58GB Windows Folder?

DolorousDave used Ask the Experts™
Hi folks--I've got a client with a 128GB SSD that is quickly running out of space.  I've determined that the issue lies with the C:\Windows folder, which is currently at 58GB and counting.  Using file search, manual browsing and other methods, I've been unable to determine which files are taking up this massive amount of space in a directory that shouldn't be more than 10-15GB.

Additionally, I've cleared out old system restores as well.

My only thought is that his offline files are causing the problem.  The actual size of the files he is syncing is only about 10GB but I'm wondering if there are "ghost copies" or something being placed in the Windows directory, or if it's storing previous versions there with file extensions that I can't even begin to guess.

Any thoughts?
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Just show details in the folder and sort by size
narrow down the search by selecting half of the folders and checking the size. Then take half of the folders with the huge file size, repeat and you'll find the area you are having issues with.
if they are using offline files, check the size of \Windows\CSC

Also, look for .DMP files as these are memory dumps and can be deleted.  Also look for temporary files.  If you are using XP, then there could be a lot of old uninstall files from previous patches and services packs etc.  Look at binning those as well.
I'd consider using something like ccleaner as well to help tidy up the system afterwards and maybe a defrag or two because if you delete a lot of stuff it can end up pretty fragmented.

The file cleanup tool which is part of XP can help clear out some files as well.

I've found logs to be the culprit many times, so a search for *.txt and *.log might find you a ridiculous number of tiny files.  that you can quickly identify by folder paths. especially if it's logs you might only see it by a parent folder.

Check C:\Windows\Winsxs.  This one grows every time anything installed (app, patch, activex control, pretty much anything).

Also look for .hdmp files.  These usually go in a user profile location but maybe they're going somewhere under Windows - they are memory dumps of applications created by Windows Error Reporting.

Oops - just noticed it's XP so Winsxs shouldn't be an issue there.

There are several utilities out there which you can use to scan for files size in your system.  I use this https://www.jam-software.de/customers/downloadTrialProcess.php to check the size of the files in my system.  It will give you a good over-all of all the files in your system

Run the Disk Cleanup in Windows would help to reduce the file size as well.
Treesize Free will give you a very good indication as to which folders are taking up the space.

Director of Solutions Consulting
I can't believe no one has mentioned windirstat? It's far and away the easiest way to find out what takin up space.


Thanks guys--gonna give Treesize and Windirstat a shot today.  I've already run disk cleanup and binned log files and dmp files.
Has things like disk cleanup and dropping log files reduced the size significantly?


Windirstat confirmed that the CSC folder was 49GB. Solution was to delete the offline files cache and let it rebuild back to it's original size of 19GB. This is done by pressing shift+ctrl and clicking delete the offline files panel.


This solution allowed me to find out which subfolder was taking up the space. Had to do further research on clearing out the offline files folder cache.

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