How to Clean Up the WinSxS Folder in Windows 11

This post shows students and new users steps to clean up or reduce the size of the WinSxS folder in Windows 11.

The component store (WinSxS folder) contains components that make-up Windows and allow you operate your system. These components are kept in this folder in case you need to rollback changes or repair corrupted files .

The folder is located at C:\Windows\WinSxS. Files in this folder might appear to be stored in more than one place in the operating system, but there’s usually only one copy of the file and the rest of the copies are actually hard links.

If you’re running out of storage space on your Windows device, don’t delete the WinSxS folder, but instead reduce the size of the WinSxS folder using tools built into Windows.

Deleting files from the WinSxS folder or deleting the entire WinSxS folder may severely damage your system so that your PC might not boot and make it impossible to update.

Below is how to reduce the size of the WinSxS folder in Windows 11.

How to reduce the size of the WinSxS folder in Windows 11

As mentioned above, If you’re running out of storage space on your Windows device, don’t delete the WinSxS folder, but instead reduce the size of the WinSxS folder using tools built into Windows.

Below is how to reduce the size of the WinSxS folder in Windows 11.

There are multiple ways and tools one can use the clean up or reduce the size of the WinSxS folder.

One ways is to use the Task Scheduler. The StartComponentCleanup task automatically cleans up components when the system isn’t in use.

  • If Task Scheduler is not open, click on Start, then search for Task Scheduler and open.
  • Expand the console tree and navigate to Task Scheduler Library\Microsoft\Windows\Servicing\StartComponentCleanup.
  • Under Selected Item, click Run
windows 11 task scheduler run task

Alternatively, open Windows Terminal as administrator, then run the commands below.

Using the /StartComponentCleanup parameter of Dism.exe on a running version of Windows 10 or later gives you similar results to running the StartComponentCleanup task in Task Scheduler.

To do that, first open Windows Terminal as administrator and select either Windows PowerShell or Command Prompt.

windows terminal run as administrator

Run the commands below:

Dism.exe /online /Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup

When you run the commands above with the /ResetBase parameter will remove all superseded version of every component in the component store.

Dism.exe /online /Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup /ResetBase

Using Disk cleanup to reduce the size of the WinSxS folder

You can use Disk Cleanup to reduce the number of unnecessary files on your drives, which can help your PC run faster. It can delete temporary files and system files, empty the Recycle Bin, and remove a variety of other items that you might no longer need.

The option to cleanup updates helps reduce the size of the component store.

That should do it!

Conclusion:

This post showed you how to reduce the size of the WinSxS folder in Windows 11. If you find any error above or have something to share, please use the comment form below.

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