Windows folder size...

  1. Posts : 725
    Windows 10 64-bits

    Windows folder size...

    This question had been asked previously, but there had been no resolution AFAIK...

    The "C:\Windows" folder size on my system is:

    Windows folder size...-folders.jpg

    The three folders, that are targeted to be relocated/deleted, have a combined size of ~27 GBs.

    There are two backup folders that can be deleted without impact to the system, at least to my recollection. The "..\Installer\$PatchCache$" folder size is ~950 MBs, while the "..\WinSxS\Backup" is ~160 MBs. Deleting these folders will not free up much space on the drive.

    Is there a way to relocate/delete these files without influencing the system operation? I vaguely recall that doing so would be detrimental to the operation.

    The drive still have ~50% free space, I am just getting tired of having an image backup size of ~96 GBs with Macrium Reflect and trying to decrease it.

      My Computer

  2. Posts : 6
    Windows 10

    Is there a way to 'tell' Macrium Reflect to ignore those folders when backing up?
      My Computer

  3. Posts : 920
    Windows 10 Pro

    Interesting, on my system I do not have the Softwaredistribution.bak folder.
    My Installer folder is 700Mb. I assume this is directly related to how many apps you have installed, if you remove the contents of that folder you may find that Add/ Remove programs no longer functions for apps and/ or apps that have a repair option will fail to repair since the installer database is missing.
    You could try to reduce the WinSxS folder using DISM with the commands : Dism.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /AnalyzeComponentStore, followed by : Dism.exe /online /Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup /ResetBase, and finally : Dism.exe /online /Cleanup-Image /SPSuperseded.
    The third command will remove the ability to uninstall Windows updates from when you run it, future updates wont be affected, unless you run the command again.
    On my system after running these commands my WinSxS folder was reduced from 7.5Gb to 6.5Gb.
    I really don't think it would be a good idea to try to delete or relocate those folders since they are system folders.
    As far as softwaredistribution.bak is concerned, I would try disk cleanup or storage sense and enable any unchecked options such as device driver packages, windows update cleanup etc to see if that folder is removed.
    Other than that maybe someone else knows why you have that folder.
    To reduce used space on that drive you could always move your personal files (doc's, pictures, music etc) to another drive if you have one, and maybe uninstall some apps/ games then re install them to a second drive to save space on C:\.
      My Computer

  4. Posts : 2,487
    Windows 10 Home, 64-bit

    I've got softwaredistribution.bak.

    670 MB.

    Creation date 5/15/17; which happens to be the last time I did a clean install---the same day this hardware was put together.

    Storage sense and Disk Cleanup don't seem to have any effect on it.

    I cannot recall if I had it on my previous Win 10 installation.
      My Computer

  5. Posts : 725
    Windows 10 64-bits
    Thread Starter

    Thanks everyone...

    I did use the "Storage Sense" and "Disk Clean up" utilities prior to starting this thread. They reduced the size of the Windows folder by about 6 GBs, nowhere nearby what I was looking for.

    DISM didn't help at all, the last command of "/SPSuperseded" resulted in:

    Service Pack Cleanup cannot proceed: No Service Pack backup files were found. The operation completed successfully.
    Some of my research on the subject pretty much verified, that the "Winsxs" folder should be left alone:

    In short, Winsxs, which stands for ‘Windows Side By Side’, is Windows native assembly cache. Libraries that are being by multiple applications are stored there. This feature was first introduced, in Windows ME and was considered as Microsoft’s solution to the so-called ‘dll hell’ issues that plagued Windows 9x.

    Seems like the "dll hell" had been replaced by "side-by-side hell"...

    Deleting/relocating part of this folder, manually and/or by some third-party utility, could result in issues for both the system and applications.

    The system in question has started out as W8.1 and updated to W10, about six/seven years old without clean install. Operational wise, it is still running just fine. Other than the Windows folder size that is...

    The personal folder cleanup would have been next, if the windows folders could be cleaned up. These folders are about 65 GBs that can be moved, there are five physical drives in this system.

    My other system, that has started out as W10, about three years old, does not have issues with the Windows folder size:

    Windows folder size...-win_folder.jpg

    Seems to me that reducing the size of the Windows folder requires a clean install of the 1909 version. Prior to doing so, there's a window of opportunity to try some of the third-party suggestions/utilities, that claim reducing the size of the folders without impact to the operation.

    Maybe I'll do that during Xmas break...

    Thanks again to everyone for your help...

      My Computer

  6. Posts : 4,551
    Windows 11 Pro 64-bit

    Windows updates are cached to SoftwareDistribution folder if you like you can delete the softwaredistribution.bak folder.
      My Computer

  7. Posts : 35,497
    Win 10 Pro (21H2) (2nd PC is 21H2)

    I am just getting tired of having an image backup size of ~96 GBs with Macrium Reflect and trying to decrease it.
    Hi, assuming you are using the free version, are you using differential imaging as well as creating a base image? Differential images should be a lot smaller and quicker to create.

    Is there a way to 'tell' Macrium Reflect to ignore those folders when backing up?
    Ignoring folders: e.g.
    Excluding Files and Folders From Images
    How to exclude files from Disk Images and Clones - KnowledgeBase v7 - Macrium Reflect Knowledgebase - KnowledgeBase v7 - Macrium Reflect Knowledgebase
      My Computers

  8. Posts : 920
    Windows 10 Pro

    Yep, you have a perfect opportunity to have a think about your installation/ disk layout. Experiment to your hearts content....but I would suggest making a current image of your system drive, even though it will be huge. So at least if you mess up you can recover from it.
    I personally have a 3 disk system, 512Gb NVME boot for Windows, 512Gb SSD for apps/ games, 1Tb HDD for personal files, disk images, utility apps etc, and 3x 3Tb USB3 externals for backups. Even with Visual Studio 2019 (with 3 dev packages) installed my C; drive is only 20'ish Gb in size making a Macrium image 11Gb.
    Good luck with your experiments.
      My Computer

  9. Posts : 725
    Windows 10 64-bits
    Thread Starter

    I've pretty much done everything that there's to be done for decreasing the folder sizes; DISM, disk cleanup, storage sense, etc. The only thing that actually made substantial change in folder size is the Patch Cleaner. It removed a total of 6 GBs orphaned files from the "...\Windows\Installer" folder.

    Caution: Patch Cleaner can break your system, proceed at your own risk...

    The system is imaged to a local drive every day, no differential backups. The size of the image didn't really bothered me that much, until now. Exluding folders from the backups, while doing so would reduce the image size, estore may not be possible and/or the system would be broken.

    I am looking at Acronis image back locally and to the cloud. The plan is to create a full image once a week, or a month and have differential backups between the full backups. A 90+ GBs image upload on a 50 MBs upload link would probably take 6-7 hours. I am just trying to make the image smaller.
    Last edited by Cr00zng; 17 Oct 2019 at 13:04. Reason: Add warning...
      My Computer

  10. Posts : 7,126
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit

    Patch Cleaner trashes my Office 2010 installation so I never use it.

    Try Wise Disk Cleaner which cleans up many files missed by Disk Clean. Also run Driver Store Explorer (RAPR), select old drivers and delete them especially old large driver files.
      My Computers


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