How to Clean up the WinSxS Directory on Windows Server 2008 R2

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Prior to this we need to install Disk Cleanup on Windows 2008. Disk Cleanup is not installed by default on Windows Server 2008 R2. It is instead a component installed with the Desktop Experience feature.

To install Disk Cleanup without reboot the server – How to install Disk Cleanup without reboot the server in Window 2008

Now download the appropriate package and install the on the system.

Operating system Update
All supported x86-based versions of Windows 7
All supported x64-based versions of Windows 7
All supported x64-based versions of Windows Server 2008 R2

Looking at my Windows 2008 R2 Server with SP1 installed, according to Windows Explorer, the size of my Windows/WinSxS directory is as follows:


The size of the WinSxS directory will vary by server. Some of you will have smaller WinSxS directories, some larger.

Installing the update is just like installing any other update. Just download and double-click on the .msu file:



Now we need to run the disk cleanup wizard. Disk Cleanup option can be found under Start –> All Programs –> Accessories –> System Tools: or go to run and type ‘cleanmgr’ to launch it.


On launch, Disk Cleanup prompts for the drive you want to clean up, default drive will be C: drive


After clicking Ok, a scan is performed:


Several options are provided for cleanup, including a new option for Windows Update Cleanup:


If you didn’t launch Disk Cleanup as Administrator, at this point, you’ll need to take a couple extra steps. You’ll need to click on the Clean up system files button.


The actual cleanup occurs during the next reboot. After the reboot, taking a look at the WinSxS directory, it has shrunk to the following:



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