How to Remove Failed Updates From the History Log

When your PC attempts to download and install new updates for its software applications or operating system, it stores a detailed log of each update. If any of the updates fail to install properly, then they are noted in the "Automatic Updates" history log. There is no direct way to clear this log of failed updates, but you can clear its contents by manually deleting the update data.

Open the "Start" menu and click on the "Control Panel" icon.

Open the "Administrative Tools" folder and double-click on the "Services" icon.

Before deleting the history log files, you must stop the "Automatic Updates" service. Highlight the "Automatic Updates" entry in the list of system services and then click on the "Stop" option on the left side of the window.

Open the "My Computer" window and navigate to the "Windows" folder in the "C:" drive.

Delete the folder labelled "SoftwareDistribution." This folder has the contents of the "Automatic Updates" history log concerning failed updates.

Go back to the "Services" utility and highlight "Automatic Updates" again.

Click on the "Start" option on the left side of the window to restart the "Automatic Updates" service. Information about failed updates will no longer be displayed in the update history log.

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About the Author

Bennett Gavrish is an I.T. professional who has been writing about computers, electronics and the Web since 2004. His work has appeared in the "Nashua Telegraph" and the "Daily Free Press" and on numerous websites. Gavrish received a bachelor's degree in journalism from Boston University.