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Windows - How to Purge the Windows Update Cache

November 2015

This tutorial explains how to clear the Windows Update Cache. The Update cache is a special folder located in C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download and it is where Windows keep the update installation files. You might want to clean up its content in the following situations:

Windows fails to install updates due to some corrupted update files - Cleaning the installation files and downloading them again may help to fix your problem.

You are running out of space on your computer - Clean obsolete installation files (once the updates have been performed) can help to reclaim some free storage space. This process is usually managed by Windows, but nonetheless you can also do it manually.

Manual Method

The first step is to temporarily turn off the Windows Update service (which also stops the current downloads). Open a command prompt, type the net stop wuauserv command and press Enter.

Once done, open the File Explorer, go to View > Folder Options and enable the display of hidden files and folders. Navigate to C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download and delete the content of the Download folder.

Open a terminal and type net start wuauserv to restart the Windows Update service.

Using a batch file

You can also create a batch file and use it as a shortcut to clear the content (purge) of the Windows Update cache when needed.

Open Notepad and then paste the commands below:

CD %Windir%
CD SoftwareDistribution
DEL /F /S /Q Download

Click on the File menu and then select Save As. Choose a location to save the file (we shall use the Desktop in our case). Next to Save as type, select All Files. Rename the file as Erase_Cache.bat and finally click on Save.

NB: You simply have to double-click on Erase_Cache file to run the commands it contains and clean the Download folder. But prior to this operation don't forget to stop the Windows Update Service.

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See also

In the same category

Vista : Vider le cache des mises à jour
By night_eagle on February 8, 2009
Vista : Svuotare cache aggiornamenti
By zig@ on February 25, 2010
Original article published by night_eagle. Translated by jak58.
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