How to Delete Delivery Optimization Files in Windows 10

Save disk space on your PC

What to Know

  • Start > Disk Cleanup > Delivery Optimization Files > OK.
  • To disable delivery optimization: Settings > Updates & Security > Delivery Optimization and set Allow downloads from other PCs to Off.

Delivery Optimization adjusts the bandwidth your system uses to install and update files. You may want to delete its files or turn the feature off completely to have more control over downloads and save disk space.

How to Remove Delivery Optimization Files

Take the following steps to remove optimization files:

  1. Click the Start menu, and find the Disk Cleanup application.

  2. Select the Delivery Optimization Files check box to include them in the cleanup operation.

  3. Deselect other types of files as desired.

  4. Click the OK button to execute.

    Disk Cleanup with Delivery Optimization Files highlighted

Once the process completes, all your disk space is returned to you.

Disabling Delivery Optimization

If you want no part of this Delivery Optimization malarkey, you can also disable it altogether.

  1. Press Win+x and select Settings in the menu.

    The Win+x menu with Settings highlighted
  2. Select Updates & Security.

    Windows Settings with Updates & Security highlighted
  3. Select Delivery Optimization in the left panel.

    Update & Security Screen in Windows with Delivery Optimization highlighted
  4. Flip the Allow downloads from other PCs switch to off.

    The Delivery Optimization Screen in Windows Settings

What Are Delivery Optimization Files?

When it issues upgrades to Windows 10, Microsoft publishes the files containing the updates to its servers. As many Windows installations are set to update automatically, the result is millions of requests to download the update files. The same applies to apps that Microsoft serves up in the Windows Store.

Delivery Optimization Files are copies or "caches" of these files on the PCs of users, in addition to Microsoft's own copies. When your machine downloads the update files, it may actually be grabbing the copies stashed on another user's Windows 10 PC. This means not only reduced strain on Redmond's servers, but faster downloads for you.

Much like peer-to-peer applications like BitTorrent, your machine can fetch from the quickest source. This can include other sources in your immediate area, or even your local network.

Are Delivery Optimization Files Affecting My Security?

The thought of some stranger lifting files off your PC may seem scary. But there's a couple reasons this isn't anything to worry about:

  • Microsoft has taken extra measures to ensure other PCs can only access the update files themselves. This feature is baked in at the OS level, and enjoys the same level of security as Windows proper.
  • There are also steps to make sure your privacy is safe. This feature only sends or receives the same files you'd get from Microsoft, never any of your own.
  • Finally, peer-to-peer technology has been around for some time, so this isn't any more risky than the BitTorrent client you use to download your favorite open source software.
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