How to delete pending updates on Windows 10

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

Windows 10 delete pending updates
Windows 10 delete pending updates

On Windows 10, installing cumulative updates can sometimes cause problems, such as failure to install due to file corruption, compatibility, or unknown bugs.

Whatever the reason, if you have problems installing an update or users report issues with a particular rollout, you can delete 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.

This guide will teach you the steps to delete the files for pending updates on Windows 10.

Clear pending updates on Windows 10

To delete Windows 10 updates pending installation, use these steps:

  1. Open File Explorer on Windows 10.

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

  3. Select all the folders and files (“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 Windows 10 update installation files will be deleted from the computer.

If you want to skip a particular update, you can use the “Show or hide updates” tool to block the Windows update from trying to install again after deleting the files. Although we focus on cumulative updates, these steps should also work to remove pending feature updates.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].