Windows 7 - What is WINSXS for?

Asked By mm on 28-Aug-10 03:25 PM
I found a WINSXS folder in my winxp home Windows folder.  It has lots
of subfolders though they are not very big.

Everything I have found so far ties winsxs to Vista, but this is not

The latest folder has 3 .dll's is from 3 days ago, and before that
there are about 30 from 5 scattered dates in 2009.  They all have
various numbers of .dll's in them.

What is this for?

Should I/can I delete all this stuff?

If I delete too much of it, will the system recreate the essential
parts?   :-)

Can I at least delete it from the clone I want to make for the new

mm replied to mm on 28-Aug-10 03:35 PM
I found some more links that explain it, so still interested but I
guess I cannot delete it.  :)
Daave replied to mm on 28-Aug-10 05:55 PM

I do not think you should delete this!
mm replied to Daave on 28-Aug-10 09:08 PM
Okay. I am chastened.

Tester replied to mm on 28-Aug-10 09:56 PM
Let me give you one trick you should always try:

1) If you want to delete any folders from your system, then the best
thing to do isto follow a two way process:
a) First always rename those folders to something else:  e.g. WINSXS

b) Keep those folders renamed for about a week to see if you experience
any problems with the system

c) After about one week, if you saw no adverse effect to the system then
you know that those folders are completely useless and can safely be

As far as I know, WINSXS plays no part in modern computers and operating
systems unless you have computers of pentium 4 or before.  I do not have
these folders on my system.

Hope this helps.
mm replied to Tester on 31-Aug-10 12:23 AM
Yes, good ideas.  Thanks.
Bill in Co replied to mm on 18-Sep-10 08:58 PM
Same here.

Right - again, same here (I am on XP Home).

It contains the SideBySide DLL-related assemblies we have been talking about
in another thread (or at least I was, at one point).    You can Google for
what "SideBySide" is all about, and how it helps to prevent DLL hell.

I sure would not!

I doubt it.
I believe it is installed when a Visual C++ redistributable exe is installed
(which is needed by some certain applications, and is installed at that
time).   And when you install some specific applications, they may add some
stuff to it.

I'd suggest you leave it in.