How to: Fix Windows 10 upgrade error code 80240020

Windows 10

Having been running the technical previews of Windows 10 for quite a while I wanted to get it on our home laptop as soon as possible, well I finally managed to find some time last week to try the in place upgrade, and it didn’t quite to plan!

I completely patched our Windows 8.1 laptop so that it was up to date, all important and optional updates installed. I’d signed up to reserve my copy of Windows 10, and left the laptop on hoping it would download in the background and surprise me, but after a a few hours and no action I thought I’d better investigate.

First stop was to check Windows Update history, and i spotted a few attempts to upgrade to Windows 10 had failed.

Double clicking on the failed update give a little more detail. I received error code 80240020, and a couple of links to check which didn’t help much.

Upgrade to Windows 10 home - error details - code 80240020After a bit or research online the following process seemed to fix the issue.

Go to C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download, and delete the contents. Before.


Windows-SoftwareDistribution-Download-emptyNext run an administrative command prompt. Go to the Start Screen and type cmd. Right click and select run as administrator.

Cmd-Run-As-AdministratorIn the administrative command prompt type the following: wuauclt.exe /updatenow


Go to Control Panel, Windows Update, and click check for updates.


This should start to download Windows 10 again, you can check the WindowsSoftwareDistribution\Download folder to see items filling up.

Once downloaded follow the onscreen instructions to upgrade to Windows 10.

Other possible solutions:

In my case the instructions above didn’t work with the account I was logged in with, but when I logged into the account I originally set the laptop up in they worked perfectly, so the issue could have been to do with User Access Control. You can check this out in Control Panel – User Accounts – Change User Access Control settings.

You could also try downloading the iso from and running the installation from the iso.

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