December 2, 2008

Clearing Windows Update Cache Upon Update Failure

Filed under: Tips n Tricks — Rahul Patel @ 9:58 am
  1. Open Command Prompt by Start -> Run and type “cmd
  2. On the Command Prompt, type “net stop wuauserv“. This is done so that you will terminate the windows automatic update service to allow us to delete the cache files
  3. Still on the Command Prompt, type “cd /d %windir%” or “cd\windows
  4. Type “rd /s SoftwareDistribution
  5. Thats it, the cache has been purged. Now we need to restart the windows automatic update service again. To do that, type “net start wuauserv
  6. Or go to this link: http://support.microsoft.com/Default.aspx?kbid=971058


  1. Hi,
    Really good stuff from you rahul. This thing really help me recently for one server at workplace. Thanks and go ahead.

    Comment by Pratik Maheta — December 17, 2008 @ 10:43 am | Reply

  2. Thank you for this invaluable advice.

    Comment by Stephen Plustwik — February 28, 2009 @ 7:03 pm | Reply

  3. Too many thanks! It very useful note/howto to clear windows server 2008 r2: foundation update center cache! One point: Of You delete only SoftwareDistribution\Download directory, all settings and update log would be preserved.

    Comment by Vasily Eremenko — November 12, 2010 @ 12:48 pm | Reply

  4. Thanks for the information.

    Comment by Vikram — February 9, 2011 @ 9:24 pm | Reply

  5. Great trick.

    I owe you a least, a pizza of your choice.


    Comment by Larry Schneider — February 25, 2011 @ 1:41 am | Reply

  6. or if you want to do it via within windows.

    1. Stop Windows update service
    2. Delete C:\windows\softwaredistribution folder <– This Folder
    3. Start Windows update service.

    Comment by chander — November 30, 2011 @ 1:51 am | Reply

  7. YOU ARE THE MAN! Thanks!

    Comment by Jeevz — February 16, 2012 @ 8:05 am | Reply

  8. All right, just found this on a whim…
    Kept getting told that an update needed to be installed, although it was already successfully installed.
    This exact trick put a quick end to my WinUpdate Deja Vu in WinXP SP3.
    Don’t know how to pay you back, or what to pay u with?
    Totally blind since birth; Using #FireFox to read these articles.

    Comment by Jason Bratcher — May 22, 2012 @ 10:08 pm | Reply

  9. thanks so much! stuck here for hours doing unpaid overtime sorting the server you saved me god knows how long LOL
    my new best buddy 😉

    Comment by garry — May 25, 2012 @ 1:30 am | Reply

  10. Too awesome — I keep starting the check for updates, then in the middle I remember I haven’t installed service pack (duh!) — don’t want things out of order — this is great!


    Comment by Sue — August 18, 2012 @ 6:32 am | Reply

  11. Good buddy thanks

    Comment by Amrish Patel — September 13, 2012 @ 5:04 pm | Reply

  12. Great tip shared…ur link comes up first in google search 🙂

    Comment by Anand — November 7, 2012 @ 11:48 am | Reply

  13. Very good info! Exactly what my computer needed. Thank you!

    Comment by Kostas — January 15, 2013 @ 1:30 pm | Reply

  14. This dude rules with an iron cock. Thanks for saving me some time on my neighbor’s PC, this post did the trick. Thanks again!

    Comment by John Thompson — January 30, 2013 @ 2:42 pm | Reply

  15. No matter if some one searches for his essential thing, thus he/she wishes to be available
    that in detail, so that thing is maintained over

    Comment by Scott — February 2, 2013 @ 10:24 am | Reply

  16. Does anyone know if there’s any harm in running these updates again? In other words, my server now thinks I haven’t applied SP1 but I had in the past. Is there a problem with running that update again?

    Comment by stu — March 27, 2013 @ 5:20 am | Reply

  17. Thanks for finally writing about >Clearing Windows Update Cache
    Upon Update Failure | RahulPatel–twikies… <Loved it!

    Comment by Mohammed Mentgen — May 13, 2013 @ 3:05 am | Reply

  18. I’m pretty pleased to uncover this web site. I want to to thank you for ones time for this particularly fantastic read!! I definitely appreciated every part of it and i also have you bookmarked to check out new stuff in your site.

    Comment by breakfast bread — July 18, 2013 @ 1:41 am | Reply

  19. I think the admin of this web site is truly working hard for his site, because
    here every information is quality based data.

    Comment by 585 gold — October 22, 2013 @ 9:27 am | Reply

  20. Thanks! It solved all update problems on Windows 8.1.

    Comment by saleen1451 — January 20, 2014 @ 12:06 am | Reply

  21. Super, it worked out. Thanks and God bless you.

    Comment by Pavel — February 18, 2014 @ 1:07 pm | Reply

  22. How to clear the windows 8.1 update history. Kindly help me

    Comment by Robin Paulose — January 5, 2015 @ 9:42 am | Reply

  23. Thank you! This saved me on a 2012 r2 server, tried deleting the cache many different ways but this was the only way that actually worked without error. Cheers!

    Comment by Mike — July 22, 2015 @ 11:18 am | Reply

    • wuaserv doesn’t exist on my Windows 2012? How’d you do it?

      Comment by Brett Schulte — August 2, 2015 @ 10:39 pm | Reply

      • hi Brett,

        did you check in the services.msc ? it is there with “windows update” name.
        or you can query that service with below cmd
        sc queryex wuauserv

        Comment by Rahul Patel — August 3, 2015 @ 10:14 am

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