Cleaning WinSxS folders under Windows 10/8.1/8

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DISM allows you to configure and update Windows features, packages, drivers and more. The /Cleanup-Image parameter in Dism.exe gives you advanced options to reduce the size of the WinSxS folder, writes TechNet.

A) Using Dism.exe parameter /StartComponentCleanup on a running version of Windows 8.1 produces results similar to running the StartComponentCleanup task in the task scheduler.

Open a high command prompt, type and press Enter:

Dism.exe /online /Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup

B) If you use parameter /ResetBase with parameter /StartComponentCleanup, you can delete all replaced versions of each component from the component memory.

At the extended prompt, type the following and press Enter :

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

C) To reduce the disk space used by a Service Pack, use Dism.exe parameter /SPSuperseded on a current version of Windows 8.1 to remove all backup components needed to uninstall the Service Pack.

At the advanced prompt, type and press Enter:

Dism.exe /online /Cleanup-Image /SPSuperseded

Note that you cannot uninstall existing Service Packs and updates when you run this command.

3] Disc cleaning tool

Home users should stick to the disc cleaning tool. Open the disk cleaning utility and click the button Clean System Files. You see the option for Windows Update Cleanup. Select this option. This reduces the size of the component warehouse.

Note that deleting files from the WinSxS folder or deleting the WinSxS folder can damage your system and make it unbootable. You may also not be able to install, uninstall or update Windows components. For normal Windows users, you can first create a system restore point and then try methods 1 or 3 above. Method 2 is for advanced users.

Windows 7 users can now also use the’Windows Update Cleanup’ option in the ‘Disk Cleanup’ tool.

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