How to Change or Move Windows Updates Folder on Windows 11?

Introduction

By default, Windows Updates downloads updates to the C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution folder. If the primary hard drive on your computer is running low on storage space, you can change or move the SoftwareDistribution folder to another disk with larger partitions with more free space.

Some games can occupy a lot of storage space. The biggest problem arrives when you run out of storage space on your Windows installation drive, 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.

Here, Windows does a good job managing system storage using its Storage Sense feature and will often take care of removing update files at some point after they’ve been installed. Still, if you’re extremely low on space, major updates may fail to install due to space limitations.

This risewindows post will show you how to Change or Move Windows Updates Folder on Windows 11.

How to Change or Move Windows Updates Folder on Windows 11?

Windows Updates SoftwareDistribution folder can be quite large for some systems. By design, the SoftwareDistribution folder lives on the primary partition of the Local Disk. If that partition runs low on space, you can migrate or move the SoftwareDistribution folder to another larger partition. To do that, follow the below steps:-

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Step 1. Firstly, examine the partition where you want to move the SoftwareDistribution folder. When you decide, create a new folder under that drive.

Name the new folder SoftwareDistribution. Suppose the “E” drive has sufficient free space and you want to use this portion to download Windows updates, then create the SoftwareDistribution folder under the “E” drive.

So in my case, my new folder location will be “E:\SoftwareDistribution.”

Step 2. So that you have created a folder for Windows Updates on a new drive, you need to stop the “Windows Update” service.

After that, press the Windows + R keys on the keyboard. Then in the “Run” box, type the following and press Enter on the keyboard.

services.msc

Step 3. Now, right-click on the “Windows Update” service and select the Stop option.

Step 4. Next, rename the SoftwareDistribution folder to SoftwareDistribution.old under the “C:\Windows” directory.

Click the Yes button to confirm.

Step 5. Next, open Command Prompt windows with administrative privilege.

After that, press Windows + R keys from the keyboard to open the Run dialog box. In the Run box, type cmd and then press Ctrl + Shift + Enter from the keyboard to run the command prompt as an administrator.

Step 6. Type the following command, and press the Enter button on the keyboard:-

mklink /j C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution E:\SoftwareDistribution

Quick Note: You need to replace the “C:\windows\SoftwareDistribution” and “E:\SoftwareDistribution” paths in the above command line if it is different on your PC.

After executing the above command, you should get a message something like “Junction created for C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution <<===>> E:\SoftwareDistribution.”

So, if everything goes fine, you will see a new “SoftwareDistribution” folder with a shortcut icon added to the “C:\Windows” folder with a symlink icon on the folder.

Step 7. Also, you can copy the content from the “C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution.old” folder into the newly created SoftwareDistribution folder.

Step 8. You need to start the “Windows Updates” service you stopped before.

For that, press Windows + R keys on the keyboard to open the Run command box. Then in the “Run” box, type the following and hit Enter on the keyboard.

services.msc

Step 9. Scroll down the services list and locate the Windows Update service. Next, right-click on the “Windows Update” service and select the Start option.

Step 10. If an update is available, you will notice that new Windows Updates files and folders are being downloaded to your specified folder.

That’s it.

I hope this informative post will be helpful to you.

Good luck & keep growing, guys.!!!

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