How to Rename Software Distribution Folder on Windows 10/11

Change folders' names with built-in tools or use file rename software.

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
Affiliate Disclosure
  • The Software Distribution folder contains temporary Windows Updates files.
  • If you notice any anomalies regarding your updates, changing the name of this folder might help.
  • But, sometimes it's not so straightforward to rename the Software Distribution Folder.
  • Don't worry, you can always rely on the CMD to get you out of trouble!
Rename Software Distribution Folder on Windows 10 and 11

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Looking for a way to rename the Software Distribution folder? We’re going to show you how to do that in more than one way.

The Software Distribution folder holds all temporary Windows Updates files. But sometimes you might have to change its name in order to fix certain problems.

Here’s how one user on the TechNet forum described the issue:

After reviewing the support forums it is a suggested fix — process in fixing ailing windows updates —
to rename the SoftwareDistribution Folder, for example SoftwareDistribution.old, to allow Windows to regenerate in
order to allow Updates to install correctly. After checking permissions and logging in with
Administrator privileges there is no way to rename the folder, after the update service
is stopped as well. I’m wondering if the machines are infected — or — anyone?

How do I rename the Software Distribution folder in Windows 10?

Even though it may seem like a pretty straightforward job, sometimes you can stumble upon all kinds of anomalies that preventing from accomplishing what you set out to do.

In this case, you might not be able to rename the Distribution folder from the first go.

But that does not mean you won’t be able to accomplish this task at all. All it takes are some inspired tips and that’s exactly what you will find below.

1. How to rename Software Distribution folder using CMD

A fast and easy method to rename the Software Distribution folder is by using the built-in Command Prompt tool.

All you need to do is type a few commands in CMD and press Enter, then your folder will have a new name.

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 the following commands and hit Enter after each one:

  • net stop wuauserv
  • net stop bits
  • rename c:windowsSoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.bak
  • net start wuauserv
  • net start bits

how to rename software distribution center cmd

4. After the process is finished, go to C: > Windows.

5. The Software Distribution folder should now be named SoftwareDistribution.bak.

2. How to rename the Software Distribution folder in Safe Mode

  1. Press the Windows key + R to open Run, type msconfig, and hit Enter.msconfig run window change the name of software distribution folder
  2. A System Configuration window will appear.
  3. Go to the Boot tab.safe boot system configuration rename software distribution folder
  4. Under Boot options, check Safe mode.
  5. Click Apply and OK.
  6. Rename the folder using cmd as shown in the guide above.

If you have issues trying to rename the folder using Command Prompt, you can try to rename it in Safe Mode.

Several users reported that they are unable to boot to Safe Mode. If that’s the case, be sure to check our guide and see how to fix that issue.

As you can see, handling folders is not always as straightforward a task as Windows intended it to be.

Sometimes, you may run into prompts stating that you need administrator permission to delete specific folders and the list can go on.

As far as renaming is concerned, there is always a simpler method at hand and we simply cannot deprive you of it.

You can have a go at it by using a dedicated file rename software that will handle the task for you. Rather convenient, right?

We hope that this guide helped resolve the issue, and your Windows updates are back on track.

Should you know more solutions, don’t hesitate to reach for the comments section below and we will surely take a look.

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