What is Software Distribution Folder and How to Delete or Rename it on Windows


Windows operating system has so many essential components for various purposes that you may or may not know. You already may have heard about the Software Distribution folder. Most users don’t know about it further. This article will explain what it is, can you delete, rename or modify this folder or not and how.

Software Distribution Folder Screenshot on Windows 10

What is the Software Distribution Folder

You should know that the Software Distribution folder is an essential component for Windows. It stores temporary files and data that requires to update your PC. Every update comes with security improvements and bug fixes or even with new features. So, This folder is a vital part of your PC.

Generally, WUAgent (Windows Update Agent) manages this folder. So, You should not touch that folder and leave it alone. But, Sometimes, The components of it may get corrupted. As a result, users may encounter various Windows update related problems.

A question may arise on your mind “Can I delete, rename or modify this folder?” The short answer is yes. But, You will have to do it systematically.

How to Delete or Rename Software Distribution Folder on Windows 10

In case, You are having troubles like Windows is not is not downloading or installing the update files or any other update issues, you may need to clear Software Distribution Folder’s contents. You also may need to rename it if needed. So, Let’s see the proper procedures.

How to Clean Software Distribution Folder

Typically, Windows won’t allow deleting a single thing from this folder. So, You will need to go through a systematic way to clean it.

  • First of all, Open the start menu, type cmd, right click on the Command Prompt and choose “Run as Administrator.”
  • In the command prompt with administrator privileges, type the following commands and hit enter for each. These commands will stop the Windows Update and Background Intelligent Transfer Services.
net stop wuauserv
net stop bits
  • Now, Go to C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution by using Windows Explorer and delete everything from there.
  • After that, run the following commands to restart the services that you have stopped.
net start wuauserv
net start bits
  • And that’s it. You have successfully cleaned the folder.

How to Rename Software Distribution Folder

You may want to delete software distribution folder. Yes, You can. But, I suggest you rename it rather than deleting. Because, When Windows doesn’t find this folder, it will automatically create a new one. If you have renamed the folder to something like SoftwareDistribution.bak, you can quickly restore it if there is any problem. By the way, here are the procedures.

Rename Software Distribution Folder using command prompt

  • At first, Run the command prompt as an administrator like before.
  • Now, Run the following commands.
net stop wuauserv
net stop bits
  • It will stop the services that prevent you from modifying the Software Distribution folder. By the way, Now, You can rename this folder by running the following command.
rename %windir%\SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.bak
  • If you want, you also can go to C:\Windows, find the folder and rename it manually.
  • After renaming, enable the services again by running these commands.
net start wuauserv
net start bits
  • Now, Windows 10 will create a fresh new Software Distribution folder and start using it.

A few things to Keep in Mind:

You should not modify this folder until there is an emergency. You should keep in mind that this folder contains essential update components and history data. So, When you empty it, you also clean the update history. Immediately after, deleting components of Software Distribution folder, Windows may take time to download and install the update for your PC as it has to check everything and recreate the database. But, After that, It should be normal again.

By the way, I hope this information will help you to rename or delete the software distribution folder on Windows 10. If you have any suggestion or question, the comment box is open for you.

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Hasibul Kabir is the founder of TechClassy. He is a Tech Blogger, Web Developer & Hobbyist Game Developer. He loves to write on technology, mainly Windows, macOS, iOS, etc.


  1. i will be honest…thank you so much because i had many errors but whenever i looked up the solutions it was always these scammy websites that told you to download their questionable software.Finally this one worked


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