How to delete pending updates on Windows 10

On Windows 10, the process of installing cumulative updates often causes problems, for example, updates may fail to install due to file errors, compatibility, or unknown errors . 

How to delete a pending update on Windows 10

If you want to remove pending updates to avoid the installation, follow these simple steps:

First, open File Explorer on Windows 10.

Then type the following path in the address bar and press Enter :


Select all content ( Ctrl + A or click the Select All option in the Home tab ) inside the Download folder .

How to delete pending updates on Windows 10 Picture 1 Select all the content inside the Download folder, then select Delete

Then click the Delete button from the Home tab .

When you complete all of these steps, the accumulated update installation files are deleted from your device.

If you want to skip a specific update, after deleting the file, you can use the ' Show or hide updates ' tool to block Windows updates from trying to reinstall.

While we're focusing on cumulative updates, these steps should also work when removing pending feature updates.

Delete downloaded, unsuccessful updates, delete pending updates

Delete the contents of the Temporary folder

You can also delete all downloaded, failed and pending Windows 10 updates using the Run command .

Open the Run dialog box by pressing Win + R simultaneously, and in the dialog that opens enter % temp% and then press Enter. In the folder that opens, select all the files and folders in the Temp folder, and then delete them.

% temp% is one of the many environment variables in Windows that can actually open a folder designated by Windows as a Temporary folder, usually located at C: Users [username] AppDataLocalTemp .

  1. Automatically delete temporary files every time you open a Windows 10 computer

Delete the pending.xml file

You have to navigate to C: WindowsWinSxS folder , look for the pending .xml file, and then rename the file. You can even remove it. This will allow Windows Update to delete pending tasks and also create a new check for updates.

Delete the contents of the SoftwareDistribution folder

You need to actually delete all the contents of the SoftwareDistribution folder. The SoftwareDistribution folder in a Windows operating system is basically a folder located in the Windows folder. It is used to temporarily store files that may be needed to install Windows updates on a computer. Therefore, it is necessary and is maintained by WUAgent.

This folder also contains Windows Update History files, and if you delete them you will most likely lose your update history. Also, the next time you run Windows Update, the detection time will also be longer.

To delete the contents of the SoftwareDistribution folder, in Windows 10, from the WinX menu, open Command Prompt (Admin). You must enter the following commands one by one and press Enter :

net stop wuauserv net stop bits

After that, the Windows Update service and Background Intelligent Transfer will stop.

Now you need to browse to the C: WindowsSoftwareDistribution folder and delete all the files, as well as the folders inside.

You can press Ctrl + A to select them all, then press Delete.

If the files are in use and you cannot delete some files, reboot the device. After the reboot, you need to run the above commands again. You can now delete files from the SoftwareDistribution folder as mentioned.

After emptying this folder, you may need to restart your computer or you can also enter the following commands. Type in each command, then press Enter to restart Windows Update related services.

net start wuauserv net start bits

Reset folder catroot2

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

Catroot and catroot2 are actually the Windows operating system folders required for Windows Update.

When you run Windows Update, the folder catroot2 stores the signatures of the Windows Update package and also helps to install it. The Cryptographic Service actually uses the % windir% System32catroot2edb.log file for the update process. Updates are stored in the SoftwareDistribution folder, which is then used by Automatic Updates to perform the update.

Do not delete or rename the Catroot folder. The Catroot2 folder is recreated automatically by Windows. However, the Catroot folder is not recreated if it is renamed.