How to rename Software Distribution folder on Windows 10/11

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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rename software distribution folder

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Software Distribution folder holds all temporary Windows Updates files, but sometimes you might have to rename Software Distribution folder in order to fix certain issues, and in today’s article we’ll show you how to do that.

Here’s how one user on 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?

1. Change the folder name in CMD

  1. In the Windows search box, type cmd.
  2. Right-click the first result and select Run as administrator.command prompt run as administrator rename software distribution windows 10
  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
  4. After the process is finished, go to C: > Windows and the folder should now be named SoftwareDistribution.bak.

Can’t rename Software Distribution or any other folder? Try this simple trick!


2. Change the folder name 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.

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.

Hope that this Windows 10 guide helped resolve the issue, and your Windows updates are back on track.

For any other possible solutions or questions you may have, don’t hesitate to reach for the comments section below and we will surely take a look.

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