When viewing size of the Windows directory, users may notice that the C:\Windows\winsxs directory appears to be taking up large amounts of disk space.
winsxs folder contains files required for a Windows installation and updates. Those files are also held within the component store as they are installed. They cannot be removed manually. Because this will result in the inability to properly install Windows updates, Service Packs, roles or features.
To reduce the size of the component store directory on a Windows installation you can choose to make the service pack installation permanent and reclaim used space from the Service Pack files. Doing this will make the Service Pack permanent and it will not be removable.
To remove the Service Pack files from a Windows installation use the following in-box utilities:
- Windows Vista Service Pack 1 installed: VSP1CLN.EXE
- Windows Vista Service Pack 2 or Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2 installed: Compcln.exe
- Windows 7 Service Pack 1 or Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 installed: DISM /online /Cleanup-Image /SpSuperseded or Disk Cleanup Wizard (cleanmgr.exe)