Thursday, June 7, 2012

Can I delete c:\windows\winsxs

q: We discovered a folder under windows that is taking up 12GB c:\windows\winsxs can we delete it?
a: The generally accepted answer is NO.  However, we discovered a command that should free up some space within it.
  1. Open a Command-Line prompt with elevated privileges  (CMD - Run as administrator)
  2. From the default path of c:\windows\system32> run the following command
  3. dism /online /cleanup-image /spsuperseded
  4. We ran this on two Windows 7 computers and the c:\windows\winsxs folder was reduced by 4-7GB
NOTE: Obviously you'll want to make sure you never need to uninstall the most recent service pack, as well as have a current backup of your system.  Here's a link to an article about it.

UPDATE: If the device is Server 2008 R2 DISM works great, if the Server 2008 is Pre-R2 you'll have to run c:\windows\system32\compcln.exe.  This command reduced a 15GB winsxs folder to 13GB.


  1. Can I delete the file C:\Windows\winsxs\ManifestCache to increase disk space?

    1. Microsoft's suggestion is to leave that structure alone. The provided command is the only method we use to remove some content from that folder structure. Sorry.