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Thread: What is winsxs Folder in windows vista

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    What is winsxs Folder in windows vista

    windows vista has this folder in c:\windows\winsxs, when i checked the space of my drive, vista took nearly 3 gb, but now i check and it occupied 6.5 gb.

    What is this folder for and what is the solution of it, please help me?
    "When they give you ruled paper, write the other way..." J.R.J.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005

    Re: What is winsxs Folder in windows vista

    Running vsp1cln.exe (assuming you have Vista SP1) will cut down the size. the file is run from command prompt (start --> cmd) its found in your C:\Windows\System32 folder.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Re: What is winsxs Folder in windows vista

    Windows stores the old dll's and library components in the WinSxS folder. Now if a newer version of this file is a part of the OS, but a particular application requires a particular older version for running, then the older version from the winsxs folder will be used, leaving the newer version in its present place, for other applications which may require it.

    So obviously you cannot delete this directory or move it elsewhere. Nor is it advisable to delete anything here, as such a step could probably make your applications un-workable or even break your system! If you have many applications installed, you can expect to have a jumbo sized winsxs folder.
    If you delete components from the WinSxS folder like the manifets or the assemblies, etc, you could be in trouble. Each system would react differently. What may work for one could break another! For instance, if you install a program that requires that particular assembly, which you may have deleted, then that program will just not run! Compressing the folder is also a no-no, as it could cause problems during WindowsUpdates or while installing a Hotfix.

    The safest way to clean it, is by simply uninstalling applications which you don't require. However, this too is not fool proof, as many applications still leave behind their files here, since they may be shared between other applications. So the probability of dud unused dll's being left behind is quite high.

    And if you are into trying out new software or installing and uninstalling frequently, you may notice that your winsxs size is indeed large, as Vista will store multiple copies of these dll files, in order to let multiple applications without compatibility problem.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    Re: What is winsxs Folder in windows vista

    Hey Calvin, it's more helpful if you'll just provide the link, rather than copy-paste from

    Another good link:

    A looong discussion at technet:
    At the end, a guy writes a tool (winsxslite) to deal with winsxs bloat.

    Those links I got just by googling 'winsxs folder' and 'winsxs cleanup'.
    - Google is your friend.

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