Service host delivery optimization files: can I delete them?

Throughout this article, we’ll give an in-depth look at what the service host delivery optimization files do and if it can or should be deleted from your system.

The year is 2021 and computers usually come with storage spaces that can store multiple gigabytes of data. Knowing that some of us are still using older machines as you can either get them for cheap or have them as your backup computer.

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So, if you happen to be using an older computer as well, chances are that you’re going to come across storage space issues at some point.

Albeit the fact that using the disk cleanup application in Windows frees up quite a lot of space, you might be able to make more out of your hard drive by deleting the service host delivery optimization files. However, before you do that, let’s have a look at what these files are and if deleting them is really the right thing to do.

What are delivery optimization files?

Upon the arrival of Windows 10, one feature that everyone looked forward to was the Windows Update Delivery Optimization. As you can guess from its name, this feature allows faster delivery of Windows updates to users.

When it comes to how it works, the Windows Update Delivery Optimization stores copies of Windows updates (called the delivery optimization files) on your computer, which is then sent to the machines on your network or neighboring computers.

This way, users don’t have to wait for the update to be sent from Microsoft servers as they can get them right from other nearby users.

However, the only shortfall of this feature is that the delivery optimization files could occupy some storage space on your computer, which could be an issue for those using older machines.

Service host delivery optimization files: can I delete them?

In case you’re running out of storage space or facing network issues, then you might consider deleting the delivery optimization files. With that being said, if you’re wondering if Windows even allows you to delete these files, the good news is that it does.

Now don’t try looking for the optimization files yourself as they can be a tad hard to find. Instead, you can delete them by using Windows own Disk Cleanup tool. If you haven’t used this tool before, allow us to give you a step-by-step tutorial on how to use it to delete delivery optimization files.

First of all, search for the Disk Cleanup application and open it:

Service host delivery optimization files can I delete them

From this application, you will be able to choose the “Files to delete”. With that list, look for the Delivery Optimization Files checkbox and tick it. You can also untick the files you don’t want to delete.

Service host delivery optimization files can I delete them 3

Lastly, you just have to click the OK button and the application will get to deleting the delivery optimization files on your computer.

Service host delivery optimization turn off

If you’ve decided that the Windows Update Delivery Optimization is just not for you, it is possible to completely disable this feature.

  • The first step is to press the Windows key and + X on your keyboard and click on “Settings” from the menu;

Service host delivery optimization files can I delete them

  • From Settings, click on the “Updates & Security” option.

Service host delivery optimization files can I delete them

This should present you with a new window with the “Delivery Optimization” option in its left panel which you need to click.

Service host delivery optimization files can I delete them

Lastly, you just need to turn off the “Allow downloads from other PCs” option. Voila, you’ve just disabled the Windows Update Delivery Optimization on your computer.

Service host delivery optimization files can I delete them

Is it safe to delete delivery optimization files?

Can I delete delivery optimization files? It makes sense why deleting delivery optimization files could get you a bit concerned. After all, no one wants to do any harm that ends up corrupting the entire hard drive.

But you don’t need to worry, since delivery optimization files are not system files. Accordingly, deleting them would do no harm to your computer at all.

Also, if you want to check if a file is safe to delete or not, here’s a good rule of thumb: try deleting the file and if Windows doesn’t ask you to rethink your decision, then you’re good to go.

Service host delivery optimization network usage

As we learned about the Windows 10 Delivery Optimization feature earlier, you’d be able to tell that sending copies of update files to other computers will take a toll on your network usage.

As a matter of fact, this feature can sometimes mess with the bandwidth so much that your other devices won’t be able to connect to the Internet as well. Considering this, you can try disabling this feature if you’re having connectivity issues.

Wrap Up

There’s no doubt that the Windows Update Delivery Optimization feature can prove to be quite helpful when it comes to receiving updates. However, if your computer is running out of storage space or facing slow Internet speed, then disabling it might do the trick.

Moreover, you don’t even have to manually delete the delivery optimization files, you can just use your Disk Cleanup Tool to do so, as we showed you in this article.