What is Windows Update Error 0xc0020036 on Windows 10/11?

Quick Fix

Click to download Outbyte PC Repair and discover its benefits for your Windows system.

Designed for Windows 10 and 11.

Take advantage of our special offer to enhance your PC performance. For more details, please read About Outbyte, and Uninstall Instructions. Also, please review our End User License Agreement (EULA) and Privacy Policy.

Reading time: 6 Minutes

Upgrading to the latest Windows platform offers new features for productivity and user experience. However, Windows can present challenges, such as the update error 0xc0020036 during activation. Without activation, users can’t access all system features. Windows 10, like other software, requires an activation key to unlock all functionalities.

Upon upgrading your old MS OS to Windows 10/11, the new platform derives the product key and activation data from its predecessor. The data is then stored on the MS servers. However, if Windows installation has been cleaned, activation errors may occur. During the first Windows 10/11 clean-up installation on the same computer, the system pulls the activation data from the MS servers, hence the user will not experience errors. Users that utilize the WU (Windows Update) utility to download and install Windows 10/11 Case Creators Update, experience issues.

If concerned about what to do with the Windows Update error 0xc0020036, we have a couple of solutions in place. Based on our analysis, the error occurs mostly among users who have previously upgraded from an older version of Windows. Our analysis also reveals that the error is not concerned with piracy, considering that the affected users confirm their Windows 10/11 license keys are genuine.

What Causes Windows 10/11 Update Error 0xc0020036?

By carefully going through several report analysis and solutions that have been proven effective in resolving the error, it was found that there are various culprits liable to the update error message. These include:

Expert Tip: For smoother PC performance, consider using a PC optimization tool. It handles junk files, incorrect settings, and harmful apps. Make sure it's right for your system, and always check the EULA and Privacy Policy.

Free Scan for PC Issues
Compatible with: Windows 10/11, Windows 7, Windows 8

Special offer. About Outbyte, uninstall instructions, EULA, Privacy Policy.

  • Incorrect Activation Key – An incorrect license key can generate this Windows 10/11 update error 0xc0020036 message. Based on speculations, a product key can change when transformed into a digital license, hence leading to this error. In such a scenario, it’s best to find and re-enter the correct key or contact MS support.
  • Corrupt Windows 10/11 Update – A bad Windows 10/11 update can lead to activation errors. If this is the case, updating the Windows operating system to the latest build can help solve the issue.
  • Corrupt License Key – The Activation wizard might have likely failed to erase old license keys conventionally for the new one to take effect. To resolve the error, use an elevated CMD to erase existing registry keys before activating a new one.
  • Corrupt System File – The error might occur because of system file corruption. If that’s the case, the solution is to use Windows 10/11 built-in tools such as SFC and DISM to resolve the error.
  • Hard-wired License Key in the Registry – A hard-wired key to the Registry occurs when the legitimate copy of Windows 10/11 was obtained through the free-upgrade MS offer. Therefore, the error might occur when switching to a different license. The solution to this scenario is to adjust the sppsv value through the Registry Editor.

How to Fix Error 0xc0020036 on Windows 10/11?

Below, we have listed a couple of solutions that can resolve the issue causing this error message. We have listed the solutions in efficiency as well as severity order. Therefore, we advise following them in the manner. Note that the solutions provided are only for consumers with genuine Windows 10 versions and will not work on pirated operating systems.

Solution 1: Verify Product Activation Key

The Windows 10/11 update version 1803 broke the free activation option from older versions of Windows 8.1 and 7. So, to solve the issue, users are required to reenter the activation key via the Update and Security feature. To find the activation key, use third-party tools that can auto-read Windows 10/11 product key. Here is how you can find the activation key for Windows 10/11:

  1. Download the tool here and install it. Once the tool has finished the installation, having granted it UAC for administrative privileges, the system’s activation key will be displayed.
    Note: Skip the first step if you already have the correct key
  2. Now that the key is in possession, simultaneously press Windows key + R to launch the Run dialog. Insert ms-settings:activation into the text box and hit Enter. The Activation window will open.
  3. Under the Activation tab, select Add Product key, and insert the obtained activation key. Choose Next, then follow the prompts.
  4. Restart the system to check if Windows 10/11 is activated.

Solution 2: Update Your Windows Version to the Latest Build

If the previous solution did not help, the next culprit is a bad Windows Update, which was released towards the end of 2018. Microsoft released a hotfix for the issue shortly after. Therefore, if the issue is caused by a bad Windows Update, updating the system to the latest Windows build can do the trick. As confirmed by Microsoft, updating Windows 10/11 to version 1803 or later can automatically resolve update error 0xc0020036. Here is how to update to a later Windows 10/11 build:

  1. Launch the Run dialog by pressing Windows key + R simultaneously. Into the text field, insert ms-settings:windowsupdate and hit Enter.
  2. Windows Update will launch. Select Check for updates and follow the prompts to ensure all updates have been installed.
    If the system requires a restart before finishing the installation of all updates, do so, but get back to the same window after rebooting.
  3. Once Windows 10/11 build has been updated, retry activating the license.

Solution 3: Delete Existing Activation Key

The error can be generated due to inconsistency within the Activation wizard. An elevated CMD can be used to solve the issue. Users must run a series of commands to delete the registry key. Once done, the system must be rebooted before trying to activate the license. Here is how to uninstall and clear an existing activation key in the Registry:

  1. Launch the Run dialog, then type cmd before simultaneously pressing Ctrl + Shift + Enter to launch an elevated Command Prompt.
    Select Yes when prompted by the UAC to provide administrative privileges.
  2. Now, inside the Command Prompt, insert the command below and hit Enter.
    slmgr /upk
    This act will uninstall the stored product activation key.
  3. Once successfully uninstalled, insert the command line below and hit Enter.
    slmgr /cpky
    This will clear the current product activation key.
  4. Wait for the procedure to finish before closing the elevated Command Prompt. Restart the system and initiate the Run dialog by pressing Windows key + R.
  5. Type ms-settings:activation and hit Enter. The Activation tab will launch. Select Add Product key and insert the new activation key.

Solution 4: Use SFC and DISM to Scan the System

Both of these Windows 10/11 built-in tools are capable of fixing corrupt system files. However, they only differ in the way they do it. SFC uses archives stored locally to scan and fix corrupt system files, while DISM depends on Windows Update to replace affected files. Since both of these tools complement each other, we advise using them both to ensure positive results. Here is how to initiate SFC and DISM scans:

  1. Launch the Run dialog by pressing Windows key + R. Type cmd before pressing Ctrl + Shift + Enter to initiate an elevated Command Prompt. Click Yes if prompted to give administrative privileges by the UAC.
  2. Insert the command below and hit Enter to start the SFC scan process.
    sfc /scannow
  3. When done, repeat step 1 and this time, insert the following command in the elevated Command Prompt window:
    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
    This will launch the DISM scan. However, before initiating this procedure, ensure that the system has a stable internet connection since the tools require internet access to replace affected files.
  4. Once done, reboot the system and check if the issue has been resolved by activating the license key.

Solution 5: Get In-Touch with MS Activation Centre

If all of the above attempts hit a dead end, try to contact Microsoft License activation centre. The most effective communication method with the activation centre is via a phone call. Dial the toll-free number which varies depending on the specific country.

Solution 6: Change the sppsv key Value through Registry Editor

Registry Editor utility can be of help in solving the Windows update error 0xc0020036 message. Changing the file concerned with sppsv utility via the Registry Editor will alter the key-value and fix the issue. Here is how to adjust the sppsv key value through Registry Editor:

  1. Launch the Run dialog. Insert regedit into the text field before hitting Enter to open the Registry Editor utility. Give administrative privileges by clicking Yes if prompted by the User Account Control.
  2. Navigate to the address below via the left-hand pane:
  3. Once you have accessed the location, look for the value labelled ‘Start’ and double-click on it. A Property screen will launch.
  4. Set the Base to Hexadecimal, then adjust the Value Data to 2.
  5. When the adjustments have been done, close the Registry Editor window and reboot the system. Try to reactivate to see if the activation error 0xc0020036 issue is solved.

If none of the solutions provided above works, we recommend utilizing a reliable PC Repair tool to scan and resolve corrupt and missing system files. The tool will also optimize the computer for better performance.

Give us some love and rate our post!
[Total: 0 Average: 0]
Spread the love
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Featured Stories
How to Update UEFI BIOS in Windows: A Step-By-Step Guide

Reading time: 2 MinutesUpdating your BIOS can be beneficial but isn’t always required. This delicate…

Spread the love
Mouse Cursor Disappears on Windows 10: 13 Solutions

Reading time: 4 MinutesWhen your mouse disappears on Windows 10, it can significantly disrupt your…

Spread the love
Snipping Tool Not Working on Windows 11: Solutions

Reading time: 7 MinutesAfter the Windows 11 update, a range of challenges and issues have…

Spread the love
Windows 11 Mouse Click Not Working: Causes and Fixes

Reading time: 5 MinutesThe issue of the left mouse click not working is not exclusive…

Spread the love
Windows 11’s Wi-Fi Adapter Disappeared: Quick Fixes

Reading time: 3 MinutesWindows 11, the latest iteration of Microsoft’s widely used operating system, has…

Spread the love
How to Fix OneDrive error 0x80071129

Reading time: 8 MinutesOneDrive is a helpful feature in Windows; you can easily access your…

Spread the love
PC Repair
How to Fix Error Code 0xA00F429F on Windows 10/11

Reading time: 8 MinutesWindows 10 and 11 come with pre-installed UWP apps that are essential…

Spread the love
Error Copying File or Folder: The Requested Value Cannot Be Determined

Reading time: 8 MinutesIf you encounter the Windows 10/11 error message “The requested value cannot…

Spread the love
What to Do When a Deleted User Still Appears on the Windows 10/11 Login Screen?

Reading time: 8 MinutesWindows 10/11 allows you to create multiple user accounts – useful for…

Spread the love