How to delete pending updates on Windows 11

Here are the easy steps to fix the problem with pending updates on Windows 11.

Windows 11 delete pending updates
Windows 11 delete pending updates / Image: Mauro Huculak
  • To delete Windows 11 pending updates, open File Explorer in the “C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download” path, select, and delete files. Once you complete the steps, check for updates one more time.

On Windows 11, you can remove pending updates by deleting the contents of the “Download” folder inside the “SoftwareDistribution” folder that contains the files that Windows Update uses to apply system updates.

Usually, updates fail to install because of bugs, compatibility problems, or file corruption. If a cumulative update is causing issues during installation or users report issues with a specific patch, you can delete pending updates to redownload the files or prevent the system from trying to install them.

In this guide, I will teach you the steps to delete pending updates on Windows 11.

Remove pending updates on Windows 11

To delete Windows 11 pending updates, use these steps:

  1. Open File Explorer on Windows 11.

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

    C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download

    SoftwareDistribution download folder

  3. Select all the folders and files (“Ctrl + A” or choose the “Select all” option from the “See more” menu) inside the “Download” folder.

  4. Click the Delete button to delete pending updates on Windows 11.

Once you complete the steps, the available files for any pending updates on Windows 11 will be removed from the device.

If you have to block a specific update after deleting the files, use the “Show or hide updates” tool to prevent Windows Update from downloading the packages again. These steps should also work to remove pending feature updates.

Update February 5, 2024: This guide has been updated to ensure accuracy and reflect changes to the process.

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 About.me. Email him at [email protected].