Fix Windows Update Error 0x80246002 on Windows 10/11

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The Windows Update error 0x80246002 is a common issue encountered by Windows 10/11 users during the download and installation of PC updates. This error triggers a Windows Update fail message along with the specific error code 0x80246002.

This post provides simple troubleshooting solutions to help you fix the Windows Update error 0x80246002 on Windows 10/11.

What Is Windows 10/11 Update Error 0x80246002?

The Windows 10/11 error 0x80246002 is an update error which users encounter when trying to install specific Windows 10/11 updates. It also occurs after a failed Windows 10/11 upgrade from an older Windows version.

The Windows update error 0x80246002 also affects the following other Windows versions that try to upgrade to Windows 10/11, or conduct a Windows update:

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  • Windows Vista/7/8/8.1
  • Windows 10/11 Redstone 2
  • Windows 10/11 Creators Update
  • Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Windows Server 2012
  • Windows Server 2016

What Causes Windows Update Error 0x80246002?

There is no single cause for the occurrence of the Windows Update error 0x80246002. However, possible causes appear to happen when:

  • Windows Defender isn’t able to update,
  • Software Distribution folder is corrupted,
  • Microsoft Server received large requests from users,
  • There is poor internet access,
  • There is interference from a third-party antivirus program, or
  • Incompatible Windows update or upgrade.

The error 0x80246002 may occur if the Microsoft Update Center or the Windows Update utility determines that there is a file hash mismatch when searching for available updates from the Windows Update website.

How to Fix Windows 10/11 Update Error 0x80246002

If you’ve experienced the Windows Update error 0x80246002 issue, here are our recommended solutions (in no particular order):

Solution #1: Run Windows Update Troubleshooter

Windows Update Troubleshooter is a built-in Windows troubleshooting tool. It scans the Windows system to identify and repair damaged Windows Update components. It fixes any incompatible update, including the Windows Update error 0x80246002 issue.

To run the Windows Update Troubleshooter:

  1. Press Win-key + S.
  2. Into the search bar, type Troubleshooter.
  3. Click Troubleshooting.
  4. From the list of Troubleshoot computer problems, select Windows Update.
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions to let the Windows Update Troubleshoot run.

After completion, restart your computer to save the changes.

Solution #2: Ensure that the Windows Update service is running

If the Windows Update Service is not running, it may be the cause of the error 0x80246002. To check if the service is running:

  1. Press Win-key + R.
  2. Into the dialogue box, type services.msc then press Enter.
  3. On the new window containing Windows Service, locate Windows Update.
  4. Check if it is written “running,” if not right-click on it and select “start.”
  5. Click OK to save your settings.
  6. Restart your PC to apply the changes.

Solution #3: Clean/Clear the Windows Update temporary cache

Temporary files are stored in the Windows Software Distribution folder located in the Windows directory. If there are corrupted temporary files in the Software Distribution folder, they may affect Windows Update and cause the Windows Update error 0x80246002.

To clear the Windows Update temporary cache:

  1. Press Win-key + R.
  2. In the dialogue box, type %windir%\SoftwareDistribution\DataStore and press Enter.
  3. Delete all content of the Windows Explorer folder. Hint: Use Ctrl + A to select all files and folders then press ‘delete’.

This process should clear all the contents of the Software Distribution folder. If they were the cause of the error, it should resolve the issue.

Note: Before you clear the Windows Update temporary cache, ensure Windows Update Services is not running. You can follow the steps above to stop it. Then restart it after clearing the cache.

Solution #4: Disable IPv6

Some users report that disabling IPv6 can help resolve the Windows Update error 0x80246002 issue. To disable IPv6:

  1. Press Win-key+S.
  2. Into the search bar, type Network and Sharing Center.
  3. It will take you to the Control Panel.
  4. Locate and select Network and Internet to take you to Network Sharing Center.
  5. Find and click your connection (it will open a dialogue box).
  6. Choose Properties.
  7. You should see the list of items. Find Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6) and uncheck the box.
  8. Click OK to save changes.

After this process, restart your PC to save your changes and see if the issue is resolved.

Solution #5: Eliminate third-party interference (if applicable)

If you have a third-party antivirus program in your system, you will need to disable it for some time. If it is blocking the Update, disabling it should let the Windows Update proceed without any error message.

Solution #6: Manually Update Windows Defender

One of the tried (confirmed) fixes of the Windows Update error 0x80246002 issue is to update Windows Defender definitions manually. To do this:

  1. Press Win-Key + S.
  2. Type Windows Defender and click on the Windows Defender.
  3. Navigate to the Update tab.
  4. Now, update Windows Defender.
  5. If your Windows Defender is turned off, turn it on first and install the pending updates.

Once you’re done, reboot your computer to save the changes then try to update Windows again to see if the problem still occurs.

Solution #7: Manually download the update from Microsoft Update Catalog

If the Windows Update error 0x80246002 problem persists, you may need to manually download the specific Windows Update from the Microsoft Update Catalog. To do this:

  1. Go to the Microsoft Update Catalog website.
  2. Search for the specific update code (check for the code on your error message in the Windows update).
  3. Click Download in front of your update title “Cumulative Update for Windows 10/11 Version [a code] for x64-based Systems (code).”
  4. Click on the download link in the new window.
  5. Download and install the Windows update [code].

Note: Ensure that you have a strong network connection when updating Windows because a poor network connection may also cause update issues.

Final Thoughts

We believe that these solutions have helped you fix the Windows Update error 0x80246002 on Windows 10/11. If they don’t, it is likely that the issue cannot be solved conventionally. In that case, you may need to reinstall your OS.

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