Delete Windows 10/11 Software Distribution Folder [EASY WAY]

Running Command Prompt makes it simpler than ever to resolve this

by Vlad Turiceanu
Vlad Turiceanu
Vlad Turiceanu
Editor-in-Chief
Passionate about technology, Windows, and everything that has a power button, he spent most of his time developing new skills and learning more about the tech world. Coming... read more
Reviewed by Vlad Turiceanu
Vlad Turiceanu
Vlad Turiceanu
Editor-in-Chief
Passionate about technology, Windows, and everything that has a power button, he spent most of his time developing new skills and learning more about the tech world. Coming... read more
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delete software distribution folder

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The Software Distribution folder is responsible for temporarily storing the important update files that Windows needs to perform an update, and if this article we’ll show you how to delete the Software Distribution folder.

Here’s how one user described the issues with the Software Distribution folder on Microsoft Answers forum:

My C drive is full and I have gone through the cleanup process several times. I noticed that every day files get added to the C-Drive under C:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution\Download. Can I safely delete these files? They add up to 100 to 200 MB a day.

For more info on how to do that, follow the steps below.

How can I delete the Software Distribution folder?

Delete Software Distribution folder through cmd

In order to delete the Software Distribution folder, you need administrator rights. Moreover, before you delete the files in the folder, you also have to stop the Windows Update and Background Intelligent Transfer Services.  You can do all of this by running Command Prompt as an admin and inputting commands in it.

1. In the Windows search box, type cmd.

2. Right-click the first result and select Run as administrator.

cmd run as administrator

3. In the cmd window, type net stop wuauserv and hit Enter to stop the Windows Update Service.

command prompt stop windows update service

4. Next, type net stop bits and hit Enter to stop the Background Intelligent Transfer Service.

command prompt stop bits

5. Leave the Command Prompt (cmd) window open and go to the next step.

6. After that, navigate to C:>Windows>SoftwareDistribution.

7. Press Ctrl + A to select all the folder’s contents and then click on the Del key to delete them. If it doesn’t work or the access is denied, just restart your PC and try again the same steps.

8.  All the files in the Software Distribution folder should be deleted but the folder should still be there. We want to delete its contents, not the folder.

9. Return to the cmd window and type net start wuauserv.

10. Hit Enter to restart the Windows Update Service.

11. Next, type net start bits.

12. Hit Enter to restart the Background Intelligent Transfer Service.

Once you finish the process, Windows will reconfigure the folder and start downloading the necessary files. Your Windows updates will now work as intended, without any issues.

We also have a guide on how to rename the Software Distribution folder to fix its errors.

As the majority of Windows 10 users confirmed this method works 100%, and any issues with Windows updates are no longer present. If you followed the steps correctly, your updates should work fine.

For other questions regarding the process, reach for the comments section below.

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