Disk cleanup stuck on windows update cleanup

I ran my disk cleanup to free up some space and I checked the windows update cleanup. It detected 300+ mb to be removed. Everything was working fine until it hangs up in windows update cleanup. Its been running for 30 minutes as I write this. My question is how long will the process take? And will canceling the disk cleanup will cause problems?

update: its now running for 2 hours

Question Info

Last updated December 16, 2018 Views 97,587 Applies to:


Hi Gabriel,


This usually happens when there are some problems with the Windows Update temporary files and due to which the Disk Cleanup is unable to remove them and thus it stops responding. There might be some previous Windows Update activities which are still not completed. Thus, let’s first try the following troubleshooting methods and check if that resolves the issue. But, before proceeding with the troubleshooting methods, you may cancel the cleanup activity and the restart the computer. After the restart, you may proceed with the following troubleshooting methods.


Method 1: Run the Windows Update Troubleshooter.


This troubleshooter is an automated Windows 8 inbuilt tool which finds and fixes the common issues with the Windows Updates. Perform these steps to run this tool and check if that helps.


a)       Press “Windows Logo” + “W” keys from the keyboard.

b)       Type “Troubleshooting” in the search bar and press “Enter”.

c)       In the “Troubleshooting” window, click on “View All” on the left pane.

d)        Click on “Windows Update”.

e)       Click on “Advanced” and then click on “Run as Administrator”.

f)        Click “Next” and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the troubleshooting process.


After running the Windows Update Troubleshooter, check if you are able to complete the Disk Cleanup process. If the issue still persists, then you may go ahead with the next method.


Method 2: Run an SFC Scan


This issue might also happen, if there are some damaged, corrupted or missing system files. The sfc /scannow command scans all protected system files and replaces incorrect versions with correct Microsoft versions.


a)       Press “Windows Logo” + “X” keys on the keyboard and select “Command Prompt (Admin)” from that menu.

b)       On the command prompt window, type the following command, and then press “Enter”


sfc /scannow


c)       Follow the on-screen instructions and complete the scan.


Important: It may ask for windows installation DVD to fix and to enable SFC to make more than minor repairs. Some files saved on your computer might get deleted when fixing corrupted files.


Hope this resolves the issue. If you still need any further assistance on this issue, please do get back to us with the results and additional information regarding the issue.

Rajesh Govind - Microsoft Support Engineer

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