Windows 10: What's the story with Win10's WINSXS directory?

  1.    29 Jan 2015 #1

    What's the story with Win10's WINSXS directory?


    There's been a lot written about Win7's ever-expanding WINSXS subdirectory. In my Win7 install (which started out as a clean install) WINSXS is now 9.5GB in size. Granted, my system is several years old, but I know at some point the size or complexity of WINSXS is going to force me to reinstall my OS.

    Does Win10 handle this issue any better? Are there any utilities available to clean up WINSXS? MS provides cleanup utilities for the major Win7 updates, but there is no way to clean up WINSXS after de-installing 3rd party software. It would be nice is Win10 provided a way to do this.
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  2.    29 Jan 2015 #2

    The large size of the winsxs folder is more apparent than real. The NTFS file system has long had the feature whereby a single copy of a file can appear in 2 or more folders and this feature is used in the winsxs folder. This saves considerable disk space. Even if the folder were deleted (NOT recommended) you would find the space savings much less than anticipated. This feature has been in place since Vista.
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  3.    29 Jan 2015 #3

    The "problem" was largely fixed in Windows 8. The issue was that Windows Explorer was not aware of hard linked files and would count them multiple times, over-inflating the size of the folder than it really was. In Windows 8, Explorer was fixed so it counted the disk space correctly.

    That's not to say that there wasn't cleanup that could be done as well. dism in Windows 8 was also improved to provide a cleanup function for WinSXS to remove old Windows update files. A patch was released for Windows 7 that added the same feature to Disk Cleanup.
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  4. Posts : 2,289
    Windows 10.3 Home 1703 x64 (Home per choice)
       29 Jan 2015 #4

    Just run: Dism.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup /ResetBase

    WinSxS Folder (Component Store) - Clean Up in Windows 8.1
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  5.    29 Jan 2015 #5

    My system is Win7, not Win8, so the methods described in that article don't work for me. However, I did try this:

    Dism.exe /online /Cleanup-Image /spsuperseded

    but it found no service pack backup files.

    Nice try though/
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  6. Posts : 87
    Win10Pro 64bit build 10586.17
       27 Jul 2016 #6
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  7. Posts : 20,887
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 16199
       27 Jul 2016 #7

    Hello bbinnard,

    You should post at our sister site www.sevenforums.com for Windows 7 issues.
    Last edited by Brink; 27 Jul 2016 at 12:25.
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  8. Posts : 87
    Win10Pro 64bit build 10586.17
       27 Jul 2016 #8

    Brink said: View Post
    You should post at our sister site www.sevenforums.com for Windows 7 issues.
    I found that while searching for a Win10 fix ... the article states :
    Using the /StartComponentCleanup parameter of Dism.exe on a running version of Windows 10 gives you similar results
    Click image for larger version. 

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