How to Delete Windows Update Files Windows 10 in 3 ways

This post will introduce Windows update files from 2 aspects, namely the reason of deleting Windows update files Windows 10 and the corresponding methods of deleting.


By Irene / Updated on September 1, 2023

Share this: instagram reddit

When your C drive is running out of space, you will probably use Disk Cleanup to free up space. There's a "Windows Update Cleanup" category that seems tied to the system-related data. Is it safe to delete these files? Where are they stored? Let's continue to learn more.

About Windows update files

▌What are Windows update files?
Windows update files are like packages of improvements for your computer, with .exe for big changes and .cab for small fixes. Microsoft's Windows Update service automatically puts them in C:\Windows, taking up several GBs of space. They keep your system updated. After updates, old files stay as backups. But these old files can continuously use up storage space over time.

▌Is it safe to delete Windows Update Cleanup in Disk Cleanup?
Usually, it's safe to delete old and unnecessary update files as long as your system is stable with the updates. Windows Update Cleanup aims for files no longer needed, like old system versions and cached updates. But, be cautious about removing Windows ESD Installation Files in Disk Cleanup. These files are tied to the "Reset this PC" feature, which lets you restore your computer to factory settings. If you delete them, "Reset this PC" might not work properly. If you do not know what to delete in Windows Disk Cleanup, you can click to learn relevant information.

3 ways on deleting Windows 10 update files

How to delete Win 10 update files? Here we will share 3 Windows inbuilt tools to help you easily remove them and make more room for your computer.

Method 1. Use Disk Cleanup to delete Windows update files Windows 10

It is a direct way to delete Windows update files on Disk Cleanup. In this utility, you can also clear data like Temporary Internet Files, Downloaded Program Files, Recycle Bin, Thumbnails, and so on. Just with two steps, you can delete them to free up storage space.

Step 1. Hit “Win+R” to input “cleanmgr.exe”. Click “OK

run disk cleanup

Step 2. Find “ Windows Update Cleanup” and check it.

clean windows update cleanup files

Method 2. Delete Windows 10 update files via Settings

Windows 11 and 10 have the tool named “Windows Update Cleanup” tool in Settings. The updated files and other temporary files on your PC can be found here.

Step 1. Press “Win+I” to open Settings, and choose “System” >”Storage

setting storage

Step 2. Select “Temporary Files”, check “Windows Update Cleanup” and “Delivery Optimization Files” in the pop-up window. After checking, click “ Remove Files” button

windows update files

Method 3. Delete Windows update files Windows 10 with SoftwareDistribution Folder

Sometimes, when the Windows updates stagnate or not be downloaded entirely, the update files will be stored in the folder temporarily, deleting them or stopping the automatic storage won't trigger any major problem. Therefore, it is advisable to stop the service first to avoid storing.

Step 1. Type “Services” in the search box, and click the icon.

Step 2. Find “Windows Update” service, and right-click it. Choose “Stop

windows update service

Further reading: How to safely and easily clean up computer

When using Disk Cleanup, the multitude of files can be puzzling, and it's hard to determine what's safe to delete. Mistakes could lead to data loss or system crashes. To safely and easily clean up your computer to free up space, it is recommended to use user-friendly software, such as AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional.

It has a variety of solutions available. One notable feature is "Delete Large Files," which can automatically scan files larger than 16MB, display them for you, and permit the removal of around 1,000 files at a time. To ensure safety, certain files are marked in red, indicating they're not recommended for deletion. Should an inadvertent deletion occur, it will prompt you to manually select files, confirm the action again, and then proceed.

Download Pro Demo Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 1. Open the AOMEI Partition Assistant, select “Free up”, and choose “Delete Large Files” as the picture shows.

delete large files

Step 2. Choose the target disks to scan, and click “Start Scan

start scan

Step 3. All the scanned files will be listed in this step. Choose the files you want to delete but pay more attention to the files in red. Then click “Delete”.


Step 4. Here it summarizes the target deleting files for you. You can clearly find how much the space it releases. After confirmation, select “Delete Now”.

delete now

If you have deleted Windows update files Windows 10, but still find the C drive release little space, you can try the function of allocating free space. It allows you to directly allocate free space from other partitions to extend the target partition space without data loss.


In this passage, we share the methods like using Disk Cleanup, Settings, and SoftwareDistribution Folder to delete Windows 10 update files. But when you ask how to delete Win 10 update files, you aim to free up more space to enhance your computer performance.

The powerful tool AOMEI Partition Assistant can help you to do that. Furthermore, you can also enjoy other advanced features of the software, such as moving applications to another drive, migrating OS to SSD, or merging partitions, etc. to make full use of your storage space. For Windows server users, you can choose Server Edition to manage your computer effectively.

Irene · Staff Editor
Irene is an Editor of AOMEI Technology. She devotes herself in giving insightful thoughts on common computer problems with simple and clear guidance. Irene loves to help people solve problems and explore more solutions on relevant issues. She loves reading, singing and travelling.