How to Fix Update Error 0x80071160 for Windows 10

Windows 10 updates, whether cumulative or Patch Tuesday fixes, are meant to address issues affecting the functionality or security of the OS. But even fairly tech savvy users sometimes report being unable to complete the automatic download and installation of specific cumulative updates for Windows.

How many times have you experienced this issue when you’re desperate to install optional updates on Windows 10?

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If you’re among the many frustrated users of the OS, you may have encountered the Windows update error 0x80071160 while attempting to install some important OS fixes or improvements from Microsoft. That’s the bug that keeps popping up each time some users try to update their system, but it has a couple of DIY solutions you may want to try yourself.

How to Fix Update Error 0x80071160

1. Use the Windows Update Troubleshooter

The Windows Update Trouble can come to the rescue when you’re unable to download and install cumulative updates because of the 0x80071160 bug. You need not be an expert to use the tool as it requires no user interactions once you run it. It autonomously looks for the problem and fixes it, saving you from any unnecessary troubleshooting hassle.

Follow these steps to run the Windows Update Troubleshooter:

  1. Click on the Start menu or press the Windows key on your keyboard
  2. Click on the Settings option  
  3. Click on Update & Security
  4. Choose Troubleshoot
  5. Click on Additional Troubleshooters on the right pane
  6. Click on Windows Update
  7. Click on Run the Troubleshooter to initiate the process
  8. You may want to restart your PC once the troubleshooter is done running before attempting to update the system the second time. It should take a few minutes for the tool to identify and fix the root cause of the problem. Usually, broken Windows Update system files can block an installation of Windows 10 updates on your PC.

Next, follow these steps to check for fresh Windows 10 updates:

  1. Click on the Start menu
  2. Select the Settings app
  3. Go to Update & Security
  4. Locate Windows Update
  5. Click on Check for Updates to download and install any available cumulative updates for Windows 10

The Windows Update Troubleshooter may not always sniff out problems the first time you run it. That’s why you may need to run it again to fix additional bugs if you’re still getting the Windows 10 update error 0x80071160.

If all the above fails, try the second Windows update troubleshooting option—removing the contents of the SoftwareDistribution folder.   

2. Delete SoftwareDistribution Folder’s Contents

The SoftwareDistribution folder plays a critical role in the process of updating your Windows 10 PC. It temporarily stores the components that the Windows Update Service requires to deliver and install fresh OS fixes or feature enhancements on your PC.

But the system will likely throw the Windows update error 0x80071160 if the contents of the SoftwareDistribution are defective while you’re updating the OS. This leaves you with no option but to manually remove the broken components, which Windows 10 eventually replaces.  

If you’re familiar with the command prompt, this solution should be fairly easy to implement. Here’s how to clear the SoftwareDistribution folder and fix the 0x80071160 Windows update bugs:

  1. Press the Windows key
  2. Type CMD in the Windows search box and press enter
  3. Right Click on the Command Prompt icon that comes up and select Run as administrator to launch and use the app with full admin privileges
  4. Stop the Windows Update Service. To do this, copy and paste the net stop wuauserv command into the CMD interface and press enter. net stop wuauserv command
  5. Stop the Background Intelligent Transfer Service by copying and pasting the net stop bits command into the UI
  6. Open the Run command window by pressing the Windows key + R.
  7. Launch File Explorer and navigate to the C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution folder
  8. Clear the SoftwareDistribution folder by pressing Ctrl + A to select all files and pushing the Delete key Delete SoftwareDistribution files
  9. Restart the Windows Update Service by running the net start wuauserv command on the CMD prompt
  10. Reactivate the Background Intelligent Transfer Service by running the net start bits command on the CMD prompt

Now you’ve gotten rid of defective Windows Update Service components resulting in the 0x80071160 update error. Windows 10 will replace the files with new ones that don’t cause you any update glitches.

You may then check for and download fresh Windows 10 updates on your PC.

Windows 10 update error 0x80071160 is one of the many issues you may encounter while trying to download the latest fixes and improvements for the operating system. For other solutions to this problem, including manual installation from the Microsoft Updates Catalog, check out this guide. 

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