How You Can Delete Windows Update Files Completely

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By Jason

Even though computers have come a long way in terms of storage over the last decade, they are still far from perfect.

Some computers have slow hard drives with large capacities, while others have fast solid-state drives with small capacities – the tech world has yet to come up with a middle-ground. Of course, when you have around 1TB of storage space on your hard drive, you’ll rarely think twice when downloading files.

However, over time, the more you initialize Windows updates, unused system files fill up the more storage, and you have to delete Windows update files.

The problem is when you update your Windows version and issues with the existing version are fixed; many unused files aren’t removed from your hard drive. This leaves them to fill up your available hard drive space, and as we said before, over time, this ends up having a bigger impact than you’d initially think.

For this reason, we believe that it’s important that if you have a computer with Windows installed, you know about some of the different things you can do to delete Windows update files and prevent them from unnecessarily filling up your hard drive space.

In this article, we’ll show you exactly how to do this.

Solution #1 – Using the Disk Cleanup Feature to Delete Windows Update Files

The first method we’ll show you utilizes an already built-in Windows feature developed for managing the storage devices connected to your computer.

This is the first thing you should try before looking into third-party removal tools, as it is designed exactly for the task you’re trying to achieve.

Follow the steps below to use the Disk Cleanup feature to delete Windows update files.

Step #1 – Turn on your computer and once it has loaded, enter “Disk Cleanup” into the search bar.

Note: If you aren’t able to find it, open up the “My Computer” / “This PC” menu, right-click on the hard drive, and click on “Properties > General > Disk Cleanup.”

Step #2 – A list of files no longer required by Windows will be shown (e.g., temporary files, per-user Windows Error Report, etc.). From the list of files, select “Windows Update Cleanup.”

Step #3 – After selecting the different files you want to be deleted, click on “OK” and let Disk Cleanup take care of the rest.

Step #4 – If you have multiple hard drives connected to your computer, repeat this for each.

If you use this method to delete Windows update files after each Windows update you choose to install, you can keep your hard drive clean and ensure you have as much available space as possible.

Also, click here to figure out how to fix IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL WINDOWS 10, as well as the Rundll Error at the Startup of Windows.

Solution #2 – Using the Windows File Explorer to Delete Windows Update Files

If the Disk Cleanup feature didn’t eliminate as many unnecessary files as you had hoped, you could try using a different approach.

For the following method, we will be using a Windows Explorer window. Even though this is slightly more complicated than Disk Cleanup, it gets the job done effectively.

Follow our short guide below to delete Windows update files using a Windows Explorer window.

Step #1 – After loading your computer, click on the start menu icon and enter “services.msc”. The first result will be the Windows Services program; click on this.

Step #2 – A list of services will be shown (some running, some stopped), and from that list, scroll until you find the “Windows Update” service.

Note: if you are struggling to find this service, click on the “Name” header, which will list the services in alphabetical order.

Step #3 – Double-click on “Windows Update” to open up the settings menu for it. From this menu, click on the “General” tab, and then under the “Automated Updates” header, click on the “Stop” button.

Step #4 – Next, using a Windows Explorer window, locate the “Software Distribution” folder, which can be found in “C: Drive > Windows.”

Step #5 – Right-click on this folder and select the “Rename” option. Rename this folder to something like “Software Distribution Old.”

Step #6 – Go back to the menu where you stopped the update service and click on “Start” this time.

Step #7 – After a few seconds, a new folder will be created and named “Software Distribution.” You can now delete the old folder you have just renamed, and you will have successfully manually deleted the updated files.

By now, you will have a thorough understanding of how you can use two Windows features that have already been set up and preinstalled for you and how to use these two features to delete Windows update files.

That being said, neither of these methods is optimal, and neither of them will fully remove the useless update files left behind, which is why we recommend that you use Stellar BitRaser instead.

In addition, if you have problems with potential Windows update database error detected, switch to find the best solutions here.

Solution #3 – How to Use Stellar BitRaser to Delete Windows Update Files Completely

In this final method, we’ll show you we’ll take things a step further than we did with the other two methods.

When you delete Windows update files manually or with Disk Cleanup, the files aren’t actually deleted and are still recoverable, thus, taking up a portion of your hard drive.

However, when you use the Stellar BitRaser program to delete Windows update files, they are permanently deleted and can’t be recovered.

Using this data removal tool, no matter how powerful of a recovery tool you were to use, any data you remove can’t be recovered.

By the way, if you are experiencing the 0x80240031 Windows Update Error, you must check out these guides.

Step #1 – Start downloading, installing, and launching Stellar BitRaser on your computer.

Download BitRaser for Windows

Step #2 – Using the menu on the left, click on the “+” next to the “System Traces” option, and tick its box.

Step #3 – Select the “Windows Update Information” option below this header.

Step #4 – Simply click the “Erase Now” button from the display shown.

Step #5 – The process should take no more than a few minutes, and once it’s complete, you should be extra thorough and repeat the process at least once.

On top of using this program to delete files from your Windows computer permanently, you can also:

  • Schedule a time for certain files to be deleted by Stellar BitRaser.
  • Remove browsing history, system files, and any applications.
  • Use it on any version of Windows.
  • Generate a data removal certificate once files have been removed.

There’s no doubt that if you want to permanently delete temporary internet files and increase the amount of available space on your computer, Stellar BitRaser is the way to go.

To Conclude

The Windows operating system is one of the best, especially with the release of Windows 10 being as flexible as it is.

However, every time you update your computer, there will be a lot of unused system files left behind, and eventually, they’ll take up a large portion of your hard drive.

For that reason, we recommend that you use one of the methods above at least once a month to delete Windows update files. On top of clearing storage space, it’s also a great way to keep your computer running as fast as possible.

While we recommend that you use Stellar BitRaser for the most effective removal, either of the other two methods will get the job done too.