Windows 7 SP1 Gets A New Feature To Clean Up Old Windows Updates

Even the most sturdy and steadfast Windows 7 fans are aware by now that the chances of seeing a Service Pack 2 for the world’s most popular operating system are zero to none.

Microsoft does not plan on adding new features to the operating system, and wants it to die when the time comes. Cruel, maybe, but that’s the reality — Redmond wants all its users to migrate to its modern platform, Windows 8, as soon as possible.

So Window 7 users will have to make do with security updates alone.

That’s not to say a new feature does not make an appearance every now and then. One actually just got through. Redmond has released a new patch for Windows 7 Service Pack 1 that cleans up Windows Update files and thereby freeing up space on local drives.

The idea is not exactly new, far from it.

In the past, every time Microsoft released a service pack, it also provided users the option to do a bit of a clean up to remove old Windows Update files that were just lying around. The company has now decided to make this feature available separately as a dedicated option.

As the company explained on its blog:

“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.”

Well, now you do.

This new feature will be available in the Windows 7 SP1 Disk Cleanup tool, and help you free up more of your hard disk real estate. It actually checks the WinSxS directory for Windows Update files and removes items that are no longer needed.

This feature is part of this month’s Patch Tuesday cycle, by the way. To do a cleanup you will need administrator privileges, and probably reboot your computer to get rid of all the files.

And just for the record, this is another sign that a Service Pack 2 for Windows 7 is not coming.