How to delete the WinSxS folder on Windows 10 – Users who have been using Windows 10 for years are certainly well aware that the available disk space on the OS drive decreases over time for no apparent reason. It gets even worse if you use your computer for a longer time without any maintenance. The culprit you are looking for is the WinSxS folder which is inside the OS drive (Drive: C). Microsoft calls it “Windows Side By Side” or loosely storing components.
The WinSxS folder contains all kinds of system files which are used to fix various problems on your Windows PC. However, the folder size continues to grow and takes up crucial disk space and it certainly reduces the size of the disk we are currently using. So in this article, I’m going to share an easy way to delete the WinSxS folder without affecting the stability of your Windows 10 PC computer.
What is the WinSxS Folder?
The first thing you need to know is that you can’t delete the WinSxS Folder completely, but you can definitely reduce its size. The reason is that the WinSxS folder contains many important libraries and components of the operating system which are needed to solve OS related problems. So, for this reason, users should not touch the WinSxS folder because it is in charge of keeping our PC safe and healthy.
However, the reality is that the WinSxS folder gets bigger and bigger over time and if you leave it for years then it will take up about 40% disk space of your OS drive. So, what exactly is going on in that folder? In fact, apart from OS components, Windows also stores file updates in the WinSxS folder. So whenever you get a new update, the file is downloaded and saved, this is in case you face any problems in the future and want to go back to the previous version. Basically, every time you get on Windows 10 update, the files are accumulated in that folder resulting in a higher size on the OS drive.
What is the WinSxS Folder?
It would be a mistake to say that Microsoft didn’t try to fix this problem. Today, Windows 10 is equipped with an automatic maintenance service that cleans files that have been replaced after a month. However, many users have complained that it is not working as it should. In any case, now that I understand the problem at hand, I’ll go through the steps to reduce the folder size in a way that doesn’t destabilize your system.
How to delete the WinSxS folder in Windows 10
I’ll go through a two-step process to complete this task. First, we will use internal tools and then move to manual cleaning methods.
Reduce Folder Size Using DISM
I’ll be using the DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management) Tool to clean up the folder. The DISM tool is used to keep the Windows image intact and prepare a recovery environment.
1. Press the Windows key once and type “cmdIn the search box. After that, click “Run as Administrator“In the sub-menu.
2. After the Command Prompt window opens, run the command below to check if redundant files are available in the folder. If it says cleaning is suggested at the bottom then move to the next step.
dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /AnalyzeComponentStore
3. Now, run the second command to finally start the cleaning process. After the process is complete, you are done. The WinSxS folder should free up a lot of disk space.
Note: The process may take some time so stay patient.
dism /online /Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup
Remove WinSxS Update Files Using Disk Cleanup
1. Right click on the OS drive (generally, drive C) and go to “Properties“. Here, click “Disk Cleanup“.
2. Next, click the “Clean up System FilesAt the bottom left.
3. Now, uncheck all the boxes and select “Windows Update CleanupAt the top. After that, click the “OK” button. And look, now a large number of update files in the WinSxS folder will be deleted instantly. Now, restart your PC and you will find the OS drive has some free disk space.
With the above process, it should pretty much free up disk space on your Windows and make it faster. One thing to note here is that sometimes if the PC is too old, it’s better to reset Windows 10 to get started. Remember to always back up your Windows 10 PC before you go through the reset or reset process.
Delete the WinSxS Folder and Reclaim Disk Space
So that’s the guide on how to delete the WinSxS folder and reclaim OS drive disk space. The reason why Windows slows down after years of use is because these files clog up all-important memory space. So if you want speed up Windows 10 computer You, reducing the size of the WinSxS folder will also make a big difference in performance.