‘Potential Windows Update Database Error Detected’ Error?

Do you happen to notice an issue called ‘potential Windows update database error detected‘? Feel frustrated? You don’t need to be because there are plenty of other Windows users experience the same issue.

The good news, however, is that the error – ‘potential Windows update database error detected’ is solvable. So, as a Windows user, this is a must-read for you.

Best solutions to fix ‘potential Windows update database error detected’ issue

In fact, you don’t want to try all these fixes in the article. Instead, you should read the fixes first and pick the most appropriate option that addresses your situation.

01. Restart the Windows update service

A potential Windows update database error detected can appear if the Windows Update service doesn’t run properly. So, you can try restarting the same service. For many individuals, restarting the Windows Update service just works. So, it is absolutely worth trying this solution as it doesn’t cost any money as well.

Mentioned below are the steps to follow to get it done.

  • Press Windows Logo on your keyboard simultaneously with the letter ‘R.’
  • This will open up the ‘Run‘ dialog box. In this dialog box, you will find a space to type text. In this text, you should type in the text ‘services.msc‘ (without inverted commas), and hit enter. As a result, you will be able to see a separate window titled ‘Services.’
  • Now, right-click on the option called ‘Windows Update‘ and then select the option ‘Stop.’ This should be done if the current status of this process is marked as ‘Running.’ Otherwise, you can simply skip the step.
  • Now, press the Windows key once again with the ‘E’ letter. This will open up File Explorer.
  • Once the File Explorer window is opened, you should navigate to the path mentioned below in address bar.
  • Here’s the path: ‘C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\DataStore
  • It will direct you to the DataStore folder.
  • Delete all the files located in this folder without any hesitation.
  • Now, go to the path mentioned below;
  • C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download
  • It will open up Download Folder. Just delete all the files within this folder.
  • Now, in the Window labeled ‘Services,’ you should perform a right-click on Windows Update.
  • Select ‘Start‘ from the popup menu appearing.
  • Now, try to do a Windows update once again. If you don’t find any success with this method, you should move to the next solution.

By the way, if you are experiencing errors of netwtw06.sys failed  or Net HELPMSG 2182, here are the best fixes for you.

02. Use the DISM tool to fix ‘potential Windows update database error detected’

‘Potential Windows update database error detected’ issue can also be solved using the DISM tool as well. This solution can be applied if the issue is caused due to a corrupted Windows update file. DISM is the shortened form for Deployment Image Servicing and Management.

Mentioned below are the steps you should take in order to resolve this issue using DISM. Just like the previous method, DISM too is a free tool that doesn’t require downloading any third-party tool. Also, you don’t need to pay for anything when using this tool.

  • First, you should open up the ‘Run‘ dialog box. To do that, you should use ‘Windows Key‘ and ‘R‘ key simultaneously on the keyboard.
  • Then, you should type in ‘CMD‘ within the ‘Run’ field. Press and hold ‘Ctrl‘ and ‘Shift‘ keys simultaneously and hit ‘Enter‘ key. Doing that will let you enter the command prompt with ‘Administrator‘ privileges.
  • When prompted for permission, you must grant it to run under Administrator mode.
  • Now, you should type the following command lines and press enter.
  • Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
  • As a result of typing and entering the command, you will see that the DISM tool scans the files. It will compare the files with official system files. The purpose of this command line is to check the compatibility of the system files. Even if there is corruption in the files, this tool doesn’t fix it. Also, please note that this command operation will take some time to get completed.
  • Then, you should run the command ‘Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth‘ as well. As a result of running this command, you can check if your Windows 10 system has corruptions. Please note that this command doesn’t repair the corrupted files too. Instead, it verifies whether you have such files or not.
  • Just like the previous option, this command takes some time to get completed too.
  • After verifying the existence of corrupted files, you should attempt to repair it. This can be done using the command ‘Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth‘. With the assistance of this tool, you will be able to replace the corrupted files with original online files.
  • Needless to say, it will take some time for the entire process to be completed.
  • Once the restoration process is completed, you may close the Command Prompt and proceed.
  • You can check if you can perform a Windows update.

If the issue is persisting, you can proceed to the next solution.

03. Use System File Checker to fix ‘potential Windows update database error detected’

System File Checker is another tool you can consider in order to get rid of the corrupted files. If Windows updates are not working, after trying the above solutions, it is better to try this method too. Mentioned below are the steps to consider so you can get rid of this issue.

  • Open up ‘Run Dialog‘ using ‘Windows‘ and ‘R‘ keys simultaneously. Once the ‘Run‘ dialog box is opened, you should type in ‘CMD.’
  • Then, press ‘Ctrl,’ ‘Shift‘ and ‘Enter‘ keys together on the keyboard. It will open Command Prompt with Administrator privileges.
  • Click ‘Yes‘ to grant permission.
  • Now, in the command-line interface, you should type in the following.
  • sfc /scannow
  • Just like the previous processes, this option will take some time to be completed too.
  • At the completion of the process, just close the command prompt.

You should now go to Windows Update and see if it works. However, if you are still unable to succeed, you should try downloading updates from Microsoft Update Catalog.

Also, let’s figure out how to fix the 0x80240031 Windows Update Error.

04. Use Microsoft Update Catalog to download updates

If the error is still persisting, you should download the updates through Microsoft Update Catalog and install them manually. Mentioned below are the steps to follow to download updates through the Microsoft Update Catalog.

Click on View update history to check the updates that weren’t downloaded to the system. For instance, check with the failed update file and search for in manually and then download it.

  • Go to the ‘Run‘ command using the ‘Windows‘ key and ‘R‘ key simultaneously. Then, type in ‘CMD‘ in the search box and press ‘Enter‘ to get the command prompt opened.
  • Now, once the command line interface is opened, you should type ‘systeminfo‘ and hit enter. This will display the system type of your computer.
  • If it indicates ‘X64-based PC‘ that means, your computer runs on Windows 64bit OS. However, if it says ‘X86-based PC‘, that means your computer has Windows 32bit OS.
  • Visit Microsoft Update Catalog.
  • Now, type the required update number and click on search.
  • When the search results are displayed, you should select the correct option and click on ‘Download.’
  • Once the popup menu is displayed, you should click on the link to start downloading the updates.
  • Double-click on the downloaded file, and you can follow the onscreen instructions to install updates.

This should resolve potential Windows update database error detected the issue. However, if you are still unable to rectify it, just move to the next step.

05. Go for an in-place upgrade to fix ‘potential Windows update database error detected’

You should perform an in-place upgrade to resolve potential Windows update database error detected issue. Try to download Media Creation Tool and follow the instructions provided on screen.

  • Go to Microsoft’s official website which leads you to download Windows 10 operating system.
  • Now, click on the option called ‘Download Tool Now.’ This will allow you to download the Media Creation Tool.
  • Perform a Double-Click on the downloaded file so it will be opened to proceed. Click on the option called ‘Yes‘ when prompted.
  • Click on ‘Accept‘ so you will see a new window.
  • Select the option called Upgrade this PC now and click on the option labeled ‘Next.’
  • Now, you should follow the onscreen guidance to complete the in-place upgrade.
  • Check if the updates are possible.

06. Update your drivers to fix ‘potential Windows update database error detected’

You can also try updating the drivers of the computer and see if it works. When it comes to upgrading drivers, you can either rely on the manual method or use a professional tool. The most convenient way is to use a professional tool because the manual method is pretty daunting for many users.

With a professional tool like Driver Easy, you can download all the drivers conveniently. Driver Easy downloads drivers through official sources only so you don’t have to worry about the reliability. Also, it offers you the option of two-click operation to download all the drivers for the computer.

Try Driver Easy

As we believe, at least one of these methods should fix ‘potential Windows update database error detected‘ issue. If you have further queries, please let us know.



Ten years of experience in information and computer technology. Passionate about electronic devices, smartphones, computers, and modern technology.