Software Distribution Folder – Reset/Rename/Empty like a Boss

Software Distribution Folder contains all the downloaded updates and if it messed up with several incomplete downloaded items, it refuses to sync with Microsoft server and doesn’t allow you to update your Windows 10/8/7. It means you will get some kind of update fails error messages along with error code starting with 0x.

Location of Software Distribution Folder

You may find this folder at following location:

C: > Windows > SoftwareDistribution

Software_Distribution_Location

Note: Software Distribution Folder is managed by Windows Update Agent (WUAgent) and Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS). So, in order to perform any operation on this Folder, you need to stop these services. Make sure to restart these services after performing an operation on this Folder.

Clear SoftwareDistribution Folder

In order to clear, SoftwareDistribution Folder go to the following location and simply select all items and delete them.

Step 1: Open Command Prompt as Administrator
run-command-prompt-as-administrator

Step 2: Type and execute following commands one by one.

net stop wuauserv (press enter)
net stop bits (press enter)

stop_wuauserv_bits

Step 3 : Go to the C: > Windows > SoftwareDistribution
Software_Distribution_Location

Step 4: Select All item by pressing Ctrl + A
Delete_Distribution_Folder_Items

Step 5: Delete All items

If it doesn’t allow you to delete the items, it means some items are being used by another program. Just restart the PC and follows all the steps once again. After deleting all the items you must restart Windows Update agent and BITS Services.

Step 6: Go to Administrative Command Prompt again and execute the following commands.

net start wuauserv (press enter)
net start bits (press enter)

Rename SoftwareDistribution Folder

Step 1: Open Command Prompt as Administrator
win10_cmd

Step 2: Stop Windows Updated Agent Service and BITS. Execute following command one by one.

net stop wuauserv (press enter)
net stop bits (press enter)

stop_wuauserv_bits

Step 3: Type following command in command prompt and press enter.

rename c:\windows\SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution_old
rename_software_distribution_folder

renamed_software_distribution_folder

Step 4: Start Windows Update Agent Service and BITS. Execute following commands one by one.

net start wuauserv (press enter)
net start bits (press enter)

start_wuauserv_bits

Once you Reset Software Distribution Folder, try to Update Windows again. It might take longer time than usual to connect to Microsoft Server because you have emptied the folder and Windows need to recreate all the databases and other items. Once connected you will notice that everything is going good and your windows start updating itself.

What doesn’t this Method work?

Sometimes, due to several other reasons like registry corruption, missing system files or damage by viruses cause update fails issue. In this situation Resetting Software Distribution Folder won’t help you so you need a powerful system optimizer tool to fix deep windows problems. Here, we recommend using Advanced System Repair Tool to fix Windows Update Problems. You can download this tool free.

Summary

In this article, I explained how you can Reset, Delete, Rename or Empty the software distribution folder in Windows 10/8/7.

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