All versions of Windows typically retain obsolete Windows Update files that can take up gigabytes of disk space. Here’s how to delete them.
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Various ways to clean out unneeded update files
Keeping older copies of Windows Update files is a valuable function; it lets you roll a system back to a fully functional state should a new update go awry.
But once an update is installed and working, any older updates it supersedes become obsolete. Unfortunately, Windows retains these no-longer-needed files essentially forever — and adds new ones in every update cycle. Accumulating over the years, those archived updates can consume a significant amount of disk space!
Happily, it’s not hard to remove outdated update files and recover wasted hard-drive space. The only catch: The various Windows versions store archived update files in different ways and in different places, thus requiring different methods to remove them.
That’s the problem reader Patrick Sullivan ran into when attempting to remove old update files from his PC.
- “I remember that Mr. Langa recommended reducing drive clutter in XP by removing unneeded Windows Update files. But after moving to Windows 7, I’m unable to locate the uninstaller files. Is this cleanup process no longer possible in Win7?”