Easy fix 0x80070070 Installation Failure: Windows failed to install the following update with error 0x80070070

While running Windows Updates, I encountered error 0x80070070 on my Windows 10 machine. Unlike many other errors that Windows Update may return, error 0x80070070 is a disk space problem for sure. No need to repair Windows Update or revert to a system point. Just free some space on your Windows 10 device and try again.

Error 0x80070070 on Windows 10 with Windows Update

Good to see you are updating your Windows 10 OS. It’s important to keep your OS safe, secure, and stable. Windows Updates are most beneficial to accomplish that. However, if you face Windows Update error 80070070, updates are not installed. Your C-drive has insufficient disk space left. Before you retry to install the updates, you must delete files or move files to another drive (like USB-stick, network drive, or local drive (i.e. your D-drive or E-drive).

How much space you need depends on the updates you want to install. But generally speaking, nowadays updates require at least 2GB of free space (!!). I’ve seen computers failing on 2.5GB. Especially the monthly cumulative updates need much space, as it involves: downloading, extracting, and installing. A general update of 450MB will at least triple its size because of this procedure.

Can’t find the files that are consuming your disk space? Consider using a disk space analyzer, like TreeSize (free)

Error 0x80070070 on Windows Server 2016 and 2019

On a Windows Server, you may see this event in the event viewer:

Log Name: System
Source: Microsoft-Windows-WindowsUpdateClient
Event ID: 20
Task Category: Windows Update Agent
Level: Error
Keywords: Failure,Installation
Installation Failure: Windows failed to install the following update with error 0x80070070

Servers often encounter a disk space problem, because they are usually Virtual Machines, provisioned with a small C-drive. 40GB or 60GB are no exception. Storage Administrators tend to do this to save SAN storage (and save money in the long run, because they need less storage capacity). However, as a result, system administrators have to spend many hours manually freeing up disk space. It’s usually a best practice to use thin provisioning on C-drives and grant 100GB.

If you notice you have less than 3 GB free disk space, 0x8070070 is likely to occur. On Windows Server, these are known locations to occupy lots of (large) files:

  • C:\Inetpub\Logs\Logfiles
  • Shadow Copies
  • C:\Users\*

error 0x80070070 windows update

Configmgr updates error 0x80070070 in Software Center

Servers and clients managed by SCCM may show error 0x80070070 in the Software Center. Click the update that fails, click the “Failed” hyperlink next to Status: and it will show a popup stating 0x80070070 (2147024784)

The same error also appears in the UpdatesHandler log file on the client. The default location for the CCM log files is: C:\Windows\CCM\Logs. Open UpdatesHandler.log to view more information about the error(s).

To resolve error 0x80070070, clean up the C:\ drive or expand it if possible.

Error 0x80070070 during Windows 10 upgrade to 20H2

Upgrading Windows 10 to a newer version involves a lot of files being copied. You need at least 8GB of free space, before you begin. Take my advice: you may need 12GB or more, because of the latest Windows Updates coming afterwards.

Windows 10 20H2 checks the drives for available space prior to installation. Setup will not let you behind with a half installation. But it’s best to check it yourself beforehand. Much quicker and you need to manually free up the space anyways 🙂

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