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The SoftwareDistribution folder in Windows operating system is a folder located in the Windows directory and used to temporarily store files that may be required to install Windows Update on your computer. It is thus required by Windows Update and maintained by WUAgent.SoftwareDistribution folder location
The Software Distribution folder in Windows 11/10/8/7 is situated in the following location in File Explorer:
On my computer is size is around 1 MB, but its size could vary.Is it safe to delete SoftwareDistribution folder
While you do not want to touch this folder under normal conditions, you may need to empty its contents should you find that your system’s Datastore and the Download folder have got de-synchronized, resulting in your Windows Updates not working properly.
It is generally speaking safe to delete the contents of the Software Distribution folder, once all files required by it have been used for installing Windows Update. Even if you delete files otherwise, they will get automatically downloaded. If you were to delete the folder itself, it will get automatically re-created and the required WU components downloaded automatically.
However, this data store also contains your Windows Update History files. If you delete them you will lose your Update history. Moreover, the next time you run Windows Update, it will result in a longer detection time.
If your Windows Update is not working properly or not working at all or if you find that the size of this folder has really grown large, then you can consider deleting the Software Distribution folder in Windows 11/10/8/7.
If it is just the size, then if you use Disk Cleanup Tool and opt to Clean up System Files on your System Drive, and then Windows Update components & Delivery Optimization files , you will find that the size of this folder will get substantially reduced. But if you are facing Windows Update issues, then you flushing this folder has been known to help fix several issues like Windows Update not working, Windows Updates fail to install, Failure configuring Windows updates, Windows Update stuck downloading updates, We couldn’t complete the updates, Windows 10 keeps installing the same update and so on.Delete Software Distribution folder
To delete the contents of the Software Distribution folder, in Windows 11/10, from the WinX Menu, open Command Prompt (Admin). Type the following one after the other and hit Enter:
wuauservnet stop bits
This will stop the Windows Update Service and the Background Intelligent Transfer Service.
Now browse to the C:WindowsSoftwareDistribution folder and delete all the files and folders inside.
If the files are in use, and you are unable to delete some files, restart your device. After rebooting, run the above commands again. Now you will be able to delete the files from the mentioned Software Distribution folder.
After you have emptied this folder, you may restart your computer or you may type the following commands, one at a time in the CMD, and hit Enter to restart the Windows Update related Services.
wuauservnet start bits
Now that folder has been flushed, it will now get populated afresh.Rename SoftwareDistribution folder
If you wish to rename the Software Distribution folder, open an elevated command prompt windows, type the following commands one after the other, and hit Enter:net stop wuauserv net stop bits rename c:windowsSoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.bak net start wuauserv net start bits
Alternatively, you may also boot Windows into Safe Mode, and rename SoftwareDistribution to chúng tôi or SoftwareDistribution.old.
Hope you find the post useful.
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Cannot create new folders in Windows 11/10
Use keyboard shortcut
Check Folder permissions
Reset Folder View in Explorer
New context menu missing?
Create New folder missing from Context Menu
Troubleshoot in Clean Boot State
Run System File Checker
Run System Restore.
Let us see them in detail.
This problem has 2 conditions. One is the inability to create folders on the Desktop and the other situation is when you are unable to create folders inside existing folders. Try the following solutions sequentially to resolve the issue:1] Use the keyboard shortcut
The keyboard shortcut to create a new folder is CTRL+SHIFT+N. You could try it to create a new folder. If it works, you would save a lot of time with more complicated solutions. Though it will still be a workaround and not a fix.2] Check Folder permissions
While users have permissions to create new folders by default, the Folder permissions could get altered by a virus, malware, Windows Update, etc. In such a case, you can check for folder permissions and correct them as follows:
Go to the Security tab and select the user which is logged on to the system.
In the section for Permissions, under Allow, check the boxes for Full control and Write.
Check if it resolves the problem.
Lack of permissions is the main cause of the issue in discussion. Adding them should resolve the problem in most of the cases.
If adding the permissions doesn’t help, or if you are facing this problem on the Desktop too, try the following solutions sequentially:3] Reset Folder View in Explorer
By default, the File Explorer is set to permit users to create sub-folders. If the settings changed due to any reason (like a virus, malware, Windows update, etc), you can reset the Folder View back to default, either through the File Explorer or the Registry Editor.4] New context menu missing? 5] Create New folder missing from Context Menu ComputerHKEY_CLASSES_ROOTFolder
Now on the right side, ensure that the value of Default is set to Folder.
Thanks for this tip, Bubble Widgets.6] Troubleshoot in Clean Boot state
In case any third-party program is preventing the creation of a new folder, the cause could be isolated by restarting the system in Clean Boot State. In this state, the system will boot, but no third-party program will launch automatically at startup. Thus, you would be able to find out whether a third-party program is causing the issue or not.
If not, you can check through the default startup programs and disable the troublesome one.7] Run System File Checker
The issue in discussion is unexpected, yet a common problem. One of the reasons behind such an issue could be corrupt or missing system files. A SFC scan could help check for corrupt or missing files and replace them if necessary.8] Run System Restore
If everything else fails, you could try to restore the system to an earlier System Restore point when you know if it was working well. It is quite possible that recent changes to the system could have caused the issue and a System Restore could fix this problem. It should be noted that a System Restore works only if you created a restore point earlier. Thus, we suggest creating restore points from time to time.
Hope it helps!
System 32 is an extremely important folder that holds all sorts of files and folders that are vital to keep Windows working. In specific terms, it contains DLL (Dynamic Link Library) and executable files that your computer needs to operate. Aside from these, System 32 also contains driver files – the files that tell Windows how to work with various hardware.
Many who are not computer literate and don’t know about System32 folder may see it as a virus. Although it is possible to have a virus infected file sitting inside the System32 folder, the System32 folder itself is certainly not a malicious folder. It is a core folder required for Windows to work.
Also see: How to Force Delete a File in Use by Another Program on Windows 11
The answer is pretty simple – If you delete one or more core files or the entire System 32 folder, your Windows OS will crash (causing BSOD, system failure and instability, etc.), and in most cases, you will not be able to boot into your Windows again.
That is why most files in the System 32 folder and the folder itself are protected by TrustedInstaller to prevent users from accidentally modifying or deleting them.
Related: How to Delete a Ghost File or Folder in Windows 11/10
If you suspect a file sitting in the System32 folder to be possibly a virus or malware, you should first try to scan the entire System32 folder with your antivirus program. If you are certain that a file in the System32 folder is malicious and that you are sure it is not one of the Windows core system files, you can manually delete the file by following the steps below.
Since most files in the System 32 folder are protected by TrustedInstaller, when you forcefully delete such files, you will receive an error that says “You need permission to perform this action – You require permission from TrustedInstaller to make changes to this file“.
Thus, we will need to take ownership of the file from TrustedInstaller, and then edit the permission of the file so that you are allowed to delete it. The steps below will show you how to do so in Windows 11 (also applicable to Windows 10). Warning: Deleting a core system file can cause serious issues in Windows such as system instability, crashes and system failure. Please proceed at your own risk.
See also: How to Take Ownership of a File, Folder or Drive in Windows 11
8. You can now try to delete the file in the System 32 folder. You should be able to delete it now.
If you want to delete the System32 folder or the entire Windows folder of an old Windows you no longer need, you can do so using the Disk Cleanup tool in Windows 11. A chúng tôi folder and all folders in it (including the System32 folder) are safe to delete since they are no longer in use. The screenshot below shows how a chúng tôi folder looks like if you have a previous Windows installation.
Read: Delete chúng tôi Folder in Windows 11/10 – Access Denied?
1. Search for “Disk Cleanup” via Start and open it.
2. When asked to select a drive you want to clean up, select the drive where the chúng tôi folder is located.
The Windows Startup Folder was an important folder that was easily discoverable via the Start Menu in Windows versions past. It began as far back as Windows 95 and any programs located within the Startup Folder would boot up and run anytime the computer was powered on.
It used to be that whenever you booted up your Windows operated computer, it would seek out and execute a batch script called autoexec.bat. Anyone with knowledge of Power DOS could use a text editor to modify this script in order to add their favorite programs to boot up, along with the Windows operating system. This made it so that everything you wanted to use was already loaded once the computer booted.
Table of Contents
The use of chúng tôi continued all the way through the Windows NT years, but Microsoft was intent on moving users away from a scripted, command-line environment. It instead wanted to encourage the use of the graphical interface model with windows, files, and folders, and, in doing so, made all subsequent versions of their operating systems not require autoexec.bat.
They would eventually do away with it entirely, however, the Windows 10 Startup Folder can still be found today.How to Access the Windows 10 Startup Folder The Startup Folder In The Start Menu
When Windows 8 was launched, Microsoft decided to eliminate the Start Menu. Even though all of the functionality was still present in the operating system, it was much harder to locate everything. Microsoft wanted users to go a different way with scheduling programs for automatic execution.
Much to Microsoft’s dismay, the pushback from the user community was so great that the Start Menu was quietly brought back in with Windows 10.
The Windows 10 Startup Folder is similar to the one found in Windows 7. However, it’s no longer accessible the same way. The Windows 10 Startup Folder no longer pops up in the Start Menu as it once did. The functions are still there, although some of the operational details have changed. Now, accessing the Windows 10 Startup Folder takes a bit of navigation.Two Windows 10 Startup Folders
When it comes to the Windows 10 Startup folder, it can be found in two different locations. One Windows 10 Startup folder operates at the system level and is shared among all user accounts (All Users folder), while the other operates at a user level and is unique to that user’s account (Current User folder).
The second one only really matters if you have multiple accounts on your Windows 10 computer. Each account will contain a unique Startup Folder in addition to the universal Startup Folder.
Understanding the distinction between the All Users and Current User Startup Folders is important when it comes to troubleshooting. Attempting to understand why a certain application isn’t opening, or when working with applications that feature user-based licensing or access restrictions will require you know which Startup Folder to configure.
There is one area that enables you to interact with the Startup function, which contains all of the programs found inside of the folder. The only difference is that programs cannot be added or removed. You can only enable or disable those currently inside of the Startup folder. This location is the Windows Task Manager.Accessing The Windows 10 Startup Folder
There are a few ways in which to access the Windows 10 Startup folder. To access the Windows 10 Startup folder, the first option is through File Explorer.
You’ll need to enable the “Show Hidden Files” option in order to see certain folders in the path. Open the File Explorer and drop one of the following paths into the Quick access bar.
The All Users Startup Folder is located at the following path:
The Current User Startup Folder is located here:
C:Users[User Name]AppDataRoamingMicrosoftWindowsStart MenuProgramsStartup
From these locations, you can add or remove programs that you want executed whenever you boot up your Windows 10 computer.
An alternative way to do this is to jump directly to each folder with a Run command.
Open the Run function dialog box by pressing the Windows key + R key simultaneously.
The All Users Startup Folder requires the following path:
The Current User Startup Folder requires:
These will take you directly to the folder containing the startup programs pertaining to the specified folder.Enabling and Disabling Startup Programs
If all you want to do is enable or disable certain programs within the Windows 10 Startup folder, you can access this functionality through both the Windows Task Manager or Settings window.To access Startup using the Task Manager: To access Startup using via Windows Settings:
On the left side menu, select Startup.The Launch Order For The Windows 10 Startup Folder
Any item placed in either of the Startup Folders will not launch immediately upon login as it did back in the days of Windows 95. Instead, Windows 10 launches programs in a very specific order beginning with necessary system processes and any items in the Task Manager’s Startup tab. The programs you’ve added to the Startup Folders will follow after.
This usually doesn’t take long, but if you have lots of first- and third-party applications and services already configured to launch at boot, it could take a few minutes depending on the processing speed of your computer.
Junk files are files that remain on your computer after a task has been performed. Sometimes, Windows or some program needs to create temporary files while doing some task and then forgets to delete the temporary files it created. As time goes by, your computer is full of junk files in the form of temporary files, log files, downloaded files, and unwanted/unnecessary Windows registry entries. The article talks about removing Junk Files in Windows 11/10 using Disk Cleanup. It also tells you what you can keep and what to remove and why.Junk Files in Windows 11/10
When the analysis is done, you will be presented with a window similar to the following – it lists what all is removable without causing problems to the operating system or installed applications.Which Windows Junk Files can you delete safely?
The following feature in the list shown in the above list:
Temporary Internet Files
Downloaded Program Files
Old Windows folder
Temporary Internet files are used to speed up the loading of websites in most cases. In other cases, they are files left out after a session just as the temporary files that are created when you are using an app and are not deleted after the app is closed. Normally, an app creates temporary files when in usage and web pages when closed. Sometimes it fails to delete the files, and they are shown under Temporary files. Both of them are safe to delete so you should check the boxes to tell the OS that you are ready to delete them.
Downloaded Program Files are the files that an app installer leaves behind after installing the related app. These are useless as they do nothing except to occupy space on the hard disk drive. You may remove them without any hesitation.
TIP: USBDriveFresher is a Junk file and folder cleaner for USB Drives.
Offline webpages are the ones stored by your browsers to avoid delays in loading webpages. You might want to keep them in the case of a slower Internet connection. It helps in loading webpages that you frequent. The offline webpages are updated on a regular basis – just in case the online page is changed. You may or may not decide to delete them – based on your Internet speed. If you think you can afford to wait for a little until the webpages can load, go ahead and tick the box to delete them. If you are on a slow connection or metered connection, I recommend that you leave the box unchecked as it will trouble reloading the pages from the Internet. If on a metered connection, you will be charged for what you could get for free.
Thumbnails are previews of image files. There is no harm in deleting them. They will always be rebuild when you access the image files again. Of course, there will be a little delay when you open the image folders in Large icons or medium icons view as it will try to rebuild the thumbnails but the delay could be insignificant unless your computer is very slow and crammed up with images. I recommend deleting them if you are not struggling with an exceptionally slow computer.
Windows Temporary files are again files that are left behind by programs even when you close them. For example, when you open a document in MS Word, you might have seen a related file with the same extension. Like, if you open document .docx, you can see !~cument.docx as a hidden file. Such files are normally deleted by apps when you close them. The remaining ones can be cleaned up using Disk Cleaner to gain hard disk space in Windows 10.
Error Reporting Files are basically logs that contain information about events that lead to improper Windows or related app behavior. These are helpful when troubleshooting Windows. I recommend keeping them (uncheck the box so that they are not removed).
Windows Defender Files – can be deleted without hesitation
Windows Upgrade Log Files – you’ll need them to troubleshoot if the upgrade did not go as intended. These logs help in identifying the errors that happened during the upgrade. If you have successfully upgraded, you can remove them.
Device Driver Packages – contains device drivers which you may have to use in the future when a device is not functioning properly. In most cases, these are but pointers that tell Windows where to look for files. Advice is to keep them
By default, the Disk Cleanup software deletes only old temporary files. If you want it to delete even the recent temporary files, read Make Disk Cleanup delete ALL temporary files. The Disk Cleanup command line lets you clean even more junk files!. If you wish, you can also automate Disk Cleanup.
Read next: Remove unwanted Windows programs, apps, features, and folders.
If your Windows PC or laptop feels slower than normal, you might want to delete any duplicate files out there. There are many reasons such files accumulate over time. For example, frequent copy/pasting of files and folders leave out duplicates across multiple PC locations. It’s almost impossible to keep track of them manually.
When ignored too long, the duplicates have a tendency to saturate your hard drive. The following apps will help you find and delete duplicate files in Windows 10.
Note: Some of the software mentioned below have very similar names, which makes it confusing to find them through a simple search. Therefore, we recommend to download each one of these programs only from the official links provided here.
Related: Other than Windows, you can also find and delete duplicate files in macOS and Linux too.1. Duplicate Cleaner (Pro)
There are many ways to set up your search criteria in the dashboard. You can search for duplicates using keywords, file types (PDF etc.), or approximate date ranges. You can also scan inside zip files and hidden folders.
The “Scan Location” feature allows you to do a granular search in any folder/subfolder.
The search engine works very fast as it uses a method which compares hash codes of identical file sizes. It just took around two minutes for this app to search my entire D drive.
Once the hashes have been calculated, the app gives you a high level summary of all duplicate files. This is really useful if you want to filter the results folder wise. Go to each individual folder group and delete all the duplicates. You can also delete entire folder groups to save time. That’s it!
Duplicate Cleaner gives a generous 15 day free trial which is enough time to clean up your PC. After this, you can buy a permanent license for $29.95.2. Duplicate File Remover
While Duplicate Cleaner gives stunning results, sometimes we only need a freeware to clean up a few folders. For this, install a Windows app called Duplicate File Remover. It can be downloaded from Microsoft Store and launched immediately.
Removing folder-specific duplicates is not nearly as time-consuming as the entire drive cleanup.3. Easy Duplicate Finder
Easy Duplicate Finder is a good freemium choice if you need a blazing fast, folder-specific tool. The download is fast and easy. You only have to “add a folder to include in the scan.” You can include or exclude file types and set the file size limits easily.
Once the folder specific duplicates have been identified, you can resolve them using a simple table checklist in Step 3. It also gives you a live preview of all the files to be removed, which is a superb feature.4. CloneSpy
CloneSpy is an absolutely free tool. It not only allows you to search for duplicates in a folder but also merge multiple folders. This gives you a more comprehensive high level picture of identical files in your Windows computer.
The program can be downloaded at this link.
Once you “Start scanning,” the duplicate files will be quickly lined up. You can delete them simultaneously together if you don’t like selecting each file manually.5. Auslogics Duplicate File Finder
Auslogics Duplicate File Finder is an extremely easy, freeware tool to detect and remove duplicate files. After an easy download, you can quickly perform a detailed analysis. What I liked about this software is that you can quickly select and deselect any folders. With the exception of Duplicate Cleaner (Pro), this one took the least time in performing the job to expectations.
There is only one drawback though. During installation, you will find many add-on software. If you don’t want them, simply remember to uncheck them at the outset.Summary
Removing duplicate files is absolutely necessary for a clutter-free computing environment. If you’re using solid state drives (SSD), the extra storage can rather expensive. So, it’s always better to economize the drives. Even if you have a lot of free space, it’s a good idea to delete the duplicates. At the minimum, it will give your Windows PC an instant speed boost.
Image Credit: HJ Media
Sayak Boral is a technology writer with over eleven years of experience working in different industries including semiconductors, IoT, enterprise IT, telecommunications OSS/BSS, and network security. He has been writing for MakeTechEasier on a wide range of technical topics including Windows, Android, Internet, Hardware Guides, Browsers, Software Tools, and Product Reviews.
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