What is the winsxs folder Windows 10 and what is it for

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One of the problems that most users currently face when buying a new computer, especially if it is a laptop, is the amount of limited storage space.

These units, mostly SSDs, are much more expensive than traditional hard drives and to lower the price, manufacturers opt for solutions cheaper and with less capacity.

Over time, the winsxs folder grows in size exaggeratedly. Many users consider the possibility of removing it, to free up space.

Unfortunately, that folder is critical to the operation of Windows. If you want to know what is the winsxs folder and what is it forI invite you to keep reading.

what is winsxs folder

winsxs folder

The winsxs folder is the folder that Windows uses to store both the update files that are installed as the backups and restore points that the computer automatically generated every time we install a new application.

By storing so much information, the space it occupies on our computer can become exaggerated.or inviting us to remove all content inside it to free up space in Windows.

What is the winsxs folder for?

The computer is automatically configured to automatically delete all files that are already are not necessary for the teamonce the updates have been installed, new drivers have been downloaded that replace the old ones…

Although it is not possible to delete all the content stored in this folder, we can delete part of the content. If we do, our team will stop working and it will force us to install Windows again from scratch by formatting the computer.

We will have to install Windows from scratch because we will have deleted the necessary files to be able to restore our copy of Windows from scratch. So, the best we can do with this folder, is not to touch it even with a stick.

How to free up space in Windows with the winsxs folder

As I have commented, we should not delete any of the files found inside the folder.

The only method to be able to interact with these files is through applications that are responsible for manage updates and system files.

Via the command line

Windows incorporates an application that allows us to schedule the execution of tasks in the operating system on a regular basis. Through a simple command (without using the task scheduler), we can configure our computer so that, every 30 days, delete the oldest files.

To execute this command, we must access the command prompt through the CMD command by executing it with administrator permission.

Once we have opened the command line, we copy and paste the following command:

schtasks.exe /Run /TN “\Microsoft\Windows\Servicing\StartComponentCleanup”

Another interesting option to free up space in the winsxs folder on our computer is use the dismx appavailable on the command line.

With the following command, you will scan your computer for remove all superseded versions of the components with the latest updates, leaving only the most recent files.

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

We can also use the /SPSSuperseded parameter in conjunction with Dism.exe so reduce the space that ServicePack occupies, as it will take care of deleting all backups.

Dism.exe /online /Cleanup-Image /SPSuperseded

Through the Free up disk space app

Free disk space

If your knowledge of the command line is limited, the first thing you should try to start freeing up space on your hard drive is to use the Free up space application included natively in Windows.

This application offers us two different methods to free space occupied by the system. However, the one that interests us and the one that takes up the most space on the system are the system files.

Free disk space

To use the system file cleaner, once we have opened the application disk cleanupwe click on Clean system files.

Free disk space

A few seconds later, an image similar to the one we can find will open on these lines where we can delete:

Windows Updates. Non-critical files used by Microsoft Defender Antivirus Downloaded program files. Temporary internet files. System error memory dump files. Diagnostic files generated from Windows errors Files that are created by the graphics system to speed application load time and improve responsiveness. Delivery optimization files that are no longer used. Device driver packages used to install the latest versions of drivers. Language resource files that we do not use. Recycle Bin. Temporary files. thumbnails

In most computers, as is my case, the files of updates installed in Windows that are no longer necessary for the operation of the computer, occupy 3.25 GB.

To delete these files, we must check the Windows Update Cleanup box and click OK. Windows will then delete and/or compress older versions that are no longer needed so they take up less space.

This process can last a few minutes depending on how much space the system updates are taking up.

How much space have I saved?

free space windows xs

In the first section of this article, I have included a screenshot of how much space my winsxs folder is taking up. In the image, we can see how the occupied space was 9 GB.

After performing the operations through the command line and using the Disk Cleanup application, I have managed to free up to 3 GB of space.

Other methods to free up space in Windows

The only two methods to free up occupied space in the winsxs folder are the ones I have shown you in this article. If the space released is not very large, we will have to opt for move the multimedia content that we have stored to a storage unit external or to a cloud.

Related article:

How to free up storage space automatically in Windows 10

We must also consider the possibility of deleting all the applications that we do not use on our computer and that are occupying a very valuable space that we can put to more productive purposes.

If you still manage to free up very little space, you should consider the possibility to restore Windows, and start installing all the applications that you are going to use, avoiding all those that are not necessary on a day-to-day basis.