How to Clear The Windows Update Cache [5 Ways to do It]

Clear Windows Update cache with these steps

by Henderson Jayden Harper
Henderson Jayden Harper
Henderson Jayden Harper
Passionate about technology, Crypto, software, Windows, and everything computer-related, he spends most of his time developing new skills and learning more about the tech world. He also enjoys... read more
Reviewed by Alex Serban
Alex Serban
Alex Serban
Windows Server & Networking Expert
After moving away from the corporate work-style, Alex has found rewards in a lifestyle of constant analysis, team coordination and pestering his colleagues. Holding an MCSA Windows Server... read more
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  • Windows update cache can affect the update service on your device.
  • Clearing caches can free up memory storage.
  • Users can delete the Windows update cache via Script.
clear windows update cache

Windows keeps caches of its update service in a file on the computer over time. These caches can become old and corrupt, causing issues with the PC and its services. So, users need to know how to clear the Windows update cache to avoid problems.

Also, clearing caches on Windows 11 for other services can help improve your PC’s performance.

Should I delete my Windows cache?

Windows cache is data stored on the computer from your activities on apps and services. It aids easy and quick access to improve the user experience on the app or program.

However, keeping cache files on Windows for a long can cause problems with your services. So, deleting the Windows cache file on your computer offers a couple of advantages. Some are:

  • Accumulating caches for a while can amount to large files that consume space. So, deleting the Windows cache can free up the space the files take up on your computer.
  • Deleting Windows cache files will increase your system speed and performance.
  • The longer cache files stay on your PC, they can become corrupt and interfere with your computer. Hence, it is good to delete cache files on Windows as it reduces the chance of having corrupt files on your PC.

There are more benefits to deleting the Windows cache from your computer. Hence, this article will take you through the methods to safely delete the cache.

How do I clear the Windows update cache?

There are a couple of ways to clear the Windows update cache on your PC, but we recommend you observe these preliminary checks first:

The above checks will prepare your computer for the cache deletion process. Proceed with the following steps afterwards:

1. Clear Windows Update cache via File Explorer

  1. Click the File Explorer icon on your taskbar to open the app.
  2. Right-click the Local Disk (C) and select Properties from the drop-down.
  3. Click on Disk Clean-up, then click the Cleanup system files button.
  4. Check the boxes for Windows upgrade log files and Temporary Windows Installation files, then click OK.

Expert tip:


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Read what to do if File Explorer keeps crashing on your PC.

2. Clear Windows Update cache via Run

  1. Press Windows + R key to open the Run dialogue box, type services.msc and click OK to open Services.
  2. Double-click Windows Update and select Stop.
  3. Open the File Explorer, and navigate using this: C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download folder
  4. Press Ctrl + A to highlight every file, right-click and select delete.
  5. Press Windows + R key, and type services.msc, then press Enter.
  6. Find and double-click on Windows Update, then click Start.

Disabling Windows Update services before clearing the distribution directory will fully clear the cache without any issues.

3. Clear Windows Update cache via Command Prompt

  1. Left-click the Start button, type cmd in the search space, and select Run as Administrator.
  2. Type the following, then press Enter: net stop wuauserv
  3. Type the following commands and press Enter after each: C:  cd %Windir%\SoftwareDistribution  del /f /s /q Download

These commands will delete the cache files on your PC.

4. Reset Windows Update Cache

  1. Left-click the Start button, type cmd in the search space, and select Run as Administrator.
  2. Type the following commands and press Enter: net stop wuauserv  net stop cryptSvc    net stop bits    net stop msiserver
  3. Run the following command one after the other:  ren C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.old    ren C:\Windows\System32\catroot2 Catroot2.old
  4. Type the following commands and press Enter after each one: net start wuauserv  net start cryptSvc    net start bits    net start msiserver
  5. Close the Command Prompt and restart your computer.

Resetting the Windows update cache can also clear the previous cache from your computer.

5. Clear Windows Update cache via Script

  1. Press Windows + R key to open the Run window, type notepad and click OK.
  2. Copy and paste the following codes: @Echo On net stop wuauserv C: cd %Windir%\SoftwareDistribution Type del /f /s /q Download pause
  3. Save the file as Cleardown.cmd on your computer.
  4. Right-click the Cleardown.cmd file and select Run as administrator.

The steps above are also practical for clearing the Windows update cache.

In conclusion, our readers may be interested in our article about fixing a damaged Microsoft Store cache that may affect their PCs.

Also, you can check how to fix the Cache Manager error on Windows 10/11.

Please leave your questions and suggestions in the comments section below.

Still having issues? Fix them with this tool:


If the advices above haven't solved your issue, your PC may experience deeper Windows problems. We recommend downloading this PC Repair tool (rated Great on to easily address them. After installation, simply click the Start Scan button and then press on Repair All.

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