[Tip] Reclaim Free Space by Removing Old Windows Updates Files in Windows 7, 8 and 8.1

Whenever you install a new software program, browse the Internet, copy or download songs, videos, images in your computer system, you actually fill your hard disk space with lots of data. If you are using Windows operating system, it regularly downloads and installs security updates and hotfixes to keep your computer safe which also store lots of data on your hard disk.

Many times your computer hard disk might run out of space and you might want to get some extra free space on your hard disk to store new data, in such conditions you may delete several temporary files and clear your web browser cache, etc to reclaim free space as shown in following exclusive tutorial:

How to Get Extra FREE Space in Windows?

With the help of all these tips about removing temporary files, you may get some good amount of free hard disk space but there are some more places on your hard disk which contain a huge amount of outdated files which can be safely removed to get approx. 3-4 GB free space on your hard disk.

Surprised? Here are some interesting details! "WinSxS" is a mysterious folder present in "C:\Windows\" directory which might occupy a few GB space on your hard disk depending upon the updates and drivers installed in your Windows OS. Its also known as "Component Store". Whenever a new update or driver is installed in your system, the previous updates and files are automatically moved to WinSxS folder for future uses. Its done for the sake of reliability. If some files get corrupted in future or if you decide to restore previous version of an update or driver, the backup files present in WinSxS folder are used for restoring.

Its good for compatibility and reliability point of view but the folder size gets increased with time and you have no option to clean this folder. So the question comes! How to clean WinSxS folder? Can we delete files and folders present in WinSxS folder to save some space?

The answer is YES. You can clean the outdated Windows updates and other temporary files from WinSxS folder with the help of the good old "Disk Cleanup Wizard" tool. This tool allows you to clean various places of your hard disk to reclaim free space. It comes with several options to select and one of these options is "Windows Update Cleanup" which deletes older versions of updates that are no longer needed and taking up space on your hard disk.

Today in this tutorial, we'll tell you how to use Disk Cleanup tool in Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 to remove outdated Windows updates to reclaim free space on your hard disk:

Windows Update Cleanup in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1:

If you are using Windows 8 or Windows 8.1, check out following simple steps to remove unnecessary updates and files from your computer to save space:

1. Open Computer or This PC window and right-click on C: drive and select "Properties" option.

2. It'll open C: drive properties window. Click on "Disk Cleanup" button.

Open_Windows_Disk_Cleanup_Tool.png

3. It'll take a few seconds in calculating how much free space will you get after removing temporary files. Once the calculation is done, it'll open Disk Cleanup window.

4. Now click on "Clean up system files" button.

Clean_up_Windows_System_Files.png

5. Again it'll take a few seconds in free space calculation and you'll get the advanced Disk Cleanup window. Here you can select the desired options and make sure to select "Windows Update Cleanup" option which will help you in getting a huge amount of free space on your hard disk.

Windows_8_Update_Cleanup_Tool.png

6. That's it. Once you select the desired options, click on "OK" button. It'll ask for confirmation, click on "Delete Files" button to accept the confirmation.

The wizard will take a few minutes/seconds depending upon the file size and once the cleaning operation completes, you'll get a good amount of free space on your hard disk.

Windows Update Cleanup in Windows 7:

If you are using Windows 7, you'll need to download and install a new update which will add this useful option "Windows Update Cleanup" in Disk Cleanup tool. By default, Windows 7 doesn't come with this option.

Just download the required update from following links:

Download KB2852386 Update for Windows 7 (32-bit or x86)

Download KB2852386 Update for Windows 7 (64-bit or x64)

The download requires genuine Windows validation check. For our readers, we are also sharing direct download links of these updates:

Direct Download Link: KB2852386 Update for Windows 7 (32-bit or x86)

Direct Download Link: KB2852386 Update for Windows 7 (64-bit or x64)

Download and install the update and restart your system. After reboot, open Disk Cleanup wizard using the same steps given above for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 operating systems and you'll be able to remove outdated Windows updates to save space on your hard disk.

Windows_7_Update_Cleanup_Tool.png

NOTE: The "Windows Update Cleanup" option in Disk Cleanup tool only appears if the wizard detects unnecessary Windows updates stored on your system. If it doesn't find any outdated update in your system, you'll not see "Windows Update Cleanup" option.

Also check: How to Add "Disk Cleanup" Option in Drive Context Menu in Windows





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Posted in: Windows 7, Windows 8 / 8.1


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Comments

  • hi there and thanks for your useful tips and articles
    I used disk clean up on my win 7 enterprise after I applied update you recomended. It only cleaned about 250 MB of data for win update.The question is about winsxs folder which is about GB yet.can I reduce winsxs size in another way.for example deleting files manually?is this risky to delete manually for example via linux OS.

  • Just a few weeks ago I was searching the Internet for some info to know if it was safe to delete files in the "winsxs" in the windows folder. BTW I'm using windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit.
    It would seem that Microsoft read my mind and finally made an update to remove unnecessary files and folders.

    I've installed my windows since July of 2009 and never reinstalled, and recently I was looking at the "winsxs" folder and to my surprise it was a whopping 12.4 GB with 75,673 files, 20,064 folders, rather HUGE EH!
    So I always visiting this site saw this amazing update and did as was instructed. After a disk cleanup it saw as much as 3.80 GB of updates to delete. Although it removed that amount of info I still remain with an 8.59 GB 67,645 files, 17,935 folders. I still think its HUGE don't you? I did another disk cleanup and it did not find any more stuff to remove.

    I'd really like VG or anyone else to look into this and see if there is a way to safely delete any more stuff from the "winsxs" folder!

    Anyway thank you VG for letting us in on this, its really quite helpful.

  • In addition to the above those who use system restore can do the following before doing the above mentioned steps.

    U can see above that there is a tab next to disk cleanup of 'More Options' click on it and u will be presented with options to cleanup programs u don't use( I have not tested this feature, use it at ur own risk) and the option to delete older system restore points( this I have tested and frees quite GBs) click the cleanup option next to this system restore tabs and see the difference, hope VG adds this to the article and also checks the program cleanup option.
    -12th Oct. 2013, 03:19 GMT

  • ^^ ok just found out that the program feature mentioned in the above comment is nothing new but the uninstallation of programs from control panel.
    12th Oct. 2013, 03:35 GMT

  • One word, Thanks!!!

  • VG

    Guys check out following links:

    http://www.askvg.com/reclaim-free-space-by-removing-unnecessary-files-after-installing-sp1-in-windows-7-and-server-2008-r2/
    http://www.askvg.com/get-approx-1-gb-free-space-by-removing-unnecessary-files-after-installing-sp1-in-windows-vista/
    blogs.technet.com/b/joscon/archive/2010/08/06/should-you-delete-files-in-the-winsxs-directory-and-what-s-the-deal-with-vss.aspx

  • You misspelled a word ’few’ in sentence ’3. It'll take a fee seconds in calculating’ :x.

  • @james
    I had winsxs folder on Windows 7 Pro 32bit containing over 8GB. I shrinked it to approximately 3 GB or so now. All components and programs of entire Windows OS are actually stored there and not in System 32 etc. So since the begging of Windows 7 launch, built-in Windows firewall have been updated around 9 times or so. This means that WINSXS folder this moment holds all 9 installers of Window firewall, although you only have the latest version installed. This philosophy goes on for all other updates.

    When you run Windows update and install new updates they are of course implemented over old ones. This is not true just for OS itself, but for kernel, .net framework, Internet Explorer etc.

    So although you have now let's say IE 10 and you removed IE 8, 9 a while ago, these obsolete browsers/installers are actually still in folder WINSXS with all its components like iefeed, urlmon ie.exe, etc.

    All printer drivers are there as well, so why have all drivers occupying your (presumably SSD) space if you only need printer drivers for Samsung, or HP, or whatever browser you have. Delete them, they occupy quite some space.

    Do you need blutooth drivers? Delete them in WINSXS as well!

    Anyway, every time you update Windows or IE your WINSXS will grow larger for all new updates because the point of that folder is to hold all components and all installers there. So it actually makes sense to stop all this nonsense and go to the folder and take 8-10 hours and locate every item, see its description and delete it (takeownership first) in case you think you do not need it (windows defender, obsolete IE 8,9, windows speech...)

    WARNING! Always compare those file version with System32 and Drivers folder version to see which one is your latest, so that you can safely delete old version.

    You may also delete MS office backup files which occupy around 600 MB (2010 version) of space (if I recall corectly). you can delete them safely (almost all of them), but you will not be able to update office any more!!!

    .net framework takes around 1GB of space in WINSXS, Windows speech around 300 MB, migwiz, all fonts take over 500MB of space and so on....

    My system took around 15GB before shrinking WINSXS and DRIVERS folder. Not it takes only 7.7GB. I have Windows 7 pro 32 bit with MS office, and approximately 30 additional programs.

    This is just a presentation of how much space you can gain by shrinking winsxs folder and some others. Also program files folders can be shrunk considerably.

    What did I lose? Well, I cannot update office and unfortunately windows itself (due to my misteke alongside the learning of deleting those files - wusa in particular), cannot update .net framework, and cannot use snipping tools.

    But I can live with this as I use EMET to secure all security holes in those programs which remain unpatched/not updated on my system. EMET takes care of them, and Defense+ takes care of the rest.

    BE VERY CAUTIONS IN CASE YOU GO ON THIS VOYAGE. But it is an exciting adventure of really playing with the core of Windows itself. You learn a lot of thing alongside, and do some terrible mistake as well ;)

  • In Windows 8 is not working very well - Disk Cleanup remains with the bar at middle for hours...
    I have to close it manually.

  • This tutorial is very nice !

  • Bammm
    i installed the update and successfuly reclaim the space but after that another restart cuased BSOD and now my windows is not starting at all..............
    any help regarding repair? all of my win ISOs are in the drive and now i cannot made any other USB or DVD.

  • Sir, it says the update isnt meant for my Computer !
    while i'm running Win7 Ultimate ,
    is SP needed for it ??

  • is it possible to install on windows 7 - (without sp)?

  • Thank you Vishal,it's a nice,needed tutorial for me.Anyway,the site look is good,but the blue menu bar and orange text is a mismatch.If you change the bar colour to black or change the orange text to blue,that will look good.

    Thank you.

  • I seriously recommend NOT deleting the Windows Update files to gain space. I have done this twice under Windows 8.1 with two different computers and both times it has completely screwed Windows Update and required me to re-install Windows 8.1. It says it only deletes the unnecessary Windows Update files but obviously that is incorrect... can't Microsoft get anything right??!

  • Create a shortcut... and put on:

    Target:
    %SystemRoot%\System32\Cmd.exe /c Cleanmgr /sageset:65535 &Cleanmgr /sagerun:65535

    Start in:
    %windir%

    After that save and use the Adevanced Cleanup of windows

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