Clean up the WinSxS folder in Windows 10, 8 and Windows 7

If you are confused by the fact that the WinSxS folder takes a lot of weight and are interested in the question of whether to remove its contents, this instruction is described in detail the process of cleaning up this folder in Windows 10, 8 and Windows 7, and tell me, what is this folder and what is it for and can I delete WinSxS folder completely.

The WinSxS folder stores backup copies of system files for the operating system to update (and not only, etc.). That is, every time you receive and install Windows updates, this folder stores information about the editable files, do these files so that you had the option to remove the update and revert the changes.

After some time, the WinSxS folder can take quite a lot of hard disk space — several gigabytes, the amount of this is increasing all the time as they install new Windows updates.. fortunately, to clear the contents of the folder relatively easily by regular means. And if the computer after the last update works without any problems, this action is relatively secure.

Windows 10 also in the WinSxS folder is used, for example, to reset Windows 10 to its original state — i.e. there is a need to automatically reinstall the files to take it from her. Additionally, if you have any problem with free space on the hard disk, I recommend to review the article: How to clean the disk from unnecessary files, How can I find out what takes space on your disk.

Clean up the WinSxS folder in Windows 10

Before talking about cleaning up the folders of the component store WinSxS folder, I want to warn you about some important things: do not try to delete the folder. Just happened to see the users who have the WinSxS folder is not deleted, they use methods similar to those described in the article, please Request permission from TrustedInstaller and in the end remove it (or part of the file system from it), and then wonder why the system doesn’t boot.

In Windows 10, the WinSxS folder keeps not only the files associated with the updates, but also files of the system used in the process, as well as to return the OS to its original state or to perform tasks associated with the restoration. So: some initiative when cleaning and reducing the size of this folder do not recommend. Following same steps for safe system and allow you to clean up the WinSxS folder in Windows 10 only on obsolete backups and backup archives that are created when you upgrade the system.

  • Start a command prompt as an administrator (e.g., via a right click on the start button)
  • Enter the command Dism.exe /online /cleanup-image /AnalyzeComponentStore and press Enter. Folder store component will be analyzed and you will see a message prompting you to clean it.
  • Enter the command Dism.exe /online /cleanup-image /StartComponentCleanup and press Enter to start automatic cleaning the WinSxS folder.

One important point: you should not abuse this command. In some cases, when the backup pack Windows 10 in the WinSxS folder, no, after cleaning, the folder may even slightly increase. I.e., to clean makes sense when the specified folder too, in your opinion, has grown (5-7 GB is not too much).

How to clean the WinSxS folder in Windows 7

To clean WinSxS folder in Windows 7 SP1, you must install an optional update KB2852386, which adds the corresponding item in the utility disk cleanup.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Go to the Update Windows 7 — this can be done through the control panel or use search in the start menu.
  • Click the «find updates» in the left menu, and wait. After that, click on optional updates.
  • Locate and select the optional update KB2852386 and install it.
  • Then restart the computer.

After that, in order to remove the contents of the WinSxS folder, run the utility disk cleanup (also, most likely to use search), then click «Cleanup system files» and select «Windows update Cleanup» or «the backup Files of service pack».

Delete the contents of WinSxS in Windows 8 and 8.1

In the latest versions of Windows OS the ability to delete backup copies of the updates available in the utility disk cleanup by default. That is, in order to delete files in WinSxS folder, you should do the following:

  • To run the utility «disk Cleanup». To do this, on the start screen can search.
  • Click the «Cleanup system files»
  • Select «Cleaning»Windows update

In addition, in Windows 8.1 there is another way to clear this folder:

  • Start a command prompt as administrator (to do this, press Win+X on your keyboard and select the desired menu item).
  • Enter the command dism.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup /ResetBase

Also, with the help dism.exe you can see exactly how long is the WinSxS folder in Windows 8, use the following command:

dism.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /AnalyzeComponentStoreAutomatic cleaning updates backups in WinSxS

In addition to clean this folder manually, you can use the Windows task scheduler for this to be done automatically.

For this you need to create a simple task StartComponentCleanup MicrosoftWindowsServicing periodical execution.

I hope this article can be useful and warns against undesirable actions. In case of any questions, I will try to answer.

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