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Why does the /winsxs folder grow so large, and can it be made smaller?

I know there are lots of posts about the winsxs folder, but I have yet to find any useful information about shrinking it. I have already tried running the two service pack removal tools.

The folder totals a massive 16GB (about 10% of the entire drive!)

If anyone has any pearls of wisdom then please share them.

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marked as duplicate by Tom Wijsman, Indrek, 8088, CharlieRB, Canadian Luke Sep 7 '12 at 6:51

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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or superuser.com/questions/1/… –  Јοеу Jun 13 '10 at 11:32
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2 Answers

The size of the WinSxS folder is misleading. Most of it's contents are hard-links to other locations. Hard-links are like shortcuts, but at a lower level such that deleting the link also deletes the original and the link shows in Windows Explorer as using the size of the entire file, even though it takes even less disk space than a normal shortcut.

Thus, the folder is not really using anywhere close to 16GB.

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I don't think there is much you can do about the size.

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/jonwis/archive/2007/01/02/deleting-from-the-winsxs-directory.aspx

There is this application created for Vista, don't know if I trust it or not.

http://windowsfixup.com/2009/05/winsxs-folder-taking-up-too-much-disk-space-fix/

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direct link to winsxsLite sites.google.com/site/winsxslite –  zcrar70 Jun 19 '11 at 17:01
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