I know there are a lot of posts here about the size of the winsxs folder, but nothing has given me a way to address the size.
I have a client running SBS2011 Essentials, SP1. Their C:\ drive is about 60GB, and 28GB of it is taken up by winsxs. Some files in winsxs are dated as old as July 2009. I can't believe there is a valid reason to have files saved here that are almost 10 years old. C:\ is down to 2GB free. Nothing else is taking "unusual" space... the closest folder is system32 at 5GB. I've tried disk cleanup (including system files), I tried "DISM /online /Cleanup-Image /SpSuperseded"... nothing has touched the size of this folder. I just can't believe Microsoft thinks continuing to grow the size of this folder indefinitely is a good design.
There are about 100 files in C:\Windows\winsxs\Temp\PendingDeletes dating all the way back to 2009... why are they still "pending"? There is almost 1GB in C:\Windows\winsxs\Backup with dates from 2009 to current.
There has to be a way to remove 10+GB from this folder without causing potential system issues. There are lots of warnings about not deleting files from this folder because that might make the system have problems with future updates, or worse... but I find it hard to believe that 28GB of 1000s of multi-year-old files are needed to ensure successful operation.
Any help on how to free up some of the space taken up by winsxs would be appreciated.