How to Purge the Catroot2 Folder in Windows 11

Catroot2 and SoftwareDistribution are two important cache folders on Windows 11/10 PC. Whenever you update your device, some information is saved inside these folders. When their database increase in size, they may start causing different error codes on your PC and even prevent updates from happening automatically. In this blog post, we have discussed how to find and purge this Catroot2 folder on Windows PC. 

Clear the Catroot2 Folder in Windows

See Also: How to Clear the SoftwareDistribution Folder on Windows 11

How to Purge the contents inside the Catroot2 folder

If you are struggling with an update error code, clearing the contents inside the Catroot2 folder might help. Here’s how to purge this folder on Windows PC – 

Note: Before you begin clearing the contents inside this folder, make sure to disable the update services first. 

  • Press Windows + R to launch the Run dialog box.
  • Type “services.msc” on it and hit OK.
  • When the Services window opens up, scroll down to the Background Intelligent Transfer service.
  • Right-click on this service, and choose the Stop option from the context menu. 
  • In a similar way, disable the services – Windows Update and Cryptographic services as well. 
  • Once disabled, open File Explorer by pressing Win + E and reach out to the below path –


  • Locate and double-click on Catroot2 to open this folder. 
  • Use Ctrl + A to select all items, right-click on any one item, and choose to delete them.

Note: Though you may delete this folder, we suggest renaming this folder to something catroot2.old. This way, all the files inside this folder are with you and you may use them in case something went wrong on your computer. 

Error Code 0xc1900201 - catroot2

  • Once deleted or renamed, you may restart all those services that you have stopped before.

Restart your Windows PC and check if the persisting update error resolves afterward. When you reach out to the Catroot folder’s location, you will find new files and folders lying there. 

Note: If you had renamed this folder, you will find two different folders starting with catroot2. Out of them, one is the folder bearing “.old” extension while the latter is recently created by Windows. 

2] Deleting the Catroot2 Folder using CMD or PowerShell

Since the Catroot2 folder contains some important data related to previous updates on your Windows PC, we suggest not deleting this folder or purging its contents. Instead, you may rename this folder to something like catroot2.old. This way, you not only contain the catroot2 folder from deleting but also severs the deletion purpose. 

Follow the below instructions on how to perform this task on Windows 11 –

Note: Alternatively, you may also use Ctrl + Shift + 2 to invoke Command Prompt on the terminal. 

  • Copy/paste the following codes on the elevated console to stop all major update services. 

net stop bits

net stop wuauserv

net stop appidsvc

net stop cryptsvc

Reset update components - stop all services

  • After you stopped the update services from running on your system, run the following code to delete the catroot2 folder from your system. 

rmdir %systemroot%\system32\catroot2 /S /Q

Note: If you want, you may even choose to rename this folder to something – “catroot.old” as well. Do note to run this code instead of running the above command – 

rename C:\Windows\System32\catroot2 Catroot2.old

  • Restart all those services that you stopped earlier by executing the below series of commands – 

net start wuauserv

net start bits

net start appidsvc

net start cryptsvc

reset update components - rename cache folders

  • After you have run all these codes successfully, close Command Prompt/PowerShell, and restart your PC. 

Sign back into your device again and you will find this Catroot2 folder lying inside the C:\Windows\System32 folder. 

R Aryan

R Aryan

Ranvijay Aryan, a Windows expert has been writing for howtoedge since 2018. He has worked at different websites, including howtoconnect, ilovefreesoftware, WindowsOutline, and other tech sites. He has also produced several articles in the SEO niche on Kunnectus and WpressSeo.