Update reset

How to delete pending updates on Windows 10

Use these steps to clear pending updates about to install on your computer.

Removing pending updates from Windows 10

On Windows 10, the process to install cumulative updates can sometimes cause problems. For instance, updates could fail to install as a result of file corruption, compatibility, or unknown bugs.

Whatever the reason it might be, if you’re having problems installing a Windows update, or some users are reporting issues with the particular patch, you can delete the pending updates to download the package again or skip the update entirely.

You can complete this task by deleting the contents inside the SoftwareDistribution folder that contains the files that Windows Update uses to apply new updates.

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to delete the files for pending updates on Windows 10.

Clear pending updates on Windows 10

To delete pending updates to prevent the installation, use these steps:

  1. Open File Explorer on Windows 10.

  2. Type the following path in the address bar and press Enter:

    C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download
  3. Select all the contents (Ctrl + A or click the Select all option in the “Home” tab) inside the Download folder.

    SoftwareDistribution folder on Windows 10
    SoftwareDistribution folder on Windows 10
  4. Click the Delete button from the “Home” tab

Once you complete the steps, the cumulative update installation files will be deleted from your device.

If you want to skip a particular update, after deleting the files, you can use the “Show or hide updates” tool to block the Windows update from trying to install again.

Although we’re focusing on cumulative updates, these steps should also work to remove pending feature updates.

Update August 7, 2020: This guide was published in October 2018, and it’s been revised in August 2020.