Advice on how to free space in the WinSxS folder on Application Servers.

Matthew Emery
Matthew Emery used Ask the Experts™
Hi All,

I am doing some housekeeping on application servers I am responsible for.  All applications are working fine I just want to free up space on the drives.

Having come across the WinSxS folder which I know is very important and should not just delete files as I could quite easily break the server or applications.

I was going to start with a simple disk cleanup but discovered this is not installed as standard on Windows Server 2012, it need to be added as a role then requires a reboot which I'd rather avoid outside of the monthly scheduled reboot.

What other options do I have and how do I know which files can or can't be deleted?
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Distinguished Expert 2018
There are no other options.
WinSXS is a beast and even 3rd party tools that say they will do a thorough cleanup do strongly advise to create backups just in case you would need to restore certain files.

Long story short: leave winsxs as is and spare some 20-50 GBs for it.


Thank you for the advice.

Storage being so cheap these days and the cost to the business if it went wrong... makes sense.

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