Windows Update Issues – Clearing the Windows Update Cache

Reason for TSG: Issues/ errors when applying Windows Updates

NOTE: This should be used ONLY as a last resort. It is not generally recommended to manually modify any contents on the C:\Windows drive. Please use this fix at your own risk only after you have gone through all other options to get the Windows Updates to apply successfully.


  1. To start, we need to stop the Windows update service before we can clear the update cache. To do that, search for “Services” in the Start menu and open it. If you are using your system as a standard user, then open it as an administrator using the right-click menu.
  2. Once the Services window has been opened, find the service “Windows Update,” right-click on it and then select the option “Stop.” This action stops the Windows update service.
  3. After stopping the service, press “Win + R,” enter the below path and press the Enter button. This is the folder where Windows stores all the files related to Windows updates.C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\
  4. Once you are in this folder, open the “Download” folder, select all the files in it and just press the Delete key on your keyboard to delete all the files. You might be prompted for administrator permissions; simply click on the “Continue” button to complete the procedure.
  5. Open the Services window again and start the “Windows Update service again by right-clicking on it and then select the option “Start.”
  6. Check for and install updates

Comments (4)

  1. Ed says:

    You forgot the last part of starting up the WU service.

    1. Good catch Ed! Fixed and updated :)

  2. Alexander says:

    I’ve seen some other suggestions that include stopping the BITS (Background Intelligent Transfer Service) as well. Is this necessary?

  3. fixy22 says:

    I still have problem with it. After clearing cache I’m getting error with failed update to my SoundBlater sound card driver. The card was removed.

    Any tips?

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