Clear the WinSXS folder on Windows 7 SP1 FINALLY!!

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If you have been frustrated like many other IT professionals at the ever growing size of the WinSXS folder and having absolutely no choice but to not touch it, then you will be delighted to know that Microsoft have finally released an update that allows you to clear this folder and free up huge amounts of space on a local disk.

My personal machine currently has 17,553 items and 10.3GB of used space in the WinSXS folder and although I have a big enough disk, I’d still like my space back! So, I installed this new update and it works a treat and is very simple to use.



So, I thought I’d share this information with my visitors and also give a brief overview of the process. Firstly, you’ll want the links to actually download the updates from Microsoft:

DOWNLOAD

Microsoft Article 2852386

Download for Windows 7 SP1 x86 Machines

Download for Windows 7 SP1 x64 Machines

Be aware that this is also available through Windows Updates so you may want to keep an eye out for it.

Once you have the update installed, if you go into Computer and right click on your disk and select Properties, you’ll be greeted with this familiar sight:

If you now click the Disk Cleanup button, you may see something not so familiar…

You now have the option to do a Windows Update Cleanup and it will also tell you the amount of space that you can save by doing this. On my machine, this is approximately 10% of the total size of the WinSXS folder. So, tick the box and click OK to start the process:

Something that you should note though, when you reboot, it may take a while as it goes through a whole clean up process, so if you are in a rush, don’t run this just yet!

Once your reboot is complete, you should find you have freed up the space stated!



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