Windows 7 How do I cleanup winsxs folder to free up space on SSD drives?

I am currently using windows 7 RC Build 7100, installed on a expensive Solid State Drive (SSD).
One of the things that sounds promissing about windows 7 is the future SSD support it will have
As mentioned on this site:

Unfortunately Window 7's overall footprint is quite large (in comparison to xp or linux) and thus eats up a lot of expensive space on SSD drives.
One problem i am currently facing is that over time the winsx folder "C:\Windows\winsxs" has increased in size and has become very large thus eating up even more of my total available SSD space.

Currently this folder alone is now occupying 5.6GB ! (and continues to get bigger, while my free space gets equally smaller)
This may not sound like a lot of space given one can cheaply buy 1TB traditional hard drives, however this is a huge amount of space when it comes to current SSD drive capacity.
At current usage this winsxs folder uses  ~19% of total space available on a formated 32GB SSD drive!!
or ~ 7.5% of total space available on formated 80GB SSD drive!

So here is my question: 

In Windows 7, how would someone go about safely cleaning up the large amount of used space found within the winsxs folder?
Hello Debbie. Thanks for the response. After searching around and also reading your post I now have a better understanding of what purpose the winsxs folder serves. I would like to highlight one isse within your pasted post which is of concern.
1. Duplicate files. Searching for and deleting duplicate files has always been something that Windows users have performed in an effort to reduce used hard drive space. However, this was done because hard drive space was very expensive and hard drives were very small. If this was 8 or10 years ago, this would still be a viable option, but it no longer applies since hard drives have become so large and very inexpensive. When Windows XP was first released, a typical hard drive cost around 2.99 USD per GB. Today, you can find a 500GB SATA 7200RPM hard drive for much less than 100 USD. The typical cost of hard drives is less than .15 Cents per Gigabyte. This means that a WinSxS folder that is 6GB costs around .90 Cents, and uses slightly more than 1 Percent of the drive. That's about the same cost as a large bag of potato chips.
This comment does not take into consideration the current cost of Solid State Drives "SSD" The current cost per Gigabyte for high end SSD drives is much higher then even 8 - 10 years ago
Example1: $383/32GB = $11.96 USD per GB
Example2: $314/80GB = $3.92 USD per GB
So the 5.6GB winsxs folder i am using on my SSD costs anywhere from ~ $67 to $22 USD.
(actually costs me more since im in Canada, and these SSD's are more expensive here even after conversion rates)
So Now space savings is more important then ever!

So apart from explaining why winsxs is there, and how it works..
My question remains: Is anyone aware of any safe way (via a utility or guide) to delete and trim down the space occupied by this folder?

Assuming no such utility or guide exists, will Microsoft consider creating a tool that allows people to reduce the size of this winsxs folder by deleting things like orphaned files which were installed by applications which are no longer present in the system. or by giving people the option to not use the backup features of the winsxs folder?

51 people found this reply helpful


Was this reply helpful?

Sorry this didn't help.

Great! Thanks for your feedback.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback, it helps us improve the site.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback.


Question Info

Last updated April 17, 2021 Views 485,529 Applies to: