How to cleanup Winsxs folder on Windows 2008 R2 and Windows 7

For many years there was no feature which allowed removing unnecessary files from WinSxS folder. The size only grew to the point where nothing could be removed to free up some space on C: drive.

The below has also been described on Windows Sites but it seems it’s hard to find hence my post below.

  1. First please refer to https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2852386
  2. You need to download one of the following files which are right for your system.
Operating system Update
All supported x86-based versions of Windows 7 DownloadDownload the update package now.
All supported x64-based versions of Windows 7 DownloadDownload the update package now.
All supported x64-based versions of Windows Server 2008 R2 DownloadDownload the update package now.

3. You need to enable the cleanmgr. This can be done by installing “Desktop Experience” from “Add feature” or by manually enabling cleanmgr.

I have described the manual process under my other post.

https://amionrails.wordpress.com/2016/04/12/how-to-enable-cleanmgr-windows-cleaning-program-on-windows-2008/

Once enabled.

4. Install the hotfix. From my experience, the reboot is not required so it should be fine to install it on the production server. I personally prefer to manually enabling the cleanmgr as you don’t need to install additional software which comes from Desktop Experience e.g. Windows Media Player.

5. Once installed run cleanmgr.

6. Cleanmgr should now discover few GB of old updates which can be removed.

If it does not work any reason or the files are not being removed then you may need to add Windows Desktop Experience Feature and try again.

Windows also mentioned that the reboot is required although it does not require a reboot or force you to do it.

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