Windows update now does cumulative updates, updating the OS only requires the latest download. This massively saves on download bandwidth for machines not connected to a WSUS server.
However when using RMM software sometimes the patch handling does not synchronise correctly, or asks for approval of older updates.
The Software Distribution folder is always best left alone, however under exceptional circumstances, it can be deleted or renamed. Files will automatically get downloaded for WU components. However you will loose windows update history, although now that updates are cumulative, all previous patches are included anyway!
Resetting Windows Update
Here is a quick and easy solution
- Run an eleveted cmd prompt
- Stop the windows update service
net stop wuauserv
- Rename the Software Distribution folder
rename c:\windows\SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistributionOLD
- Start the windows update service
net start wuauserv
- Force a check and update – Note this only works if auto updates are enabled
wuauclt.exe /detectnow /updatenow
More info on the wuauclt command can be found: