Clean Up WinSxS Folder to Gain More Space in Windows 8

Here is another quick tip saving more disk space, on top of the 7 ways we shared before.

WinSxS folder, called the Windows Component Store, is used during Windows Update, Service Packs, and hotfix installations. It’s resided in c:\windows folder containing all the files required for a Windows installation as well as any updates later on. The component store does grow over time as more updates, features, or roles are added to the installation. For instance, my Windows 8 computer has more than 6GB of files in there.

2015-02-01 21_29_21-WinSxS Properties

Microsoft suggests not touching the WinSxS folder for the purpose of gaining more disk spaces. However, it’s ok to do so if you are really running low on disk spaces.

You can run Disk Cleanup system tool to clean it that up. But I found using the command line DISM is more efficient and has more choices.

Using the /StartComponentCleanup parameter on Windows 8.1 gives you the same result to run StartComponentCleanup task in Task Scheduler, which means if you have the default task running regularly on your computer, you don’t need to run it manually again.

Dism.exe /online /Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup
StartComponentCleanup task in Task Scheduler

StartComponentCleanup task in Task Scheduler

Adding /ResetBase switch with /StartComponentCleanup parameter removes all superseded versions of every component in the component store. Once it’s done, all existing service packs and updates cannot be uninstalled.

Dism.exe /online /Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup /ResetBase

But if you only need to reduce the space by a service pack, just use /SPSuperseded instead. This option is actually more for Windows 7 at this point, since there are no Service Pack for any version of Windows 8 or 8.1 yet.

Dism.exe /online /Cleanup-Image /SPSuperseded

Note that once this is done the service pack cannot be uninstalled.

Kent Chen

Microsoft MVP, IT Professional, Developer, Geek, and the co-founder of Next of Windows.

Last updated: 02/01/2015

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