On Windows 10, installing cumulative updates can sometimes cause problems, such as failure to install due to file corruption, compatibility, or unknown bugs.
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.
You can complete this task by deleting the contents inside the SoftwareDistribution folder that contains the files that Windows Update uses to apply new updates.
In this guide, you will learn the steps to delete the files for pending updates on Windows 10.
Clear pending updates on Windows 10
To delete pending updates to prevent the installation, use these steps:
Open File Explorer on Windows 10.
Type the following path in the address bar and press Enter:
Select all the folders and files (Ctrl + A or click the “Select all” option in the “Home” tab) inside the “Download” folder.
SoftwareDistribution folder on Windows 10
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.
Update February 1, 2021: This guide was published in October 2018 and revised in February 2022.