How to delete downloaded but uninstalled Windows Updates

Hey, I have Vista Home Premium 64bits

My setting were "download updates but let me choose which to install"

Yesterday there were 7 updates downloaded, none critical and only one recommended. I choose not to install any of them, even the recommended one.

Today I was annoyed to discover that Vista was still asking me to install the recommended update I choose not to install the day before. Frankly this pissed me off. I have now selected the "turn off automatic updates" option.

Just how much unnecessary updates have I allowed Vista to download so far? How do I delete them, since it's obvious Vista doesn't delete the rejected updates.

Thank you.
23 answers Last reply
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  1. Doesn't matter if you delete it or not... since it's a recommended update, Windows will prompt you about it unless you turn off Automatic Updates. So far, no updates have given me any issues whatsoever... so why not install the recommended update?
  2. because it's for a program I don't use (IE8) and it wastes disk space and bandwidth (when downloading) so it kinda matters.

    Whoever conceived this "Windows Update" nonsense? I'd like to have a discussion with him/her. It's a nightmare.
  3. *Shrug*

    I have disk space in excess... so I always keep everything up-to-date. Even if you don't use IE8, it's still a good idea to keep it up-to-date. After all, if it's already downloaded, you aren't going to be using any bandwidth while installing it. (Though it escapes me why that is such a huge concern... unless you're on dial-up) Even if you don't use IE8, IE is still an integral part of the OS... so it's important that you patch it.

    Windows Update exists for a reason... it makes sure that critical system updates get applied to Windows so that we don't have a repeat of the Sasser worm situation. Sasser would not have been so widespread if everyone had kept up with their Windows updates... since the hole Sasser exploited was patched two months before the worm hit.

    Maybe it's just me... but I like to make sure my OS is always fully updated. I have a lot less issues in the long run as a result.
  4. Do you work for Microsoft?

    IE8 part of the OS? That makes absolutely no sense!

    Anyway I am not here to debate the value of disk space with you (I just deleted 50MB worth of useless wallpapers, some of which Microsoft paid royalties to CORBIS for permission to use them) I am here to get an answer to my question, something which is obviously beyond your technical knowledge.
  5. I gave you an answer... you just didn't like it. Too bad.

    No, I do not work for Microsoft. If you want your system open to vulnerabilities, then by all means, don't do any updates at all... you're not hurting me in any way.

    Internet Explorer is ingrained into the OS. If you're so technically oriented yourself, you would have known that by now. People have been complaining for years that IE is so intertwined with Windows that it's difficult to remove completely.

    If you're that concerned about updates taking up disk space / bandwidth and you don't use IE8... why did you install it anyway? If you don't want critical or recommended updates, then your only option is to disable Windows update. Again, I don't see why you're so opposed to making your OS more secure / stable, but what do I care... just don't complain when you pick up the next Sasser because you were too anal about 50MB of disk space. I would have thought the value of such updates would have been clear to you, but obviously it's not. If you're going to cop an f'n 'tude when someone tries to help you, you're going to find yourself with no help at all. Disagree if you wish, but don't get pissy because you didn't like the answer. I'm hear to help people that want it... not cater to a$$holes.
  6. QuatuorMortis said:
    Do you work for Microsoft?

    IE8 part of the OS? That makes absolutely no sense!

    Anyway I am not here to debate the value of disk space with you (I just deleted 50MB worth of useless wallpapers, some of which Microsoft paid royalties to CORBIS for permission to use them) I am here to get an answer to my question, something which is obviously beyond your technical knowledge.

    Lol....what a prick :lol:....Windows comes with certain software built in (IE). This is why all the people switching to Firefox just switch default browsers, and don't try to remove IE.

    But you can figure out the updates yourself. :cry:
  7. Next time I'll buy a Mac.

    Yes, IE8 is included in Vista but that doesn't mean it is part of the Operating System.

    Microsoft did a good job of brainwashing you!
  8. Go ahead and buy the Mac. That'll give us more laughs.
  9. Actually, IE 7 is included with Vista, not IE 8... IE 8 will be included with Windows 7.

    But I'm sure your superior technical knowledge has informed you of that already.


    IE is too integrated into Windows

    I installed IE and shortly had to uninstall it.
    It killed a program I use called QT TabBar that allows tabbed browsing in explorer (normal windows explorer)
    Why does IE remain so integrated into Windows?
    Will you install an app that can potentially break the operating system you depend on? Paul McCarthy
    March 27, 2009

    Because tons of Windows apps depend on IE being installed...

    It's the classic chicken and egg problem. You take for granted how many OS functions and applications require the ability to show basic HTML. Not have a browser installed by default that can handle that function using a COM interface would be a nightmare.

    But I agree the experience and implementation could be better. The current problem is that they have programmed to a specific COM implementation instead of a more generic OOP interface type of specificiation. It would be better if they simply had some sort of "HTML provider" specification that allowed you to use any browser of your choice (the default would be IE). But that is wishful thinking considering how many different languages these browsers could potentially be written in.

    So I basically complained that IE is too intertwined with Windows and that is your idea of MS brainwashing me? That's beyond a stretch.

    Look very carefully at a Windows Explorer window and an Internet Explorer window. Besides the content they are displaying, they are otherwise very similar, aren't they? In fact, when you type a web address into a Windows Explorer window, it will immediately take you to that address without pausing to open an Internet Explorer window. That alone should tell you how integrated IE is into Windows. I can dig up a lot more quotes that complain about IE's integration into Windows... but if I haven't proven my point by now, then I never will. If you wish to be an ignorant ass, I'm not going to waste my time trying to teach you any better. Go buy your Mac and enjoy your ignorance... I hear it's bliss...
  10. I see you have some anger management issues. Fine, so IE7 is an integral part of the OS. I wonder if Microsoft did that on purpose to win it's anti-trust court case.

    I never said I wanted to delete IE7, I just said I never use it and that I didn't see the point of getting updates for that program.

    The fact remains that Windows Update downloads ALL the updates and those files remain on your computer whether you need them or not. And even after you tell Windows Update that you don't want to install a recommended update, it bothers you every time after that until you give in. That's why I turned off Windows Update, it's a poorly conceived remedy for a defective OS.

    I have never gotten the sasser virus, but I did get Conficker once and it took me 3 hours to get rid of it.
  11. Well then how would you like to be reminded that there is an update that could potentially save you hours of headaches? The reason MS conceived automatic updates is because most people didn't bother to check for updates routinely. A lot of security threats (Sasser being one good example) spread rampantly because people couldn't be bothered to check to see if there were any security patches available at the time. So, MS decided that they needed a "set and forget" method of updating the operating system.

    If you go into your Windows Update settings, you'll notice a nice little checkbox that you can clear: "Include recommened updates when downloading, installing, or notifying me about updates". You can also set it to only notify you rather that downloading the updates. I believe that should address all your complaints about Windows Update. Did you look at those settings at all?
  12. Yes, my previous settings were "check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them"

    The weird thing is I believe Windows Update downloads the updates anyways and then installs the ones you pick.

    The "include recommended updates when downloading, installing, or notifying me about updates" option was checked, because I don't understand what unchecking that box would do... Windows would include only the non-essential updates?


    Anyway I guess I found an acceptable compromise by selecting "Never check for updates" and doing a weekly manual check for updates.

    The program is still telling me that KB90866, Update for Windows Mail Junk E-mail Filter for x64-based Systems is a "recommended" update. However, I find it completely useless to me.

    Thanks for you help Zoron.
  13. If you uncheck that box, then theoretically it shouldn't bother you about recommended updates... even if it downloads them. If you have it set to simply check for updates, it likely will download critical updates regardless; and if you have the box for recommended updates unchecked, then it shouldn't download recommended updates either. However, if you have that box checked, then it will treat recommended updates the same way it does critical updates.
  14. OMG people get over yourselves.

    He is not asking about Windows integration, and the complaints about auto updates are superflous.

    The issue is:

    Windows automatic updates have previously downloaded updates but not installed them. Regardless of why he has no desire to utilize those files, the user of the computer sees no current or future use of these files and wishes to delete them. He needs to know where the files are located so they can be deleted.

    This is a valid request regardless of if you think it would be advised to remove those files and the information can help more than just this user who is disenchanted with Microsoft's automatic update system.

    Myself for example, I would like to know this information. In Windows 7 I have set up auto updates to automatically download updates but I choose when to install them to prevent any loss from unintended forced reboots. A windows defender update had an error that i could not fix through the Microsoft update program, so i fixed it with a manual download and install of the most recent definitions. Update keeps asking me to install the failed update that I have already installed because it still has a file it thinks never got ran successfully. I would like to delete this file rather than just hide it to prevent the notifications.

    So please, if you have the knowledge that is required to remove these files please share it. If you are just a Microsoft-hater hater, be useful and exercise your abilities of self control and resist the impulse to hit submit.
  15. Thank you Anonymous, you have a way with words and I welcome your clear and concise language.

    I was reminded of this unanswered question when I got a "Did you get your answer?" e-mail from Tom's Hardware.

    I cannot select any of the responses as "Best Answer" because no one has any idea how to delete uninstalled updates.
  16. Hi QuatuorMortis,

    I had the same problem as you but then on windows 7.
    Check this link out. It seems to have sorted the problem out for me!

    Hope it's wat you were looking for.
  17. If you don't like Microsoft trying to help you with it's updates like most of us do, why don't you use Linux.
  18. From MS website searching for error 80070003, in Win 7 (not sure about Vista) in the Software Distribution folder, you also need to delete the contents of the DataStore directory (mine had one log file and a Log subfolder also). I'm hoping that helps resolve the same problem in Win 7 that I have.

    1.Open Computer by clicking the Start button , and then clicking Computer.

    2.Double-click the local hard disk where Windows is installed (typically, drive C).

    3.Double-click the Windows folder, and then double-click the SoftwareDistribution folder.

    4.Double-click the DataStore folder to open it, and then delete all files in the folder. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

    5.Click the Back button. In the SoftwareDistribution folder, double-click the Download folder to open it, delete all files in the folder, and then close the window. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

    hth someone
  19. up dates suck-just lock up your pc during downloads-turn off automatic updates-computer works great-no more lock ups from this junk site
  20. I manually downloaded the updates individually, and once I installed them IN A DIFFERENT ORDER, MS ACCESS update LAST, it works fine again. Apparently the Access update needed one of the other ones... YMMV
  21. I am having the same problem. I have a security update for Microsoft Works 9 and I don't use that program. I update everything else but this one gives me an error. Everytime I start my computer this pops up. I would just like to know a way to stop it, besides installing Works 9. I'm not a computer whiz, just an average user with Windows Vista and I use IE8 and Google Chrome. I hope this doesn't start an argument!! I'm just looking for some help. Have a good day!
  22. This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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