How to Delete Pending Windows updates and preview builds on Windows 10

You may notice Windows update Download the cumulative updates from the Microsoft server, But due to some reason (file corruption, compatibility, or unknown bugs.), the installation process gets stuck or fails to install. Even windows notify you there are some Windows updates pending for installation but it every time fails when you try to install them. Not only do these pending update files prevent new windows updates to install on your system but also take a huge amount of disk space. Where users report

 My C Drive Running out of space and when I check, the bulk is in the Temporary Files under Pending updates and preview builds which is 6.6gb. I’ve tried deleting unnecessary files using disk cleanup but it’s still the same. How can I reclaim this storage space?

Here this post we go through, How to Delete Pending updates on Windows 10 to fix Different Windows update installation-related errors include Free up Disk space.

Where are the pending updates located?

Basically, these Windows update files are located under C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download

Is it safe to delete pending updates?

Yes, it’s completely safe to delete pending Windows updates. If after download cumulative updates the update installation Stuck, failed to install with different errors we recommend once run the Update troubleshooter, that automatically check and fix the problem prevent these updates install properly.

To run the Windows Update troubleshooter:

  1. Open Settings, using keyboard shortcut Windows + I
  2. Update & security
  3. Troubleshoot
  4. Click on Windows update
  5. And Run the Troubleshooter.

Windows update troubleshooter

After complete, the troubleshooting process, restart Windows and check for updates. Check this time updates are installed successfully, there are no more pending updates. If still there is a problem and updates are pending for update let’s manually remove them.

Delete pending windows update files

To delete unfinished, pending Windows update files, First, we need to stop the Windows update service and its related services then from SoftwareDistribution folder we can found downloaded windows update files and delete them permanently. Let’s see how to do

  • First, open windows services using services.msc from windows search.
  • Scroll down and look for a service named Windows update,
  • Right-click on it and select Stop
  • Do the same (stop service) with BITS and Superfetch service.
  • Minimize the services window and navigate the following path


  • Inside the download, folder Select everything (Ctrl + A) and hit the Delete button.
  • That’s all, either manually restarts the services, that you previously stopped.
  • Or restart Windows so that these services automatically start.
  • Now open Windows update from settings -> update & security -> windows update -> Check for updates. Let us know this time windows successfully install the cumulative updates.

Note: If you are looking to skip a particular windows update (such as kbxxxx etc), cause you can use the Show or hide updates tool to block particular windows update being installed on your system.

Did you have successfully deleted pending windows updates? let us know in the comments below, also read How To Fix Windows 10 upgrade assistant stuck at 99%.

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