How to Clear Windows Update History

When performing manual or automatic updates on Windows 7, 8 and 8.1, the Windows Update applet stores a list of installed and failed updates for your review. To prevent updates from filling up the list over time, clear the update history by manually deleting Windows Update's log files. You must, however, temporarily stop the Windows Update service before clearing the update history.

Step

Press Windows-R, type services.msc into the Run box, and then click OK to open Windows Update.

Windows Update opens.
credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

Step

Scroll down the list of services, right-click Windows Update, and then select Stop.

The Windows Update service stops.
credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

Step

Open the Run box, type %windir%\SoftwareDistribution, and then click OK to open the Software Distribution folder.

File Explorer opens the Software Distribution folder.
credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

Step

Double-click the folder labeled DataStore.

The DataStore folder contains the log files and cached update history.
credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

Step

Hold down Ctrl, and then select Logs and DataStore.ebd. Right-click any of the selected items, and then click Delete to remove both items and clear the update history.

Alternately, press the Delete key to remove the items.
Alternately, press the Delete key to remove the items.
credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

Step

Open the Services applet, right-click Windows Update, and then select Start to restart the Windows Update service.

Windows Update resumes activity.
Windows Update resumes activity.
credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft
Deleting Windows Update log files removes all history.
Deleting Windows Update log files removes all history.
credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft