WINSXS folder cleanup for Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2

Introduction

Ever since the release of Windows Vista, Microsoft began storing windows updates in a folder named Winsxs. Many of us can remember with XP and Windows Server 2003 when the Windows updates were stored in long GUID looking folders in the root of the Windows directory. Once in a while you’d go in there and just delete the folders to free up some disk space. However, with Windows 7, you can’t just go in the Winsxs folder and start deleting stuff, unless of course you want to completely hose your computer and reinstall Windows. Fortunately there are ways to perform a WINSXS folder cleanup in Windows 7 and more importantly in Windows Server 2008 R2.

Steps (13 total)

1. Windows 7

Select Start, Run, and then type Cleanmgr. Click on Cleanmgr to run it

2. Cleanmgr will scan the selected partition

If you have multiple partitions (i.e C: and D: drives) you will need to select the drive you want to clean

3. Windows Update checkbox

Look for Windows Update Cleanup, if you don’t see it, select the System Files button. Cleanmgr will re-scan the C: partition, you will now notice the Windows Update Cleanup feature along with how much disk space will be freed up. Make sure the checkbox is selected.

4. Select Windows Update

Cleanmgr will re-scan the C: partition, you will now notice the Windows Update Cleanup feature along with how much disk space will be freed up. Make sure the checkbox is selected

5. Reboot Computer

Once the cleanup is finished, you will need to manually reboot the computer for space to be freed up. It will not ask you to reboot

6. Windows Server 2008 R2

Make sure KB2852386 is installed on the server. This will require a reboot

7. Install feature the Desktop Experience Feature, will need the Ink Support sub-feature
8. This will perform a double-reboot
 
9. Once the server is back up, Start, Run, Cleanmgr
10. If you have multiple partitions (i.e C: and D: drives) you will need to select the drive you want to clean.
11. Look for Windows Update Cleanup, if you don’t see it, select the System Files button
12. Cleanmgr will re-scan the C: partition, you will now notice the Windows Update Cleanup feature along with how much disk space will be freed up. Make sure the checkbox is selected
13. Once the cleanup is finished, you will need to manually reboot the computer for space to be freed up. It will not ask you to reboot