posted on March 16th 2015, at 13:34
by lunarg
There are a lot of misconceptions about the %WINDIR%\SoftwareDistribution folder, home to the Windows Update data files. This can be seen by the myriad of posts and comments found all over the internet. So here's the real deal about cleaning out the Windows Updates cache.

Note that Windows Update automatically cleans out the cached updates at a regular interval (depending on the age of the cache, etc). If you're running production servers, you usually don't have to manually clean out the cache, unless you have acute disk space trouble. But sometimes it may be necessary to accelerate the process, and that's when the methods of the article come into play.

Don't delete   ...
On September 4th 2018 at 23:34, cyburbanyte wrote:
Yours is the most accurate advice I've seen on this subject. The Downloads directory contains the expendable junk.
One additional trick that can help to slow rampant system volume space consumption is to relocate %WinDir%SoftwareDistribution to another local drive with adequate space and use a Symbolic Link, e.g.

mklink /d c:WindowsSoftwareDistribution e:WindowsSoftwareDistribution

I use these steps to maximize space and tamp the rate of disk consumption on the sysvol of my Win 2008 R2 server:

1. Relocate the Windows paging file to another drive
2. Use Symbolic Links to relocate these directories:

to another drive with ample storage.

My NAS has a 35 GB system volume partition and configuring it larger would waste quite a lot of space on my data volumes. This is an effective solution when you are cramped for space on your sysvol.
On September 29th 2015 at 12:00, Rob wrote:
This seemed to work fine

Delete files Under C:WINDOWSSoftwareDistribution

Before your rename the folder you must stop the service.

Here is how:
type cmd and press enter
type net stop wuauserv and press enter
type rename c:windowsSoftwareDistribution 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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