Troubleshooting WSUSContent folder size when it grows bigger and bigger

I was recently helping out a customer who had issues with wsuscontent folder size which was about 330GB. This folder size usually around 5-6GB if you are not using standalone WSUS or 3rd party updates for patching.

This folder primarily stores the information about.

1. Software update end-user license agreement (EULA).

2. Microsoft patches for windows and other products for standalone WSUS.

3. 3rd party updates In case you have integrated the 3rd party patching tool.

The following is the screenshot for the wsuscontent folder size.


When the customer reported about the wsuscontent size is huge, the following questions were raised.

1. Is it standalone or integrated with Configuration Manager? –-> Integrated with ConfigMgr.

2. Are you using any 3rd party patching tool hence the content download is higher?—>There is a 3rd party pathing tool, it is only Microsoft updates.

From the above questions, WSUSContent cannot be larger. The troubleshooting as follows.

1. Open the WSUS console, options, open Automatic Approvals


There was a default automatic approval rule which was enabled with the rule properties.


What does it do? when the WSUS sync runs, the updates that match with update classification that you have selected will be approved, downloaded to the wsuscontent folder.

This is needed only when you use a standalone WSUS server but not with Configuration Manager.

If you have integrated WSUS server with Configuration Manager, you should un-touch the WSUS MMC from the time you do the initial configuration.

By default, when you integrate WSUS with ConfigMgr, this automatic rule is un-selected.

So someone has made the changes unknowingly which causes the content folder to grow bigger.

How do we fix this now?

1. Since WSUS is integrated with ConfigMgr, we can de-select the automatic approval rule, so there won't be any content download thereafter.

2. To clean up the downloaded content on the WSUSContent folder, we will need to decline all the updates in WSUS console (don't worry, this won't impact your ConfigMgr patching or metadata in ConfigMgr console, you are safe doing it) and run the server clean up wizard.

So go ahead and un-tick the default automatic approval rule and click ok.

To decline all approved updates, click on updates, all updates.

For the approval, select approved, and status: any

you should see the list of updates that are approved which are downloaded as well to the wsuscontent folder.

In my case, there are 636 updates approved.

Select all the updates, right-click, and choose decline.

you will be prompted with the following screen, select Yes.


Depending on the number of updates, it may take sometime.


Once the updates are declined, refresh the page.

Now we will need to clean-up the content stored in the folder.

Now, in the console, click on options, select server clean-up wizard


You will be asked with multiple options to clean up but the first one is our fix to remove the downloaded content.


As you can see, we have now cleaned up around 320GB.


Depending on the number of updates, you may see the MMC console crash but don't worry, try it again and you will get succeed. 

You also have scripts available to perform the clean-up without the MMC crash but UI works fine.

Once the clean-up is done, go back and check the size of wsuscontent, it is now 3.7GB which is normal.


Hope you find this post useful.

4 Responses to "Troubleshooting WSUSContent folder size when it grows bigger and bigger"

  1. Hi Eswar

    Great blog article.

    As you said, for me the UI won't work, so I am trying to use PS commands. Because I have 86267 approved update which are at the moment impossible to decline.

    PS C:\Windows\system32> Get-WsusUpdate -Approval Approved | Deny-WsusUpdate
    Get-WsusUpdate : The operation has timed out

    Would you have some hint to solve this issue?

    Thanks, Ákos

    1. hi,
      Sorry for the late reply.
      If the operation is timed out, you will need to try few times, there is time limit for timeout.
      If your WSUS database is hosted in SQL, then you can use the SQL to deny the updates. Try this on 1-2 updates and see how it works before doing it for all.
      if you do it in production, make sure you backup the WSUS database incase something goes wrong, you can always restore it.



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