How to Remove Windows 10 Updates to Resolve Issues

If you’re experiencing problems with Windows 10 updates, deleting the downloaded files may help. When an update package gets damaged or fails to install, Windows 10 tends to keep the corrupted file on the drive, causing further update issues. Here’s a guide on how to delete these files manually.

Why Windows Update Files Get Corrupted

Corrupted Windows Update files can be caused by improper shutdowns, operating system crashes, power failures, or registry errors. As a result, Windows Update may fail to do its job correctly. Updates may not be checked or installed properly, and the Windows Update page in Settings might not even open!

To resolve most issues related to Windows Update in Windows 10, usually, running the built-in Windows Update troubleshooter is sufficient.

Running the Windows Update Troubleshooter

To run the Windows Update troubleshooter, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Start menu and type “troubleshooting,” then press Enter. Windows 10 Open Troubleshooters

  2. Click on “Windows Update.” Windows 10 Run Windows Update Troubleshooter

  3. In the troubleshooter’s dialog, click “Run as administrator” and complete the Windows Update troubleshooter. Check if Windows Update works properly. Windows 10 Run Windows Update Troubleshooter Button

However, if you continue to face update issues, deleting the downloaded Windows Update files can be a fresh start. The SoftwareDistribution folder contains files related to updates obtained through Windows Update and is present on all Windows versions. Normally, it should only take a couple of hundred megabytes of storage. But if this folder is significantly larger, it indicates that some updates are corrupt.

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Deleting Downloaded Windows Update Files

To delete the downloaded Windows Update files in Windows 10, follow these steps:

  1. Press the Win + R keys on your keyboard and type “services.msc” in the Run box.

  2. Stop the service named “Windows Update.”

  3. Open File Explorer.

  4. Go to C:WINDOWSSoftwareDistributionDownload. Copy and paste this path into the address bar of File Explorer.

  5. Select all files in the folder by pressing Ctrl + A.

  6. Press the Delete key on your keyboard. Windows 10 Delete Windows Update Downloaded Files

  7. Windows may request administrator privileges to delete these files. Enable the option “Do this for all current items” in the dialog and click Continue.

Restart your Windows 10 system and check for updates. Verify if this resolves the issues you were experiencing.

Alternatively, you can create a batch file to automate this process.

Deleting Downloaded Windows Update Files with a Batch File

To automate the deletion of downloaded Windows Update files, follow these steps:

  1. Open Notepad.

  2. Paste the following text:

    net stop wuauserv
    cd /d %SystemRoot%SoftwareDistribution
    del /s /q /f Download
    net start wuauserv
  3. Save the file with a *.cmd extension. You can place it on your Desktop. Windows 10 Delete Windows Update Files Batch File 1

  4. Right-click on the file you created and choose “Run as Administrator” from the context menu. Windows 10 Delete Windows Update Files Batch File 2

That’s it! Restart your PC and check for available updates.

How Does It Work?

The command “net stop wuauserv” stops the Windows Update service. Next, the “cd” command switches the current folder to C:WINDOWSSoftwareDistribution. The “del” command erases the contents of the Download folder and its subfolders. Finally, the “net start wuauserv” command restarts the Windows Update service.

To save time, you can download a ready-to-use batch file to perform this task.

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Download the file

That’s all there is to it! Now you can restart your PC and check for any available updates.

Articles of Interest:

  • Windows Update Error Codes in Windows 10
  • How to Create a Windows Update Shortcut in Windows 10
  • Clearing Windows Update History in Windows 10
  • Limiting Windows Update Bandwidth in Windows 10
  • Fixing Windows Update Issues in Windows 10 by Resetting Its Options and Files

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