A guide showing you how you can delete or rename the Windows 10 Software Distribution Folder. The Software Distribution Folder contains all the files associated with Windows updates and can be quite a large folder. If you know why you need to clear this folder but can't figure out how to do it, this guide will show you how.
Generally speaking, it is best to not delete this folder from your system, as it will remove your ability to roll back Windows to an older version. However, if you know what you are doing and need to delete or rename this folder for a particular reason, you can follow the steps below. If you are just trying to make some space on your computer after a large Windows Update, you can use this guide instead. How to Save Gigabytes of Space After a Major Windows Update.
Can You or Should You Delete the Software Distribution Folder on Windows 10?
You can delete the Software Distribution folder on Windows 10 at any time as it will automatically redownload itself when Windows updates next. However, it’s not recommended to delete the folder straight after an update, as there is a chance it will cause corruption with the latest update. You may also need the files within the folder to restore your computer to an older version if something fails. But, if the last update is working fine and is bug-free, feel free to remove the folder.
Note: You may need to get ownership of the Software Distribution Folder before you can delete or modify it. If you do need to take ownership, this guide will show you how to get the permissions required: How to Get Full Permissions/Ownership of Files and Folder in Windows.
Where is the Software Distribution Folder Located on Windows 10?
The Windows 10 Software Distribution Folder can be located using the Windows File Explorer in the following location: C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution. If you haven’t had any major updates to Windows recently, the folder will probably be quite small, however, it can sometimes be 5 gigabytes in size or larger.
How To Delete The Software Distribution Folder on Windows 10.
You can delete the folder using the following steps:
- Open Command Prompt as administrator and type the following commands into the window, pressing Enter after each.
- Those 2 commands stop Windows Update and Background Intelligent Transfer Service.
- Now, go to the Software Distribution folder using File Explorer and delete the contents of the folder.
Note: if at first, it doesn’t work, Restart your computer and try the steps again. Also, make sure you have full permission to access the folder.
The folder should now be empty! If you were having any Windows Update Errors they should now be fixed.
How To Rename The Software Distribution Folder on Windows 10.
If you would like to rename the folder, follow these steps:
- Open Command Prompt as administrator.
- Then type the following commands into the window:
net stop wuauserv
net stop cryptSvc
net stop bits
net stop msiserver
ren C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.old
net start wuauserv
net start cryptSvc
net start bits
net start msiserver
Once completed the Software Distribution folder will be renamed. Alternatively, you can do this by Restarting Windows in Safe Mode and renaming SoftwareDistribution to SoftwareDistribution.bak or SoftwareDistribution.old. Personally, I find this method easier.