Is it safe to delete files Under C:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution\Download

Bbpajk asked on
My C drive is full and I have gone through the cleanup process several times.  I noticed that every day files get added to the C-Drive under C:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution\Download.  Can I safely delete these files?  They add up to 100 to 200 MB a day.
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Jeff Loucks replied on

Similar to the post by ClickStartComp the method used by Customer Support Services is to rename the folder. Verify that no problems exist after a restart and then delete the folder.

Here is a KB which in trying to fix another problem uses the process of renaming the folder:

Before your rename the folder you must stop the service. Here is how:

  • Start>Run
  • type cmd and press enter
  • type net stop wuauserv and press enter
  • type rename c:\windows\SoftwareDistribution softwaredistribution.oldand press enter
  • type net start wuauserv and press enter
  • type exit and press enter

Verify that the new software distribution folder created when you restart the update service is approxiamtely 1.5 MB in size (standard files). Restart the computer and del the folder if you have no issues.

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ClickStartComp replied on



The 'SoftwareDistribution' folder is where automatic updates are stored. 


There are mixed views across the board about deleting this folder, but my view is that if you stop automatic updates, delete the folder then restart automatic updates that works and has worked many time before for me.

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