Redirecting Updates and the Software Distribution Folder using Junction to another hard drive

600px-Circular_Intersection_sign_1.svg[1] Scenario

You have a server with an 8 GB system partition and it keeps filling up. The software distribution folder used by windows updates is a major source of bloat and Microsoft support has said there is nothing you can do to move this folder from the C drive.


Using the Microsoft Junction Tool found on the Systernals site create a symbolic link to another hard drive or partition. I will use the terms symbolic link and junction interchangeably in this post.


Stopping the Windows Update Service and renaming the folder

  • Start>Run
  • type cmd and press enter
  • type net stop wuauserv and press enter
  • type rename c:\windows\SoftwareDistribution softwaredistribution.oldand press enter

    Creating a symbolic link using Junction (Download)

    In this example the software distribution folder will be redirected from C:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution to the D:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution

    Creating the Junction

    To create the target directory from the command prompt

    C:\>md D:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution

    To create the Junction

    C:\>junction C:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution “D:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution”

    Restart the Windows Update Service

    type net start wuauserv and press enter

    Once everything has been verfieid to be working normally delete the softwaredistribution.old folder.

    Jeff Loucks
    Available Technology
    Available Technology

    2 thoughts on “Redirecting Updates and the Software Distribution Folder using Junction to another hard drive

    1. Is there a way to tell by looking at the redirected folder that it is in redirected mode? I am thinking of times in the future, if someone else is managing a folder that I did this to and they dont know that its been redirected, how could they tell?

      You can identify simlinks from the command prompt. – Jeff

    2. Brian,

      You are probably already familiar with Simlinks or junctions. The library concept where pictures and documents are redirected is similar.

      To determine if a file is a junction, specify the file name:

      junction c:\test

      To list junctions beneath a directory, include the –s switch:

      junction -s c:\

      To delete a junction, use the –d switch:

      junction -d c:\Program-Files

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