Interesting support article. I know there’s folks that have had this problem before.
When viewing the size of the C:\Windows folder, users may notice that the C:\Windows\winsxs directory appears to be taking up large amounts of disk space
The Windows component store (C:\Windows\winsxs) directory is used during servicing operations within Windows installations. Servicing operations include, but are not limited to, Windows Update, Service Pack and hotfix installations.
The component store contains all of the files needed for a Windows installation and any updates to those files are also held within the component store as they are installed. This will cause the component store to grow over time as more updates, features or roles are added to the installation. The component store utilizes NTFS hard links between itself and other Windows directories to increase the robustness of the Windows platform.
The component store will show a large directory size due to the way the Windows Explorer shell accounts for hard links. The Windows shell will count each reference to a hard link as a single instance of the file for each directory the file resides in. For example, if a file named advapi32.dll was 700 KB in size and was contained in the component store and the \Windows\system32 directory, Windows Explorer would inaccurately report that it consumes 1400 KB of hard disk space.
Read more here:
- How to Alleviate Disk Space Pressure Caused By a Large Windows Component Store (WinSxS) Directory: