The 0x800f0831 error is typically detected by affected users in WindowsUpdate.log using the event viewer after a traditional cumulative update installation fails. Although the problem is primarily related to Windows Server Update Services, it is also confirmed in end-user versions of Windows.
In fact, the most common cause of this error message is a missing manifest from a previous service pack. In other words, the WU (Windows Update Center) component does not know what was installed last and therefore refuses to install new service packs. If this scenario applies, you can solve the problem by manually installing the missing update.
Another possible cause that causes error 0x800f0831 is a scenario in which the end-user computer is unable to communicate with the Windows Update Center servers. Either a corrupted system file, or VPN connections or proxy servers can contribute to this.
However, the problem can also be caused by a disabled WU service or a missing .NET 3.5 Framework. In this case, you must activate the framework via the Windows Features menu or install it from a compatible installation media.
In rare cases, Windows updates may end up with error 0x800f0831 due to system corruption. This can be resolved either by restoring the system, performing SFC and DISM scans, or by updating operating system components (by reinstalling or restoring).
Use the Windows Update Center Troubleshooter
You can use the Windows Update Center Troubleshooter to fix most Windows Update Center problems. Unfortunately, if you encounter error code 0x800F0831, just use this tool.
Step 1: Press Windows + I to display the settings.
Step 2: Go to the Update and Security section.
Step 3: Click the “Troubleshooting” tab in the left pane.
Step 4: In the right pane, select Windows Update Center and click Run Troubleshooter.
Set the Windows Update Center status to automatic
If the computer where Windows Update failed to install is part of a shared domain, a third-party network policy or system optimization tool might have disabled the main service responsible for the update function. In this case, you can solve the problem by setting the Windows Update service startup type to automatic and forcing the Windows Update service to start.
- Press the Windows + R key.
- In the Run dialog box, type services.msc and press Enter to open “Services.”
- Scroll through the “Services” window and find the Windows Update Center service.
- Double-click the entry to change its properties.
- Make sure that the option on the Startup Type menu in the Service drop-down list is set to Automatic. Confirm any dialog boxes that appear when you change the startup type.
- Click Apply> OK to save your changes.
- Reboot the computer.
- On startup, check to see if the problem is resolved. If the Windows Update Center startup type was already set to Automatic and this did not resolve the problem, go to the following solution.
Start analyzing the SFC
You might not be able to install Windows updates and get error 0x800F0831 if some related system files are missing or corrupted. In this scenario, you can use System File Check (SFC) to scan the system file and replace the corrupted data with locally cached files.
Step 1: Press Windows + R to display Run.
Step 2: Type cmd and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to run the command prompt as administrator.
Step 3: Type the command sfc / scannow and press Enter.
Your computer will start scanning, and it will take a while. After the process is complete, restart your computer to see if the error is resolved.
Activate the .NET Framework 3.5
If you encounter error 0x800f0831 when trying to install a cumulative update, you should check to see if you can disable the .NET 3.5 platform. The cumulative update installation processes are more complex and may fail if all necessary dependencies are not enabled. In this case you can try using the Windows Features menu to make sure that the .NET 3.5 Framework is enabled.