update error.

  • Visit the official Microsoft website and download Windows 10 installation media (Windows 11 version)
  • Double-click the installer and select Yes when UAC shows up
  • Agree to terms
  • Select Upgrade this PC now and select Next
  • Windows will now download all the necessary files – it might take awhile
  • Agree to terms once again and click Next
  • Before installing, make sure that you are happy with your choices (otherwise, you can click Change what to keep option)
  • Click Install to begin the upgrade process.

Media Creation Tool

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About the author
Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate computer expert

Gabriel E. Hall is an expert troubleshooter who has been working in the information technology industry for years.

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