How to Delete Component Store Files to Free Up C Drive Space

The component store in Windows can occupy quite a lot of C drive space. Here’s how to delete component store files to free up C drive space.

Windows has something called a Component Store. By its nature, the Component Store files consume a lot of hard disk space. On some occasions, the component store can occupy anywhere from 4GB to 10GB of hard disk space in the C drive. As you can guess, that is quite a lot of disk space to spare. When the disk space is low, you can clear the Component Store to increase C drive space. Just follow the steps below, and you will be good.

What are the Component Store files?

For curious users, the Component Store, in simple terms, is a WinSxS folder located in the C:\Windows folder. The component store is introduced in Windows XP to manage various parts and files of the Windows operating system. Usually, the files in the component store are responsible for customization and updating Windows. Windows handles the Component Store files by bundling them into packages. As the updates are available, some of these packages become obsolete. When that happens, Windows keeps them aside and deletes them as and when needed. If you want to learn more about the component store, read this detailed Microsoft document.

Generally, Windows automatically triggers a pre-defined scheduled task to clean up component store files. However, for whatever reason, Windows can sometimes miss the schedule. As a result, the component store occupies a lot of space unnecessarily. You can take things into your hands and delete component store files to free up C drive space in those situations. The good thing is, Microsoft provides a safe way to manage and delete component store files on Windows.

Before proceeding, create a system restore point to be on the safe side.

Delete Component Store Files

  1. Open the start menu.
  2. Search for command prompt.
  3. Right-click on command prompt and select “Run as administrator.”
  4. Paste the below command in the Command Prompt to see if you actually need to clear component store.
    dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /AnalyzeComponentStore
  5. If the “Component Store Cleanup Recommended” flag is set to “Yes”, you need to clear component store cache. Proceed to the next step.
    Component store cleanup
  6. Enter the below command to start the cleanup process.
    dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup

Depending on the component store size and the number of obsolete packages, it can take quite some time to complete the component store cleanup process. Sit back and wait till the process is complete. Don’t turn off or interrupt the process.

In my case, the component store cleanup freed up around 5GB of space. As you can tell, that is quite a lot of C drive space that can be utilized for other things.

You don’t have to do this regularly. Windows will take care of the cleanup process for you usually. However, the component store is one of the places you should keep in mind if you are looking for various ways to free up space on Windows 10.

That is all for now. If you like the article, do check out how to delete Windows bt and Windows ws folders, how to move downloads folder, and how to limit chrome cache to free some more space in your C drive.

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