Fix: Error Code 0x80240031 while Updating from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1

As you know Windows 8.1 is now available for free via the Windows Store. The downloading and updating to the final version of Windows 8.1 however has turned out to be an exercise in frustration with some users getting an error code 0x80240031. There appears to be really no universal quick fix available for the error code as of now.

Something happened and the Windows 8.1 could’nt be installed. Please try again. Error code 0x80240031

The error code which is plaguing many Windows 8 (seems evident from the numbers seeking support via Microsoft’s support forum) users are at best, annoying because, the error pops up when the Windows 8.1 update download reaches up to 50%.

error message

The two buttons – ‘Try Again’ and ‘Cancel’ offered, seem of little or no use.

Why does the error code pop up?

Although it is difficult to determine the exact cause of the problem, experts suggest the code shows up commonly due to corrupted or damaged registry files, malware or spyware infection, old or outdated Windows driver, file system corruption and most importantly ‘Unfinished installation of Windows / improper maintenance cause.

This, can lead to events such as program failing to run, system freezing, system start up problem, and system shut down problems. Follow these steps and see if it works.

Install latest Updates and Drivers

Make sure that you have the latest drivers installed for your Windows machine. Also, I would suggest you to install all the available Windows Updates including the optional updates for drivers.

Uninstall or Disable Antivirus

If the above solution fails, uninstall Antivirus software and then try to upgrade to Windows 8.1. See if it helps.

Use the SFC /SCANNOW

To run the system file checker,

  • Press the Windows button + X on your keyboard, a mini dialogue box will appear
  • Choose Command Prompt (Admin). You must run the command prompt in Administrator level
  • On the command prompt type sfc /scannow and hit Enter.
  • If everything goes okay and no errors are found, restart your computer and try updating again
  • If errors were found, try to fix it using DISM.
  • On the same command prompt window type Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth. Details on this here.
  • After the repair is complete, restart your computer and try to update now.

Try Automatic Repair

  • Go to ‘Search’. There, select “Settings” found on the right side and type Advanced Startup Options and hit enter.

Advanced startup

  • The action will open the PC Settings in General category. Scroll down and look for “Advanced Startup” and click Restart Now.
  • Next, choose ‘Troubleshoot’ > Advanced options and finally hit Automatic Repair.

Refresh Your PC

Follow the above steps until you land on the PC Settings in General category. Scroll down and look for “Refresh your PC without Affecting your Files” and click Get Started when you are ready. Follow the instructions!

Hope something helps!

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Anand Khanse aka HappyAndyK is an end-user Windows enthusiast, a Microsoft MVP in Windows, since 2006, and the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.