Delete or Rename Software Distribution Folder on Windows

Delete or Rename Software Distribution Folder on Windows

October 10, 2018 By alberto

    When it comes to updates, Windows has folders that are specifically for the storing of such files used to upgrade your PC. The Software Distribution folder is one of these files. It is located in the Windows Directory, where it temporarily stores files used for updating Windows software. This means that it’s recommended not to be deleted, as it is needed by Windows Update and maintained by WUAgent.

    Where Can You Find The Software Distribution Folder?

    You may be able to find it in File Explorer and type in “C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution”. While the folder size is usually 1MB, the sizes may vary depending on how much is stored in the folder itself.

    Can You Delete The Software Distribution Folder?

    Just like the advanced settings of your Windows PC, it is best not to touch or tweak the folder. But sometimes you may need to clear up storage space and delete some unnecessary files, or just in case some files found in the folder de-synchronize the Datastore and Downloads folder of your PC, which may result to your Windows Update not working properly.

    Actually, it’s safe to delete files found in the Software Distribution folder, so long as it has already done its job with Windows Update. If you delete the whole folder, it will automatically be downloaded again, along with the files needed for Windows Update.

    There is a negative side when you delete your Software Distribution folder, though. It will mean deleting your history with Windows Update, thus making it longer for Windows to detect any history when wanting to install the next update. But if ever you find that your Windows Update isn’t working properly, or the file size of the folder has grown too large, you may delete the folder without any problems coming up.

    If size is a problem, you may use the Disk Cleanup Tool instead, so that the file size will lessen. But if it is a Windows Update problem, it’s best to consult customer support, find solutions online, or delete the folder itself.

    Note: You may require to do extra things to get ownership of software distribution folder. Because, Without enough permission, You can’t delete or modify it. So, Read: How to Get Ownership of Any Folder in Windows.

    How To Delete The Software Distribution Folder

    You can delete the folder doing the following steps:

    • Open Command Prompt with administrator right and type the following commands and press Enter.
    net stop wuauserv
    net stop bits
    • Doing that will stop the Windows Update and Background Intelligent Transfer Service.
    • Go to the Software Distribution folder (C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution) in File Explorer and you are now able to delete the folders inside. Press Ctrl+A to select all and delete, to save time.

    Note: If ever you are not able to delete some files, it may be in use. Restart your device and do the steps again in order to delete all files. If you don’t know how to open command as admin, Just press Windows Key + X from keyboard and select Command Prompt (Admin).

    • After deleting the files, restart your computer or enter these commands in Command Prompt to restart Windows Update Services by these commands.
    net start wuauserv
    net start bits

    And your folder is now be empty!

    How To Rename The Software Distribution Folder

    If you would like to rename the folder, follow these steps:

    • Open Command Prompt as admin.
    • Type in the following commands:

    net stop wuauserv

    net stop cryptSvc

    net stop bits

    net stop msiserver

    ren C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.old

    net start wuauserv

    net start cryptSvc

    net start bits

    net start msiserver

    It will now be renamed. Another way to do it would be to open Windows 10 in Safe Mode and rename SoftwareDistribution to SoftwareDistribution.bak or SoftwareDistribution.old

    commands for renaming / deleting software distribution folder

    And there you have it! These are what you need to know about the Software Distribution folder. If ever you have problems when it comes to the following steps, you may refer to other articles or contact customer support to have it fixed. But if you do the steps correctly, it will be able to work.