How to Delete Windows Update Files?

How to Delete Windows Update Files?

Do you want to know how to delete Windows update files? Learn with us!

The disk space on Windows PC often consumes unnecessary space due to redundant or outdated files. These files are stored in the “WinSxS” directory. And, the size of this folder where Windows updates are stored becomes the major concern for a Windows user. To deal with this concern, a user might think to delete Windows update files.

Therefore, the blog demonstrates how to delete an update file of Windows PC. Furthermore, we will learn to delete the Windows update cache to clean up the Windows system entirely.

Besides that, you will learn to perform disk cleanup and remove WSUS on Windows 10 so that you can reinstall the Windows updates again.

Note: The process of deleting Windows updates files and update cache can be performed on Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10.

Manual and Automatic Methods to Delete Windows Update 

Windows Update can be deleted using the Software Distribution folder. If you are thinking where are windows updates stored, you can do the following to find and delete it. Here we will learn the manual and the automatic procedure for this. Let’s go through it.

Delete Windows Update Files Manually

To remove Windows update files manually, you need to stop the Windows update service. To do so, you can follow these steps.

  • Click on the “Start” menu or use the “Windows” key.
  • Type in “services.msc” in the search field.
service - delete windows update files
  • “Right-click” on the “Services” when it appears in the result.
  • Choose the “Run as administrator” from the menu (in case you are using it as a standard user).
  • In the “Services” window, find the service “Windows Update”.
  • “Right-click” on “Windows Update”.
  • Choose the “Stop” option from the menu.
  • Once the service is stopped, use the “Windows” + “R” key. This will bring up the “Run” box.
  • Enter the following path and hit the “Enter” key. If you are thinking “where are Windows updates stored”, this is the place.
    • C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\
  • Now, click on the “Download” folder.
  • Choose all the files stored in this folder. You can use “Ctrl” + “A” keys to select all the files.
  • Press the “Delete” key on your keyboard.

Note: Windows may ask for the administrator’s rights for deleting the files. In this case, you can select the do this for all current items option and click on Continue in order to grant the permission.

  • Open the “Services” window again.
  • “Right-click” on the “Windows Update” service.
  • Click on the “Start” button.

This is the procedure for how to delete software update files of Windows manually.  All you are required to stop the Windows Update. Then, visit the Software Distribution folder to delete Windows update files. Lastly, do not forget to start the Windows Update services again.

Delete Windows Update Files Automatically

Those who are not eager to perform the manual procedure can go with the automatic process. To remove Windows update files automatically, you are required to create a “.bat” or “.cmd” script and run the commands. Let’s know how to delete an update file of Windows PC automatically.

Note: Make sure you run these commands with administrative rights.

  • Open a new “Text” file.
  • Copy the following commands.

net stop wuauserv

rmdir %windir%\softwaredistribution /s /q

regsvr32 /s wuaueng.dll

regsvr32 /s wuaueng1.dll

regsvr32 /s atl.dll

regsvr32 /s wups.dll

regsvr32 /s wups2.dll

regsvr32 /s wuweb.dll

regsvr32 /s wucltui.dll

net start wuauserv

  • After pasting these commands, you can save the “Text” file as “.bat” or “.cmd”.

Till now we have learned how to delete old Windows updates files manually and automatically. When all your software distribution junk files are deleted, you can check for updates. If available, then you can redownload Windows 10 updates.

Note: Remember that Windows Update will let you download the new updates only when the update cache is cleared.

How to Clear Windows Update Cache?

When you are done deleting Windows update files, you can clear the cache before you reinstall the Windows update. To delete Windows update cache, you can use the commands. Below are the following steps that you can follow.

  • Press the “Windows” key.
  • Type “cmd.exe” in the text field.
  • Now hold the “Shift” and “Ctrl” key before you choose “cmd.exe.” result. This will bring up the command prompt window.
  • When the Windows displays the “UAC” prompt, click “Accept”.
  • Then, run the following command, and do not forget to hit the “Enter” key after each command.

net stop wuauserv 

cd %Windir%\SoftwareDistribution

del /f /s /q Download

net start wuauserv

After executing these commands, you can delete Windows update cache on your computer. Thereafter, you can redownload Windows 10 updates again on your computer.

Effective Ways for Windows Update Cleanup

To learn how to delete downloaded Windows updates, you can completely clean up your Windows PC. For that, you can follow both manual and automatic ways. Let’s know more.

Note: These steps can be followed on Windows 7 and Windows 10.

The Manual Process of Windows Update Cleanup

  • Click on the “Start” menu.
  • Go to “My Computer”.
  • Select “System C” and “right-click” on it.
  • Choose “Disk Cleanup”. This will scan and calculate the space your disk has been taken on “Drive C”.
  • Select the “Windows Update Cleanup” option.
  • Press the “OK” button.

If Windows found nothing to start the cleanup process then you will not see anything on your screen. Also, after performing this step, you might not be able to uninstall the updates that are currently applied. However, you can manually apply the earlier version of the Windows update to roll back your device.

If Windows Update Cleanup highlights something, you can click on Ok. Doing so, Disk Cleanup starts running and cleaning up the unwanted files on your system. To confirm this process, you can visit the Task Manager Processes and find “cleanmgr.exe” started. When the process is completed, you can restart your computer.

Note: Although you will not be prompted to reboot. However, if you reboot the PC, you will find Windows configuring the updates on shutdown and the cleaning up is on startup. The process may take a while depending on the files.

The Automatic Process of Windows Update Cleanup

When it comes to performing the automatic process, running the commands play a vital role. To clean up your disk automatically, you can use PsTools and run “PsExec.exe”.

This is the .bat script for the clean-up process. You can execute it on a PC in the domain with SCCM. Here is the command you can copy into the “Drive D”.

@echo on

echo Config cleanmgr flag 5100.

%SystemRoot%\System32\reg.exe add “HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\VolumeCaches\Update Cleanup” /v StateFlags0011 /t REG_DWORD /d 0x2 /f > d:\log1.txt

%systemroot%\System32\cleanmgr.exe /sagerun:11 > d:\log2.txt

Thereafter, you can launch CMD as the Administrator and run the following commands.

PsExec.exe @cleanup_list.txt >>cleanup_list_log.txt -c D:\PSTools\CleanUp_Update_V1.3.bat

This is how you can clean up the disk on a Windows computer manually and automatically. This will free up some space. Then, you can redownload Windows 10 updates.

How to Remove Computer from WSUS Updates?

Windows Server Update Service (WSUS) helps your network administrator to manage the client computers and updates in a larger network. However, it may create issues for the end-users.

When your Windows PC is set to receive updates via WSUS local server, it might not receive the required Windows updates until it is approved by the administrator on its server.

If you find such issues where you are unable to update Windows then you can simply remove or disable WSUS on Windows 10. This will not change the Group Policy or the update server settings.

To remove computer from WSUS updates, you can perform two types of methods: Registry Modification or via PowerShell.

Remove WSUS on Windows 10 by following Registry Modification.

  • Click the “Start” menu.
  • Type “Regedit” in the search bar. This will open “Registry Editor”.
  • Then, access the following path:
    • hklm/Software/Policies/Microsoft/Windows/WindowsUpdate/AU/
  • In “UseWUServer”, change its value from 1 to 0. (Here 1 is to use the WSUS server whereas 0 helps to disable it).
  • When you are done changing the value, close the “Registry Editor”.
  • Now, right-click on the “Windows Update” service.
  • Choose the “restart” option from the menu.


  • You can access the following path
    • hkey_local_machine/Software/Policies/Microsoft/Windows/
  • “Right-click” and choose “Delete” the registry key (WindowsUpdate). Then, close the “Registry Editor”.
  • Go to “Services Console” by adding “services.msc” in the “Start” menu.
  • Find “Windows Update Service” and click the “Restart” option.

After restarting the Windows Update service, you can restart your computer as well. This will successfully disable the WSUS updates on Windows 10.

Remove WSUS on Windows 10 by Using PowerShell.

Another method is to use PowerShell commands on your computer. Follow these steps to disable WSUS on Windows 10.

  • Click the “Start” menu.
  • Type “PowerShell” in the search bar.
Powershell -How to Delete Windows Update Files?
  • “Right-click” on it and choose “Run as Administrator”.
  • Now enter the following command to stop “Windows Update Service.
    • Stop-Service -Name wuauserv
  • To remove the “Windows Update registry key”, you can enter the following commands.
    • Remove-Item HKLM: \Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate -Recurse
  • Now, you can start the “Windows Update Service” again by entering the following command.
    • Start-Service -name wuauserv

This way you can remove the WSUS on Windows 10 manually and automatically.


In this curated guide, we have learned how to delete software update files of Windows.  By following these several methods, you can delete Windows update files, clear the Windows update cache, perform disk cleanup, remove WSUS on Windows 10. Later you can redownload Windows 10 update if required.

Hopefully, you find this guide helpful.

Windows often come out with a specific error when updating the system. If you find Windows update error 0x80070424 then we have prepared a complete guide on this. Also learn why on Windows 10, keyboard is not working?

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