Recover Wasted Disk Space With The New Windows Update Cleanup

Recover Wasted Disk Space With The New Windows Update Cleanup

Windows: Microsoft has released a Windows 7 update that adds a new option in the Disk Cleanup tool called Windows Update Cleanup. With it, you can free up several gigabytes of hard drive space from the bloated Windows Updates folder.

Windows Updates can be terrible space hogs. Windows saves every security update and hotfix — even if they’re superseded by new updates — in the WinSxS directory. You can’t just manually delete everything in that folder, because some files are needed just in case a system file gets corrupted or you need to roll back a Windows Update.

So that’s where this new Windows Update comes in. Released yesterday for Windows 7 SP1 machines, KB 2852386 adds the ability to clean up all the obsolete updates in the WinSxS folder. It’s a “recommended” update but not “critical”, so you might not have installed it yet. You can either do a Windows Update to download it or head to the Knowledge Base article to grab it from there. (Note: Windows Update Cleanup is already included in Windows 8.1.)

Once you have it installed, run Disk Cleanup and click the “Clean up system files” button to find the new Windows Update Cleanup option. Note that running this cleanup will prevent you from uninstalling any updates you have currently applied, but you can manually download and install previous update versions if you ever need to rollback.

Hit up TechNet below for more details, including a way to automate this process.

Breaking News! Reduce the size of the WinSxS Directory and Free up Disk Space with a New Update for Windows 7 SP1 Clients [TechNet via InfoWorld]


  • This is great. Question though, I’m new to SSD’s and have heard so many different things about maintaining them. Is disk cleanup/windows defrag safe to use? I also heard programs like CCleaner are unnecessary and may cause damage?

    • Cleanup and CCleaner (and the like) should be fine on an SSD, Defrag not so much (plus there’s no need to, as you won’t get any performance benefit from defragmenting an SSD)

    • Defragging is pointless. I think because an SSD can access any piece of data equally fast regardless of where it is on the chip there is no need to move the data around so it is contiguous.

      Cleaner and clean up tools are fine to use. The quality of the programs vary a fair bit though.

  • 11.7GB in that folder on my work laptop.

    Will def use this at home. Time to go manually sync the WSUS server too.

  • Great how do I actually keep all the updates to slipstream them into an image? it seems impossible for windows 7~

    • Yeah, it’s about time we got an [up to date] article on Win 7 slipstreaming. Gets my vote…

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