Error Code 0x80070057: What It Is and How to Fix It

Clear up that annoying Windows problem once and for all

Error Code 0x80070057 header

Coming across an error code when running Windows can be one of the most frustrating problems, as it's not always entirely clear what's gone wrong or why it happened. That error code, though, can tell you a lot about the problem, and when combined with the context of its arrival, it's usually possible to figure out a fix. With error code 0x80070057, it's usually something to do with an installation or update issue.

How Error Code 0x80070057 Appears

The 0x80070057 error code may appear on a blue screen of death, or in a white pop-out window, depending on how catastrophic it is. Typically it's not as impactful as some of the other errors that Windows is prone to experience, but it does still stop you in your tracks.

Since error code 0x80070057 is typically related to storage problems, it usually appears when you're attempting to install a new application or run a Windows update. It's also possible for it to appear when you upgrade to Windows 10 from an older version of Windows, like Windows 7 or 8.1.

But you don't need to go anywhere near Windows 10 to experience error code 0x80070057. It's been around since Windows 7 in one guise or another.

Causes of Error Code 0x80070057

If you come across error code 0x80070057, it means there was a problem with your storage solution, whether it's a hard drive or SSD. This might be because you've attempted to install something that's too large for the drive and you've run out of space, or you're trying to copy files to the drive and they've run out of room.

Installing Windows is also a common time to see this error code appear. If your storage solution doesn't have the space or isn't using the right file system for the version of Windows you're installing, error code 0x80070057 can appear. Similarly, when installing Windows updates, if there's a storage issue, these (occasionally large) installations can trigger this particularly frustrating error.

If your hard drive is particularly old, or you've been playing around with partitions, it's possible one of your partitions is corrupted. Trying to install or copy data to any part of that partition might throw up error 0x80070057 as the disk struggles to write the information to it.

We've also heard more innocuous instances of error code 0x80070057 appearing, such as when creating a new profile in MS Outlook. There are also other applications which appear to be more susceptible to this error than others, but in theory, there's nothing stopping any application triggering it if you're running low on storage or there's a problem with the underlying hardware.

How to Fix Error Code 0x80070057

The exact cause of error code 0x80070057 isn't always clear, but there are a number of potential fixes you can try. These are listed from easiest to most intensive and time consuming, so even if the earlier ones seem a little basic or you don't think they're likely to work, we'd recommend working through them step by step. If one of the earlier fixes is successful, you can save yourself a lot of time.

After attempting each of these fixes, attempt to perform the original task that saw the error appear in the first place. If it doesn't appear again, success! You've fixed the problem. If it does appear again, then continue on down the list of fixes.

  1. Confirm date and time are correct. It might seem silly, but there are many issues that can be caused by your system's date and time not syncing up properly with the real world, and error code 0x80070057 is one of them. You can check your date and time in Windows 7, 8.1, and 10 by selecting the time or date in the bottom right-hand corner. Check that against a clock you have, or if you're stuck, use your favorite search engine to search "What's the time." If it turns out to be out of sync, search for "Change time" in the Windows search bar, select the corresponding result, then make the necessary changes to correct your date or time setting.

  2. Run Chkdsk. If the underlying storage hardware you're running has some corrupted data, a damaged partition, or defective hardware, the Windows Check Disk, or Chkdsk tool, can help find and fix them.

  3. Clear space on your drive. It's possible your drive is just full and you need to free up some hard drive space. You can check the capacity of your main drive by going to My PC or Computer, depending on your Windows version.

    Look for the C: drive, that's typically your main boot drive. If it shows little space left, you'll need to delete some things off your drive to make room. Consider clearing out your downloads folder, recycle bin, and any temporary folders.

    Tools like CCLeaner can help a lot there. Alternatively, or additionally, uninstall games or remove apps from digital clients like Steam, GoG, Uplay, or Origin.

  4. Run anti-malware scans. It's possible a virus or other malware is causing this annoying error. Run your favorite anti-malware solution and make sure it's a deep scan. Run it in safe mode if you want the more comprehensive check. If you haven't got an anti-virus solution on your PC at this time, there are plenty of reliable free ones.

  5. Run Windows Update. It's possible a problem with your installation of Windows was fixed by a new version of the operating system. Run Windows update, wait for the download and installation to complete, then restart your system if necessary.

  6. Try the System Update Readiness Tool. If you're running Windows 7 and encounter the 0x80070057 error code when trying to update Windows, it may be your system isn't ready for the update for some reason. Perhaps it needs an intermediary update first. Whatever the reason, download the System Update Readiness tool from Microsoft's website, then install and run it. If it finds a problem, it can help walk you through fixing it to continue with your Windows update. Once complete, try the update again.

  7. Run the DISM. If you're running Windows 8.1 or 10 and encounter this error when trying to update Windows, you need to use the Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) tool instead. To run it, open Command Prompt as an administrator, enter "DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth," then press Enter. This will download the necessary files to fix any update corruption. When complete, type "sfc /scannow" and press Enter. When complete, try running Windows update again.

  8. Try System Restore. A system restore can take your PC back to a time before the problem occurred, reverting everything that has changed since then. This can lose you settings, installed applications, and more, so be ready for that eventuality if you follow through with this fix.

    Before trying this step, make sure to back up any important information on your drive, as a system restore can lose it if you select a date that's too far back.

  9. System reset: If system restore doesn't cut it, you might need to factory reset your PC. Windows has some great built-in tools for that. Just follow the steps for your particular version of Windows and your system should be back up and running in now time.

    Be sure to backup everything important to you before starting a System reset, as you can lose everything if you're not careful.

  10. Try a clean format with a new partition. If a system reset won't cut it, the only other option available to you with your existing drive is to delete the partitions and perform a clean reset, then reinstall Windows.

  11. Buy a new drive: If all else fails, you can always buy a new drive. An SSD is recommended for a boot drive for the best performance, but any hard drive will do the job. Transfer your files to the new drive and you should be up and running again.