Tech

Can I delete WUDownloadCache folder?

I just found out that WUDownloadCache folder is a location for Win10 updates on a PC. Now, since update was finished, I am wondering whether it would be ok for it to be deleted permanently? Can I configure Windows to move it to C:\temp? I want to bring my OS to 1909 so was wondering how can I get this organised.


5 Likes

Hello @Brad Welcome to community :bouquet:

Whenever you update your system, windows will automatically cashe all the windows update installation files. using this folder’s files, windows can reapply updates without downloading updates again.ones you updated your windows successfully you can delete the folder’s files and regain the space.
but you can not delete this folder normaly, as you delete other folders, so if you want to delete the files of this folder you will have to stop “windows update” service.
step 1 stop “windows update” service
step 2 go to c:\windows\softwareDistribution\download
select all files and delete all files.

step 3 start windows update service again

3 Likes

Hi @Brad,

Yes, It should be fine to remove the ‘WUDownloadcache’ its just a cache folder nothing more.

1 Like

As others have already said you can safely delete it. In fact, clearing the Windows update cache can help you regain that lost hard drive space. Moreover, clearing the update cache also helps in situations where the update files are corrupted.

Here is how you can clear the Windows update cache in Windows 10.

Clear Update Cache in Windows 10

Clearing the update cache in Windows is easy, but not as straightforward as it should be. Though we can use the Disk Cleanup Utility, it may not clear the update cache completely, so we are going to use the manual method.

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.

win10-clear-update-cache-services

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.

win10-clear-update-cache-stop-service

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\

win10-clear-update-cache-run-command-soft-distrib

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.

If you want to gain some more space, you can also delete the files inside the “DeliveryOptimization” folder. Before you can do that, you need to disable the Windows Delivery Optimization feature. To do that, search for “Check for Updates” in the Start menu and open it.

win10-clear-update-cache-check-updates

In the “Update and Security” window, click on the “Advanced Options” link in the Windows Update page.

Once the Advanced Options window has been opened, click on the “Choose how updates are delivered” link.

win10-clear-update-cache-choose-how-updates-delivered

The above action will take you to the Delivery Optimization settings window. Here, toggle the button to turn off the Windows Delivery Optimization feature.

win10-clear-update-cache-toggle-button

After turning off the Delivery Optimization feature, press “Win + R,” enter the below folder path and press the Enter button.

C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\DeliveryOptimization

win10-clear-update-cache-delivery-optimization-run-command

Here in this folder, select all the files and folders using the keyboard shortcut “Ctrl + A” and press the Delete key on your keyboard. This action deletes all the files in the folder.

win10-clear-update-cache-delete-delivery-optimization-files

If you want to, you can check the size of all those files and folders by right-clicking and selecting the option “Properties.” In my case, the files and folders in the Delivery Optimization folder amount to nearly 7Gb.

win10-clear-update-cache-delivery-optimization-folder-size

Once you are done with everything, go back to the Services window, right-click on the “Windows Update” service and select the option “Start.” This action starts the service if it hasn’t already.

win10-clear-update-cache-start-service

It is that simple to clear the update cache in Windows 10. Do comment below sharing your thoughts and experiences about using the above method to clear the update cache.

credit:maketecheasier.com

6 Likes

Hi @Brad,

The download history is located in the C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\DataStore folder. If you clean that folder (empty it) or rename it (it’ll be recreated), you’ll just lose the ability to see via the Windows Update panel what updates you installed. You won’t have to re-download any of them because Windows still knows which updates are installed and which aren’t. As for the Download folder, it’ll only force Windows to re-download the updates that were pending for an install, which is a good thing because often updates that stays in that folder for too long will have their file corrupted or disappear and the update won’t be able to install.

In other words, there’s nothing wrong in deleting the content of renaming the Download and DataStore folders. It’s often done for Windows Update troubleshooting.

2 Likes

You may delete the WUDownloadCache folder , the folder’s entire purpose is to store cached information during long updates to utilize other storage devices in order to cache the items in the WUDownloadCache folder to speed up the update process, but yes - deleting this folder will absolutely not harm your system no matter the size of the folder or it’s file contents , this file is also automatically generated on all NT platforms, including RT, just to speed up the updating process, but if UAC says “You may not have access to this folder,” UAC meaning (User Account Control), that is a signal that WUCache -for short - is storing timestamped information that is crucial to the Windows update system of the NT and RT platform. The “Recent” folder is brought on from Windows’ “Quick Access” feature in the Windows File Explorer, and is used to bring you quickly to your most used destinations, too. The “Recent” folder may never* be deleted.

:slightly_smiling_face:

2 Likes

Hello

Of course you can delete and use all ways which our members advice you, there is one thing i think it will be good to know for you

The download history is located in the C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\DataStore folder. If you clean that folder (empty it) or rename it (it’ll be recreated), you’ll just lose the ability to see via the Windows Update panel what updates you installed. You won’t have to re-download any of them because Windows still knows which updates are installed and which aren’t. As for the Download folder, it’ll only force Windows to re-download the updates that were pending for an install, which is a good thing because often updates that stays in that folder for too long will have their file corrupted or dissapear and the update won’t be able to install.

In other words, there’s nothing wrong in deleting the content of renaming the Download and DataStore folders. It’s often done for Windows Update troubleshooting.

1 Like

The update itself is great, but it uses up to 24 GB of cache space and doesn’t automatically clear itself after the update is applied. Imagine what you could do with all of that extra space!

Screenshot_5
Before we can delete these files, we have to disable Windows Update to make sure no updates are currently downloading. To do this, open the Start Menu , launch the Command Prompt app, and type:

net stop wuauserv

Next, open File Explorer and navigate to C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download . Inside the Download folder, you can safely delete everything. Afterwards, you should re-enable Windows Update by typing the following into Command Prompt:

net start wuauserv

3 Likes

Thanks @Mr.Robot. I had this exact problem your instruction helped me solve the problem.

Thanks

1 Like

Hi @Brad,

If you are using Windows 10 1903 or later version of Windows 10. Then you can use Storage Sense feature which can automatically clean up all the temporary, windows update leftovers, and cache files. Storage sense is very effective and even it can run when your PC is on low disk space. In the Windows 10 version 1909 and Windows 10 version 2004 Storage sense has lot improved. So, I would strongly suggest you to use Storage sense on your PC to avoid unnecessary files fulling your disk. By default Storage sense is disabled on the PC, you have to enable it manually or through group policy or registry.

Please check this below topic to enable storage sense for your PC.

Hope this helps