How to change Windows 10 Updates download folder location 

Running out of storage space is nothing new. Most of us have access to the internet and keep downloading stuff. Then there are games which can occupy a lot of storage space. The biggest problem arrives when you run of storage space on your Windows Installation drive which is usually the C drive, and the updates stop downloading. Windows OS doesn’t offer you an option to change the download location of the updates. In this post, we will learn to change Windows 10 Updates download location.

Change Windows 10 Updates download location

Before you begin, you should know that you will need to have administrator privileges to complete this. If you have a regular account, it’s a good idea to get in touch who had set up your PC and take his help.

Change Windows 10 Updates download location

The default location of Windows Update is C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution. The SoftwareDistribution folder is where everything gets downloaded and later installed.

Prepare a new directory for the system to download the Windows Update 

Create a target directory in a drive other than C drive. It can be named as WindowsUpdateDownload for easy reference. Let’s assume that the path is  D:\WindowsUpdateDownload

Next, use Ctrl+Alt+Delete to launch the Task Manager and switch to Services tab, and then right-click on wuauserv, and stop it.

Now rename C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution to C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution.old

How to change Windows 10 Update Download Location

Create Symlink

To create a symlink, in the start menu, search for CMD or command prompt. Right-click on it, and run it as administrator. Then type the below-mentioned command then hit Enter:

mklink /j c:\windows\softwaredistribution d:\WindowsUpdateDownload

This will make Windows Update start the downloading files from zero to this new location.

In case it doesn’t work, you can try to boot Windows 10 in Safe Mode to get this done.

Restart Windows Update Service

After this, you need to start the Windows Update Service. You can either use the Task Manager to start it like we did above or execute the following command in CMD:

net start wuauserv

Check if Windows Update is working:

Go to Settings > Update and Security > Windows Update > Check for Update. If it starts downloading an update or does not throw any error, you are all set.

Here is an interesting fact,  after downloading the Windows Update, the OS unpacks it in the drive which has the freest space available and installs from there. Windows will clear the content of this directory from time to time.

We recommend you to use a storage space which usually remains empty. While you can choose an SD card (NTFS format) or an external drive, we recommend not to unless it always stays connected to the PC.

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Ashish is a veteran Windows, and Xbox user who excels in writing tips, tricks, and features on it to improve your day to day experience with your devices.