How to Delete Old Windows Update Files

Introduction

Necessary update files are downloaded to your machine every time you update your Windows computer. These files are never deleted, and they just sit there eating up your computer’s storage space. Thankfully, deleting these old Windows update files can be done quickly.

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Steps to Delete Old Windows Update Files

  1. Navigate to your Windows 11 home screen, and then press the “Windows” and “I” keys at the same time to open the Windows Settings screen.
  2. Make sure “System” is selected in the menu on the left side of the screen, and then click “Storage” in the list of options on the right side of the screen.

  1. Click “Temporary Files” on this screen. You’ll see a list of temporary files stored on your computer that aren’t critical and can be removed to free up space.

  1. Click to place a check mark next to Windows Update Cleanup in this list. Review the other types of temporary files, and click to place a check mark next to any of those that you want to remove as well. Click “Remove Files” after making your selections. A Remove Files dialog box is shown, letting you know that the selected files and their data will be permanently deleted.

  1. Click “Continue.” You’ll see a progress bar where the Remove Files button was previously, showing the status of removing your selected files. The progress bar will disappear when the cleanup is complete and the files have been successfully removed.

Reasons You Should Consider Deleting Old Windows Update Files

1. Freeing Up Storage Space

Deleting old Windows update files is a simple and effective way to free up valuable storage space on your system. As updates are often large in size, they can quickly consume a significant amount of space, especially if you have several updates installed. By deleting old and unnecessary updates, you can reclaim valuable storage space and make room for other important files and programs. Additionally, freeing up storage space can improve your system’s performance and stability, as your system will have more resources available to allocate to other tasks.

2. Resolving Update-Related Issues

Deleting old update files can help resolve problems caused by updates, such as error messages, compatibility issues, and system crashes. In some cases, updates may cause conflicts with other software or hardware on your system, leading to these issues. By removing the problematic updates, you can help resolve these problems and restore your system to a stable and functional state. Additionally, removing updates can help prevent future problems by ensuring that your system is running the most up-to-date and compatible version of Windows.

Reasons You May Not Want to Remove Old Windows Update Files

1. Decreased System Performance

Deleting old Windows update files may seem like a way to free up storage space, but it can negatively impact your system’s performance. Updates are designed to optimize and enhance your system’s functionality, so deleting them may result in a slower and less efficient system. Additionally, removing updates can cause compatibility issues with hardware and software, leading to further performance degradation. It’s important to understand that deleting updates can undo the improvements made by Microsoft and potentially harm your system’s performance.

2. Inability to Revert Changes

Deleting old update files can prevent you from rolling back to previous versions of Windows if a newer update causes problems. For example, if a new update causes compatibility issues with your hardware or software, you may need to revert to a previous version of Windows to resolve the issue. However, if you have deleted old update files, you may not be able to revert to a previous version, making it difficult to resolve the problem. To ensure the flexibility and stability of your system, it’s important to keep old update files intact and available for future use.

About Max

Max has nearly 20 years of experience working in IT across three different industries in project management and management capacities: publishing, telecommunications and healthcare. He holds the following degrees and certifications: BS Communications, MA Communications, MBA and Project Management Professional (PMP). His tutorial-focused YouTube channel earned more than 100,000 subscribers in its first four years, and currently has more than 160,000 subscribers, 110,000,000 video views and an insane 2.4 million hours of watch time. Max enjoys learning new technology, reading and collecting comic books, listening to audiobooks and playing video games.

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