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Cleaning Up the WinSxS Folder on Server 2012 (non-R2)

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Last Modified: 2015-08-24
The WinSxS folder is taking up a lot of space on some of our machines and I don't plan to revert to old service packs or uninstall any updates so if possible I would like to reduce the size of WinSxS.

I found this article:
https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/Dn251565.aspx

But this only works in Windows Server 2012 R2.  The machines I have are non-R2 and these commands do not apply.


Is there a method for reducing the size of the WinSxS folder on Server 2012? (non R2), and if so is the method supported by Microsoft officially?

Also curious about Server 2008.


I tried the disk cleanup tool but it doesn't have a button for cleaning "system files". This might be because I didn't install the Desktop Experience feature, I copied over these files to the System32 and System32/en-US folders instead:


C:\Windows\WinSxS\amd64_microsoft-windows-cleanmgr_31bf3856ad364e35_6.2.9200.16384_none_c60dddc5e750072a\cleanmgr.exe
C:\Windows\WinSxS\amd64_microsoft-windows-cleanmgr.resources_31bf3856ad364e35_6.2.9200.16384_en-us_b6a01752226afbb3\cleanmgr.exe.mui

I'm trying not to install the entire desktop user experience feature on a server, just to get access to this cleanup tool, so unless you know that installing the desktop experience feature will enable the tool to also delete system files I'd rather not install it.


Thanks in advance.
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