How to Fix Windows 11 ‘Updates failed’ Install Error 0x800f0988

Computer Error

Easily resolve the ‘Updates failed’ error on your Windows 11 PC with these simple instructions.

Like clockwork, Microsoft releases subsequent updates for Windows. However, reportedly, many Windows users have been experiencing a failure to update their Windows 11 machine with a specific install error code — ‘0x800f0988’.

Usually, an update failure is easily fixable by Windows itself, and very rarely it requires human intervention. But that is not the case with this particular error code.

Since there can be a number of issues preventing your system from getting updated, you might need to perform more than one fix listed below.

1. Download and Install the Update Manually

Microsoft also provides a way to manually install an update for your Windows machine. Given that, you know the knowledge base number of the update, which can be easily found on the ‘Windows Update’ screen from the Settings app on your machine.

To download an update manually, head to the official Microsoft Update Catalog website catalog.update.microsoft.com using your preferred browser.

Then, enter the KB number of the update you want to download in the search bar situated to the right of the webpage and hit Enter to perform a search.

Now, a list of the available updates corresponding to the KB number will be populated. To know more information about the update package, click on its title. This will open a separate browser window on your screen.

You can learn more about the update, its classification, products supported, and also the languages supported by the update package. You can also head to the respective tab to learn more about Install resources, Package details, and more.

To download a particular update package, click the ‘Download’ button present on the far right edge of the individual row. This will open a separate browser window on your screen.

Next, right-click on the link present on the window, and choose the ‘Save link as’ option from the context menu.

Then, choose your desired directory and click on the ‘Save’ button to download the Windows Update Package on your computer. Once chosen, Your download should begin in a moment.

Once downloaded, head to your default downloads directory and double-click on the package file to run it.

Next, the Windows Update Standalone Installer will prepare the system for installation and that might take a few minutes or so. Once the update is ready to install, a prompt will appear on the screen to confirm the installation; click on the ‘Yes’ button to proceed.

Package Installer will now start installing the Windows update on your PC, wait while the installation completes.

Once the installation completes, depending on the type of update, you might be prompted to restart the machine. Do so to complete the update.


2. Run DISM Tool Using Windows Terminal

DISM stands for Deployment Image Servicing and Management. It is a command-line tool used to service Windows images. It has a plethora of applications, however, in this case, will be used to restore the health of the currently deployed Windows image on your system.

To do so, open Windows Search present on the taskbar of your machine and then type Terminal. Then, right-click on the ‘Windows Terminal’ tile and choose ‘Run as administrator’ option from the context menu.

After that, an UAC (User Account Control) window will appear on your screen. If you are not logged in with an admin account, provide credentials for one. Otherwise, click on the ‘Yes’ button.

Next, from the Terminal window, click on the carat icon (downward arrow) and choose the ‘Command Prompt’ option. Alternatively, you can also press the Ctrl+Shift+2 shortcut to open a Command prompt tab.

Now, type or copy/paste the following command and hit Enter on your keyboard.

dism /online /cleanup-image /startcomponentcleanup

The process may take a few minutes to complete. It is recommended that you do not interrupt the process. Once completed, you will receive a message stating so.


3. Uninstall Additional Languages

Due to the humongous user base of Windows, the operating system supports a variety of languages for users’ ease of convenience. However, there might be a possibility that default/ additional language is the culprit behind the issue.

To uninstall a language pack, head to the Settings app from the Start Menu. Alternatively, you can also press the Windows+I shortcut on your keyboard to open the Settings window.

Next, click on the ‘Time & Language’ tab situated on the left panel of the Settings window.

After that, click on the ‘Language & region’ tile present to the right of the window.

Then, locate the additional language tile under the ‘Language’ section and click on the ellipsis icon (three horizontal dots). Next, choose the ‘Remove’ option from the overflow menu.

Once uninstalled, restart your PC from the Start Menu and try installing the update package once again.


5. Empty the Windows Update Cache

Emptying the Windows Update cache can also resolve issues emerging due to a damaged or corrupted update file. Though the solution is a tad bit generic, it can prove to be very effective.

To do so, press the Ctrl+Shift+Esc shortcut on your computer to bring up the Task Manager. Next, click on the ‘File’ tab present on the top left corner of the window. Then, click on the ‘Run new task’ option.

After that, from the ‘Create new task window’, type wt.exe and click the checkbox preceding the ‘Create this task with administrative privileges’ field. Now, click on ‘OK’ to open Windows Terminal.

Now, from the Terminal window, click on the carat icon (downward arrow) and choose the ‘Command Prompt’ option. Alternatively, you can also press the Ctrl+Shift+2 shortcut on your keyboard to open it.

Next, type or copy+paste the following command one by one and hit Enter to stop the services associated with Windows Update.

net stop bits
net stop wuauserv
net stop cryptsvc

Once the services have been stopped, bring up the Run Command utility by pressing the Windows+R shortcut on your keyboard and type or copy+paste the following directory, and hit Enter on your keyboard.

C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download

After that, from the explorer window, select all files by pressing Ctrl+A and then permanently delete them by pressing the Shift+Delete shortcut on your keyboard.

Then, click on the ‘SoftwareDistribution’ directory from the address bar.

After that, click on the ‘DataStore’ folder.

Now, select all files and folders by pressing Ctrl+A on your keyboard and permanently delete them by pressing Shift+Delete on your keyboard.

Finally, head back to the elevated Command Prompt window, and type or copy+paste the following command one-by-one and hit Enter to start the services you disabled earlier.

net start bits
net start wuauserv
net start cryptsvc

Next, restart your Windows PC from the Start Menu and try to install the update again to check if the issue has been resolved or not.


6. Perform an In-place Upgrade

If all else fails, you can always do an in-place upgrade to the latest version of Windows without affecting your personal files and folders. However, in order to do so, you will need the latest Windows 11 ISO.

Read: How to Download Windows 11 ISO File

After acquiring the Windows 11 ISO file, right-click on the ISO file and choose the ‘Mount disk’ option from the context menu.

Now, head to ‘This PC’ and double-click on the mounted drive to run the Windows 11 setup.

Next, a UAC (User Account Control) window will appear on your screen. Enter the admin credentials if you are not logged in with an admin account currently. Otherwise, simply click the ‘Yes’ button to proceed.

Then, from the Windows 11 setup window, click on the ‘Next’ button present at the bottom right corner.

After that, the setup will check for updates. It may take some time, wait while the setup downloads the latest resources from Microsoft servers.

Next, read the ‘End User License Agreement’ from Microsoft and click on the ‘Accept’ button.

After that, the Windows installation wizard will now configure itself to install the latest build of the OS on your machine. Please wait while the process runs in the background.

Finally, on the next screen, the setup wizard will list down the Windows version to be installed on your PC along with the default selection of keeping the personal files and apps. Click on the ‘Install’ button to commence the installation.


That’s it folks, one of these solutions will definitely work on your machine to fix the update error and you will be back to receiving and installing updates on your PC normally in no time.