This post shows students and new users the steps to change or move the Windows Updates folder to another disk partition in Windows 11. By default, Windows Updates download updates to C: Windows SoftwareDistribution file.

If the main hard drive or your computer is running out of storage space, you can change or move the Software distribution folder to another partition that is larger with more space.

Windows does a good job of managing system storage using its Storage Sense feature and often takes care of deleting update files sometime after they have been installed, but if you are very low on space, updates may important are not installed due to space limitations.

In that case, moving the update folder to another partition will be your best option. Next, we will show you how to move Windows Updates folder to another partition easily in Windows 11.

How to move Windows update software distribution folder in Windows 11

As mentioned above, the Windows update software distribution folder can be quite large for some systems. By design, the SoftwareDistribution folder lives on the main partition of the Local Disk. If that partition is running out of space, you can migrate or move the SoftwareDistribution folder to another partition that is larger.

Here’s how to do it.

First, locate the partition you want to use for the new folder. Then on the new partition right click on select New ==> Folder and create a new folder.

For this post, we’ll call that folder New software distribution that will be in the ME: drive.

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E: NewSoftwareDistribution

create windows 11 software distribution folder

Once our new folder is created, let’s go and stop the Windows Updates service.

Open the Task Manager by pressing the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys on your keyboard. When the Task Manager opens, the «Services” tab.

Then scroll down the list of services and look for wuauserv Service. Right-click on the service name and select Stop.

stop windows service task manager

Once the service stops, go ahead and rename the current SoftwareDistribution folder.

Open File Explorer and search C: Windows. Right-click on «Software distribution«Folder there and then click on»Rename“Command.

rename software distribution folder

You will be asked for permission to do this; click on “Yes. »Then rename the folder to SoftwareDistribution.old.

At this point, we have created a new folder (New software distribution) on the largest partition and renamed the current SoftwareDistribution folder to SoftwareDistribution.old.

Now, we are going to tell Windows how to find the new folder we created. To do this, we use a symbolic link or symbolic link.

First, click the Start button and find, select, and open the command prompt as administrator.

At the command prompt console, type the following commands.

mklink /j c:windowsSoftwareDistribution d:NewSoftwareDistribution

If the commands were successful, you should see a success message similar to the one shown below.

Junction created for c:windowsSoftwareDistribution <<===>> e:NewSoftwareDistribution

A new “Software distribution«Item with a shortcut icon is added to the C: Windows folder with a symbolic link icon in the folder.

recreated software distribution folder

If you do not want Windows updates to redownload all previously downloaded updates, you can copy the contents of the previous version. SoftwareDistribution.old folder in the newly created symlink Software distribution file.

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After copying the content from the old to the new, go and start the Windows Updates service that was stopped earlier.

Open Task Manager, and on the Services tab, find the Windows Updates service and start it again.

start windows update service windows 11

You should do that! Windows Updates will be the new partition folder for all new updates for your computer.

Windows updates the download of the new folder


In this tutorial we have seen how to move or change the Windows update software distribution folder in Windows 11. If you find any errors above or have something to add, use the comment form below.

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