Microsoft has introduced a new feature in the Windows 7 SP1 Disk Cleanup tool that helps users get rid of old Windows Updates and thus free up space on their local hard drives.
Launched as part of this month’s Patch Tuesday update cycle, the new option is mostly supposed to check the WinSxS directory for Windows Update files and remove items that are no longer needed.
“With each service pack released, we also give the option of performing a cleanup that removes all previous versions of the files updated by the service pack. However, service pack 1 released well over 2 years ago, and there has not been another service pack since. Think about all those files updated by security updates and hotfixes? Up until today, we have not had the ability to cleanup these files,” Microsoft explained.
Of course, if you wish to perform a Windows Update cleanup you need administrator privileges and you might need to reboot your computer to get rid of all files.
The option is available via a right-click on the Windows drive (usually C:) > Properties > Disk Cleanup.
It's not a secret that Windows updates can take significant space on your drives, so this option certainly comes in handy to users, especially because it can be launched after each Patch Tuesday and remove unnecessary files.