How to Fix Windows 10 Update Error 0x800f0986

In this post, I’ll show you how to fix the Windows 10 Update error code 0x800f0986. You can try the methods one by one from the top of the list until you find the one that works for you.

Try these methods

Method 1: Empty the Windows Update cache
Method 2: Manually download and install the update package
Method 3: Perform an in-place upgrade


Method 1: Empty the Windows Update cache

One general method to fix Windows Update errors is to empty the Windows Update cache. So to fix the Windows 10 Update error 0x800f0986, you can try to empty the Windows Update cache. To empty the Windows Update cache, you just need to rename the SoftwareDistribution folder and the catroot2 folder.

The SoftwareDistribution folder store temporary files of Windows Update and the catroot2 folder stores signatures of Windows Update.

Follow the below steps to rename these two folders:

1) On your keyboard, press Win+R (the Windows logo key and the R key) at the same time to invoke the Run box.

2) Type ‘cmd’ into the Run box.

open command prompt

3) On your keyboard, press Ctrl+Shift+Enter to open the Command Prompt as Administrator.

4) Follow the instructions below to type commands at the Command Prompt.

4a) Firstly, stop the Background Intelligent Transfer service (BITS), the Windows Update service, and the Cryptographic service, which are related to Windows Update.

To stop the services, type the following commands. Make sure that you press the Enter key on your keyboard after you type each command.

net stop bits
net stop wuauserv
net stop cryptsvc

4b) Secondly, rename the SoftwareDistribution folder and the catroot2 folder.

To do this, type the following commands. Make sure that you press the Enter key on your keyboard after you type each command.

Ren %systemroot%\SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.bak
Ren %systemroot%\system32\catroot2 catroot2.bak

5) Check if the folders are renamed successfully.

Go to C:\Windows and check if the SoftwareDistribution folder is renamed to SoftwareDistribution.bak.

Go to C:\Windows\System32 and check if the catroot2 is renamed to catroot2.bak.

check catroot2

6) Restart the BITS service, the Windows Update service, and the Cryptographic service.

To do this, type the following commands. Make sure that you press the Enter key on your keyboard after you type each command.

net start bits
net start wuauserv
net start cryptsvc

7) Restart your computer and check to see if the error code 0x800f0986 is resolved.


Method 2: Manually download and install the update package

The error code 0x800f0986 can be caused by a specific update package. You probably would see the update package name next to the error code. To fix the 0x800f0986 error, you can try to manually download and install that update package from Windows Update Catalog.

You can refer to the below steps to download and install the update package.

1) Go to Windows Update Catalog where you can download the update packages.

2) Type the name of the specific update package into the search box and click Search.

search update package in microsoft update catalog

3) Download the package based on your Windows 10 version (64-bit or 32-bit).

download update package from microsoft update catalog

4) Double-click on the downloaded file (MSU file) and follow the on-screen instructions to install the package.

5) Restart your computer and check to see if the 0x800f0986 error is resolved.


Method 3: Perform an in-place upgrade

An-place upgrade of Windows 10 is recommended to fix most of Windows Update errors. You can perform an-place upgrade to fix your 0x800f0986 error as well.

An-place upgrade allows you to upgrade the current system to a same edition or a newer edition. With the in-place upgrade, you won’t lose anything except the installed Windows Updates. So you don’t need to worry that your files, personal data and apps will get lost.

Regarding how to perform an in-place upgrade in Windows 10, you can follow the steps in How to Perform an In-Place Upgrade with Windows 10.
After you perform an in-place upgrade, log into Windows 10 and check to see if the problem persists.

Hopefully you find this article helpful. If you have any questions, ideas or suggestions, feel free to leave a comment below.

Leave a Comment