How to Save Space By Cleaning Windows' WinSxS Folder

Windows uses a system folder called WinSxS to store files that are needed for your Windows installation, as well as backups or updates to those files. It's a space hog, however, taking up several gigabytes of space and growing with each Windows Update you perform. Use the steps below to clean up unnecessary files in that WinSxS folder and reclaim valuable hard drive space.
You can't just delete everything in the WinSxS folder, because some of those files are needed for Windows to run and update reliably. However, with Windows 7 and above you can use the built-in Disk Cleanup tool to delete older versions of Windows updates you no longer need. With Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, you can use the Command Prompt to clean up the WinSxS folder as well.

Use Disk Cleanup to Delete Old Updates From the SxS Folder

1. Open the Disk Cleanup tool. You can do this by typing "disk cleanup" in the taskbar and clicking "Disk Cleanup"
start diskcleanup
2. Click the "Cleanup system files" button.
diskcleanup system
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3. Check the box next to "Windows Update Cleanup."
diskcleanup updates(2)
4. Click OK.
Note that if you don't see the Windows Update Cleanup option in Disk Cleanup, that means there aren't any files that can be safely deleted.
Windows uses a system folder called WinSxS to store files that are needed for your Windows installation, as well as backups or updates to those files. It's a space hog, however, taking up several gigabytes of space and growing with each Windows Update you perform. Use the steps below to clean up unnecessary files in that WinSxS folder and reclaim valuable hard drive space. You can't just delete everything in the WinSxS folder, because some of those files are needed for Windows to run and update reliably. However, with Windows 7 and above you can use the built-in Disk Cleanup tool to delete older versions of Windows updates you no longer need. With Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, you can use the Command Prompt to clean up the WinSxS folder as well. Use Disk Cleanup to Delete Old Updates From the SxS Folder 1. Open the Disk Cleanup tool. You can do this by typing "disk cleanup" in the taskbar and clicking "Disk Cleanup" 2. Click the "Cleanup system files" button. Advertisement 3. Check the box next to "Windows Update Cleanup." 4. Click OK. Note that if you don't see the Windows Update Cleanup option in Disk Cleanup, that means there aren't any files that can be safely deleted.

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