Delete Downloaded Windows Updates & Hide Updates

This article will show you how to delete or hide windows updates that you don’t need or want.

If you’re running any version of Windows, you’ve probably dealt with setting how you want your Windows Security and other updates handled. I’ve got mine set to download important updates but to let me choose when to install them (this is using Windows 7).

Deleting Downloaded, But Not Installed Updates

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I was running Office 2007, but upgraded to 2010. However, I’d been getting this persistent and annoying notification that Windows Update wanted to install an important PowerPoint 2007 update. I thought it would go away, but it never did (because the update was downloaded).

Here’s how I found and deleted the download. I found that all the Windows updates are downloaded to

C:WINDOWS and/or
C:WINDOWSSoftwareDistribution

or C:WINDOWSSoftwareDistributionDownload   Mine was in the Download folder and I just opened up the folders until I saw ‘powerpoint’. I knew (by searching the Microsoft KB (knowledge base), that this update came out in July, 2008, so I was pretty certain that was the right one. I deleted it and the folder it came in. Now there are no more notifications!

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I found another way to do this that involves additional steps. It involves running some commands from  File>Run that involve first stopping the automatic updates. The next command finds the folder containing the downloads (same as the one I have above). They instruct you to delete everything in the downloads folder and then to restart the automatic updates. So the end result is that you delete all contents instead of searching for a particular one. I suppose if all your updates are installed, you don’t really need the contents of the download folder any more.

Hide a Particular Windows Update

If your Update Settings are such that you’ve told Microsoft that you’ll go and decide which updates to download, then you could see some updates that you’ll never need (like language packs for languages you don’t speak).

You can hide these so you’ll not see them again. It was so easy, but I didn’t know about it until I researched it. Simply right-click the update you don’t want and you’ll see a pop-up where you can select  the ‘hide update’ choice and you’re done!

If for some reason, you want to see the updates you’ve hidden, the update manager knows you’ve hidden then because you’ll see the below links when you first come to Microsoft Updates. Click on ‘Restore hidden updates’, then you’ll be taken to the place where you can choose to restore an update.

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I procrastinated doing this for months because I didn’t know these simple commands. I hope this will be helpful to someone.

6 thoughts on “Delete Downloaded Windows Updates & Hide Updates”

  1. Thank you for that right-click and hide tip. I tried out IE9 and decided I didn't like it, so I uninstalled the update. The darn thing kept appearing as an important update. With your tips I was able to hide it. Thanks!

  2. Strange, when I right click on the update in Windows Update, nothing happens…I don't get any pop up menu at all. Am I missing something?

  3. Thanks a lot. Solved my problem at first instant. Had searched many webpages but real help came from your webpage. Can’t thank enough.

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