I have a 60G for my system drive. But after more than 1 year of use, the windows folder itself becomes 20G after tons of auto update. I know that Windows installer will automatically backup the patched file for future recovery. But I don't need them. How can I slim my system?

Thanks in advance!


3 Answers 3


I did some quick Googling and found a worthwhile discussion at this site http://forums.techarena.in/windows-update/958447.htm

The summary of a lot of technet references is :

The short summary of all of this is that it is not possible to (safely) delete the uninstallation backup files in Vista/W7, except for the special case of service packs for which a specific tool, different for each service pack, is provided.

The softies at this site http://social.answers.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/vistawu/thread/e43a8e66-f56b-4416-9361-0fc438ffc6b4 suggest not deleting the 'normal' update files but do refer to the MS tools which will clean up the files left behind after you install a service pack

One suggestion of my own - to reduce the install size you could try a clean reinstall - if you update your install dvd to include the latest service pack rather than downloading piece by piece you might find it saves some space. You can customise your Vista install DVD to include the service pack files and also trim out some of the components you don't want using the vLite software. Here is one link to instructions on how you might do this http://www.simplehelp.net/2008/06/04/how-to-create-a-custom-windows-vista-installation-dvd/

Good luck


For Vista there are several things you can do after installing SP2. Note that the following steps will make SP2 permanent on your system (no uninstall possible).

1) Be sure all updates are installed.

2) To remove SP1 junk files: open a command prompt and execute the command "vsp1cln.exe" and answer with 'Y'

3) To remove SP2 junk files: In the same command prompt execute the command "compcln.exe" and answer with 'Y'

Let the Microsoft tools do it's things.

4) The following is at your own risk (be sure to make a backup). Go to the "\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download" folder. These are the downloaded update files. Delete all files and folders in there.

5) Press windowskey-R and type 'cleanmgr /sageset:50' and select the junk you want to get removed. This is not the actual deletion and '50' is just a number. To do the actual clean-up execute the command 'cleanmgr /sagerun:50'.


Download and install the free Ccleaner utility (www.ccleaner.com). Run it, and on the first (Cleaner) tab in the Advanced section, make sure the 'Hotfix Uninstallers' option is ticked. This will remove the Hotfix uninstallers from your system.

It's also worth running the registry cleaner while you're there. I've used Ccleaner for years (it has been downloaded more than 400 million times!) with great success.

  • 2
    CCleaner will not delete/remove/cleanup the updates.
    – Bobby
    Apr 9, 2010 at 9:24
  • @bobby but won't it delete the backup/uninstaller from them? Which would be what the question is about?
    – Gnoupi
    Apr 9, 2010 at 9:30
  • 1
    I think they disabled this feature due to some bug, I don't see it on latest version (when running on vista or Win7 anyway)
    – Eran
    Apr 9, 2010 at 10:03

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