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Windows 7: How to Remove Windows 7 SP1 Backup Files to Gain / Free up Disk Space

by Shivaranjan on April 19, 2011


Recently the Service pack 1 (SP1) was released for Windows 7, while the Windows 7 SP1 gets installed it creates backup files so that the SP1 can be uninstalled if the user prefers to uninstall it later. This backup is created incase user faces any issues after installation of Windows 7 SP1 so that they can roll back or uninstall Windows 7 SP1.

Should the Windows 7 SP1 Backup files be deleted?

Personally after installation of a service pack on Windows, I usually prefer to keep the backup files for a week or two before I remove the backup. If there are any issues with the update it usually surfaces within this time period and If needed I always have the option to roll the update back. Some of my friends prefer to keep just for a couple of days and then remove the backup files to gain disk space. I would recommend that you keep the backup files for at least a week before proceeding with the deletion of backup files.

Before Windows 7 Backup file backup file Deletion:


After Windows 7 SP1 backup file deletion:


So here we see that I have gained around 3.2 GB of space, if you are running low on disk space then go ahead remove the Windows 7 SP1 backup files.

How to remove Windows 7 SP1 backup files to free up or gain disk space?

There are two ways in which the backup files can be removed:

1. Using command line

2. Using the built in Windows 7 Disk Cleanup up tool.

Method 1: Removing the Windows 7 SP1 backup files using the command line

Step 1: Start elevated command prompt using. Start > Accessories > Right Click command prompt and select ‘Run as Administrator’ (refer to the screenshot below)


Step 2: Now enter the the following command in the command prompt and hit the enter button

dism /online /cleanup-image /spsuperseded /hidesp


(click to enlarge)

Now this will run for few minutes and the deletion of the Windows 7 SP1 backup files should now be gone. If you want to learn more about the command that is used here, you can head here and read more.

Method 2: Removing the Windows 7 SP1 backup using disk cleanup tool

Step 1: Open Disk Cleanup tool with elevated privileges. Start > type ‘Disk Cleanup’ > Right click ‘Disk Cleanup’ and choose ‘Run as Administrator’ option. (refer to the screenshot below)


Step 2: Now the window that comes up select the C: Drive or the drive in which you have installed your Windows 7.


Step 3: Now make sure you select the ‘Service Pack Backup Files’ in this screen. Once you have selected this option you can choose the OK option towards the button of screen.


Step 4: Now Windows 7 will ask for confirmation to delete the files. Hit the ‘Delete Files’ button.


It will take couple of minutes for this operation to complete and now you should have gained disk space by removing the Windows 7 SP1 backup files.

In case of any questions please post this in the comments section.

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