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How to Delete All Pending Updates on Windows 10 PC

Learn how to delete all pending updates on your Windows 10 PC, Tech Guide on A3 Techworld. On Windows 10, the process to install cumulative updates can sometimes cause problems. Windows 10 is now the most used desktop operating system. The operating system is now powering a majority of desktop computers and laptops.

Windows 10 updates can be data and time-consuming, for some users, it slows down their systems while the updates are pending. On Windows 10, installing cumulative updates can sometimes cause problems, such as failure to install due to file corruption, compatibility, or unknown bugs. (Similar post: How To Fix Wi-Fi Not Working On Laptop But Working On Phone)

Whatever the reason it might be, if you have problems installing an update or users are reporting issues with a particular rollout, you can delete pending updates to download the package again or skip the update entirely. (Similar post: A Simple Guide To Fix Error Code: 0x0003 On GeForce Experience)

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to delete the files for pending updates on Windows 10. Windows 10 receives updates almost every month, and they were of different types like Quality updates, Driver updates, Cumulative updates, definition updates, and security updates.

Want to know how you can delete all pending Windows 10 updates on your PC? Below is a guide on how to remove all updates from your Windows 10.

  1. Open file explorer on your Windows 10 computer.
  2. Type the following path in the address bar and press Enter:
    1. C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download.
  3. The folder will show you lots of files. These are the pending updates.
  4. Now use the CTRL+A button to select all.
  5. Delete!

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

Delete the contents of the Temporary folder 

You guys can also delete all the downloaded, failed, and pending Windows 10 updates using the ‘Run’ command as well.

Open the ‘Run’ dialog box by tapping Win+R in combination and in the dialog box that opens, type %temp% and then tap on entering. In the folder that opens before you choose all the files and folders within the Temp folder and then remove them.

%temp% is one of many environment variables in Windows that can actually open the folder designated by Windows as your Temporary folder. Normally located at  C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Local\Temp as well.

Remove pending.xml file | Remove Pending Updates

You have to navigate to C:\Windows\WinSxS\ folder, search for a pending.xml file and then rename it. You may even remove it as well. This will allow Windows Update to delete pending tasks and also build a fresh new update check. Have a look if this helps.

Delete contents of the SoftwareDistribution folder

You need to remove all the contents of the Software Distribution folder actually. The Software Distribution folder in the Windows operating system is basically a folder located in the Windows directory. It is used to temporarily save files that may be needed to install Windows Update on your computer. Thus it is needed by Windows Update and maintained by WUAgent as well. It also has your Windows Update History files, and if you remove them, chances are that you will lose your Update history. Also, the next time you run Windows Update, it will then result in a longer detection time as well.

In order to delete the contents of the Software Distribution folder, in Windows 10, from the WinX Menu, then open Command Prompt (Admin). You have to type the following one after the other and click Enter:

net stop wuauserv
net stop bits

This will then stop the Windows Update Service and also the Background Intelligent Transfer Service.

Further | Remove Pending Updates

Now you need to browse to the C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution folder and remove all the files and folders inside.

You can press Ctrl+A to Select All and then tap on Delete.

If the files are in use, and you are unable to remove some files, then restart your device. After rebooting, you need to run the above commands again. Now you will be able to remove the files from the mentioned Software Distribution folder as well.

After you have emptied this folder, you may need to restart your computer, or you may type the following commands as well. One at a time in the CMD, and then tap Enter in order to restart the Windows Update related Services.

net start wuauserv
net start bits

Now that folder has flushed; it will now get populated afresh whenever you restart your PC and then run Windows Update actually.

Reset the catroot2 folder | Remove Pending Updates

Resetting the catroot2 folder has been basically known to fix many Windows Update problems.

Catroot and catroot2 are actually the Windows operating system folders that are required for the Windows Update process. When you guys run Windows Update, then the catroot2 folder stores the signatures of the Windows Update package and also helps in its installation. The Cryptographic service actually makes use of the %windir%\System32\catroot2\edb.log file for the updating process. The updates are stored in the SoftwareDistribution folder which is then used by Automatic Updates in order to carry out the updating process.

Please do not remove or rename the Catroot folder. The Catroot2 folder is automatically recreated by Windows. However, the Catroot folder is not recreated if the Catroot folder is renamed.

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 folders and files (Ctrl + A or click the “Select all” option in the “Home” tab) inside the “Download” folder.
  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.


As you can see, deleting all pending update files from the windows system is easy. Although, you have to be very careful because most of the files nearby to the mentioned folders are important to the normal functioning of the Windows system. So only proceed with this if you know what you are doing.

It is always best to create a backup, just in case anything goes wrong. It is recommended to at least keep a windows recovery media in hand to recover the system in case of disaster.

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