Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

One of our Windows 2003 servers has a fairly small C-partition, which is approaching full. I've had a quick look round using Disktective as to where the space has gone, and a fair bit of it seems to be taken up with C:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution\Download

I think this folder is used as a temporary storage for Windows Update, but as all the pending Windows updates have now been installed, is it OK to delete the contents of this folder?

share|improve this question

3 Answers 3

up vote 21 down vote accepted

After you have installed all the pending updates, it is safe to delete all the files and folder under C:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution\Download\

As @Zab said, stop the Update Service while you clean up the folder

  1. Enter net stop wuauserv into an elevated command prompt
  2. Manually clean up C:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution\Download\
  3. Enter net start wuauserv into an elevated command prompt
    As soon as the service starts again, some folders will be re-created. This is ok
share|improve this answer
1  
I researched this exact same question last night and reached the exact same conclusion :-) –  Chris_K Oct 9 '09 at 14:26

You should stop "automatic updates" and "windows update" services, then you can delete all downloaded/(and already installed) updates

You can also clean the database folder nearby to "reset" windows update.

Harry reports problem with people who deleted the directories, as opposed to people who deleted files in directory.

share|improve this answer
    
run "net stop wuauserv" to stop the service and "net start wuauserv" to start it again after deleting the contents of the Download folder –  rob Oct 16 at 9:05

If I were you I'd run the Microsoft Disk Cleanup wizard and see if it proposes deleting this directory.
If it doesn't do that, then I wouldn't touch it.

share|improve this answer
1  
Disk cleanup didn't list these files as ones that could be deleted, but so far it seems to have been OK to delete them. –  Simon Hodgson Oct 12 '09 at 8:45
    
Some people reported problems with Windows Update after deleting these files, while others didn't. It depends apparently on what you do. –  harrymc Oct 12 '09 at 9:20
    
+1 for disk cleanup because it's a safe way to save space. With Windows 7 I'm saving over 2gb. –  Jon Jun 18 '11 at 3:48
1  
> Some people reported problems with Windows Update after deleting these files, while others didn't. The difference is in whether they deleted SoftwareDistribution or SoftwareDistribution\Download. –  Synetech Mar 16 '12 at 19:35

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.