How to Delete the SoftwareDistribution Folder in Windows 10 & 11 – MajorGeeks

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I usually address this by:. I’m considering using a computer startup script to perform this task automatically. Does anyone have a more elegant method of automating this task? There is NO reason, on a properly functioning system, why this folder should ever need to be touched.

On the off-chance that the Datastore and the Download folder get de-synchronized, it may be necessary one-time-only to delete any content in the Download folder that is over 10 days old.

In addition, the Datastore contains all of the Windows Update History for the client system. Destroying the SoftwareDistribution folder, except when expressly warranted due to error conditions for which destruction of the SoftwareDistribution folder is the only solution, destroys the entire Windows Update History for that client system.

It also results in longer detection times at the next detection, because the WUAgent has to re-cache howeverMany thousands of available updates, as result of the destruction of the Datastore. When a machine reaches the point that uninstalling a particular patch is not likely needed because it broke something , or was installed so long ago so is not practical to uninstall , you can safely delete these folders.

Or write them off to removable storage, or another volume, where they could be copied back if you actually did need them. I typically delete anything more than 3 months old — more an arbitrary decision than one based in any sort of thought-out logic.

Lawrence Garvin, M. You might want to put some timers in the following script so the commands don’t overrun each other. I am not aware of a ‘best practice’ way of reducing the size of the folder, but I have used methods similar to the one above.

However, I do not recommend having it as a computer startup script. While I agree with you Lawrence, the world is not a perfect place. There are some companies out there that are still struggling with 40gb drives and cannot afford to upgrade them or have the SoftwareDistribution folder hog the space.

We would be much better off if everyone followed best practices, but sometimes it is just not an option. That is the reason I stated that I was not aware of any related best practices and helped him towards his goal. I have rarely seen a case where the SoftwareDistribution folder requires more than a mere mimimal amout of space on any given system. Effective use of Disk Cleanup utilities will produce exponentially greater amounts of impact on disk management than worrying about the minimal content in the SoftwareDistribution folder.

The information you provided him, reinforcing bad information unfortunately available widespread throughout the net despite my best efforts to counteract, like in this thread , are destructive more than helpful, and remove critical information required for the efficient operation of Windows systems.

Windows XP systems have typically been around longer than Windows 7 systems and so they will have larger SoftwareDistribution folders 3 SPs instead of 1 for Windows 7 and numerous other updates.

And as mentioned before, if a user has Windows XP, they are more likely to have older hardware, meaning a smaller HD. The Disk Cleanup utility in Windows, in my experience, has been pretty useless. There are a few other simple troubleshooting steps, including looking at the text logs and event logs, but the majority of the issues are covered above. Anything outside of those steps, I typically recommend reimaging the machine as any other troubleshooting will probably take more than 20 minutes, which is the time it takes to reimage a machine.

There are certain cases where reimaging the machine is not an option, such as mission-critical devices, but that is not the majority of systems. I understand that you are an MVP on Software Distribution and most likely can figure out any issue within minutes, but for others it might be easier to reimage the machine and be done with it. I realize where you are coming from and if you were working for his company, you would do things differently.

But he is not you and does not have your competency with WSUS. I am a technical person by nature and prefer to troubleshoot issues so I can find the root cause to make sure they do not happen again. Others are not fortunate to have the time available to do this and must do what they can to get the user back up and running.

Like I said, it is not a perfect world, but we do with what we have. No, they will not, and the SoftwareDistribution folder does not contain service pack files beyond the transient period of time required for actual installation of that service pack. Note: I misspoke in my earlier post and have edited that post to change “30 days” to “10 days”. Formatting the drive and reinstalling the Operating System is sometimes easier for some people than performing the proper procedures, but it’s never an excuse.

This forum provides support for a product that is designed for use in an environment with IT Professionals, so the working assumption is that all persons posting here are, in fact, IT Professionals. To that point, my working premise is that all persons here possess the ability to understand, and have the professional obligation TO understand. This is not a consumer forum designed to help users with Automatic Updates or Microsoft Update, so I will not “dumb down” anything in this forum.

When that lack of knowledge is apparent, its incumbent upon those who have that knowledge to properly educate that IT Professional — and this is what I am doing. Thank you both for your feedback.

To clarify things a bit, the systems that are causing me pain are Windows Server servers. Updates are approved on a monthly basis and are configured to automatically install and reboot on a scheduled basis. When the system in question has less than 1 GB of free space, that’s a significant issue. So it seemed to me that the issue is that, for whatever reason, the update source are not cleaning up after they have been installed.

The instances where I have stopped the service, deleted the folder structure and restarted the service significantly reduces the amount of space used by the folder even after performing a detection.

What are the downsides to deleting the Windows Update history? FYI – I’m getting pressured to move these folders and log files to another drive, which worries me but that’s another discussion. Is there an alternative, such as a cleanup tool switch that will allow me to keep this folder content clean? I just moved our 6 GB swap file to a different partition to stablize the server giving me exactly 6. Usage in temp directories is minimal. I cannot find a straight answer on how to clean up the winsxs directory.

Unfortunately, Microsoft often doesn’t listen to his customers. I wanted a clean install. I did the updates Why so much failed updates?? Anyway after doing all of them, I just wanted to clean Win updates and minimize the image I will create after that. This is just a matter of staying clean. Why windows folders are always so messy? No offense, but standard MS response to these issues seems to be similarly unhelpful. I have been reading for days now, looking for ways to reduce the unreasonably large and continually growing footprint of Windows 7, without any real answers.

My Software Distribution folder is currently 1. That’s completely unacceptable. The WinSxS folder is 6. My install is exactly 2 days old, and I have very few programs on top of it Microsoft Word and Photoshop are the main ones.

Right now the install size is 17GB after employing every “best practice” tactic possible including not only everything discussed on these forums, but everywhere else on the internet that I can find, no kidding. Yesterday it was The reality is these folders take up too much space, and users need an elegant way to deal with them.

Reiterating what is unhelpful MS rhetoric in bold and italics to emphasize that it’s all been said before isn’t the answer. Best practice is to not create such clunky, inelegant OS systems, so “best practice” went out the window when we chose to install Win 7 etc.

What we need are workable solutions, and a willingness from those so empowered to find them. Rich, are you certain about this? Have you tried doing this yourself? Did you install a base image of Windows 7 Service Pack 1 released Spring ,. If you installed the RTM version of Windows 7, and then applied a year-and-a-half worth of updates to the machine in 2 days, then a 1.

If you’re short on free space, buy a bigger drive. I have a different view coming from desktop administration. I try to keep the master image as small as possible to reduce bandwith and image times. I only delete the files inside the downloads folder under softwaredistribution. I test the image and make sure it works fine, so no need to uninstall the updates and I have a smaller desktop image size. Your point is well taken; however, 1.

Fact is, on a Gigabit LAN backbone, 1. I am a professional audio engineer and work on a Macbook Pro with a solid state drive installed. Needing both Windows7 and OSX for my job, I want both OS systems to be as efficient as possible and not slurping up my disk space like candy You seem to be saying that the folder regulates itself and it will reduce in size after 10 days or so. Am I understanding you correctly? Garvin, when people come to a forum they are looking for help solving an issue.

Not a condescending, asinine tirade detailing how people are whiners about disk space and gasoline in their fancy sports car. Furthermore, I was intrigued by your arrogance and decided to look up your credentials In fact, I wondered how a CTO could post replies like that and still retain their position within the company. Then I looked up your company and I laughed so hard that I spit coffee all over my desk.

What did you edit that website with??? FrontPage 98? I can say that it makes my top 10 all-time list of things to NOT do when creating a website. Please spare the internet from your future incompetence of web programming. And the fact that you tell people that this thread has wandered excessively off-topic and they should go post somewhere else is frankly irritating. That is exactly what this topic is about! The excessive disk space usage by the Windows OS!


Safe to delete “C:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution\Download” – Super User.

› answers › questions › cwindowssoftwaredistributiond. The folder that you’ve mentioned stores Windows Update downloads that have been applied to your machine. Once all updates are installed, of.


Windows software distribution download folder free

› /11/12 › how-to-delete-the-softwaredistribution-fold. No it don’t harm your Windows, it just the update folder and if you have deleted it windows will again download the entire update, so all in all don’t worry. Clean up the SoftwareDistribution folder in Windows to free up disk space. A PC running Windows 10, , 8 or 7, regularly performs a Windows Update to.