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How to delete cached Windows Updates in Windows 7/8

I recently ran across a machine that was having problems installing Windows Updates. It would seemingly go through fine but upon restarting it would change from “Configuring Updates” to “Failure configuring Windows Updates. Reverting Changes.”

In troubleshooting, a theory was to delete the update that had been downloaded and have Windows Updates re-download it. In case the downloaded update was corrupted, this would get a fresh download of the update and try installing again.

To delete the downloaded updates in Windows Vista, 7, or 8, browse to C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download. (You may have to show hidden files to browse there.) Then select all the files (Ctrl+A) and delete them.

windows updates cache How to delete cached Windows Updates in Windows 7/8

Once the files are deleted, restart the computer. Otherwise, you will receive an error message if you try to install Windows Updates without restarting.

After the restart, you will hopefully be greeted with a message stating Windows updates have been successfully installed.

windows updates How to delete cached Windows Updates in Windows 7/8