How to Remove Windows 7 / Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 Backup Files

So you’ve updated your Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 computers with Service Pack 1 (SP1), and everything is running great.  You’ve tested your applications and haven’t run into any compatibility issues, so now you’d like to delete the Service Pack 1 backup files.  Here’s how to do it.

Note: The Service Pack Backup Files allow you to uninstall SP1, rolling the operating system back to RTM.  Once the backup files are deleted, you can no longer roll the system back.  Make sure you have given enough time to ensure that the system is behaving properly with SP1 before deleting the backup files.

The process of deleting the Service Pack backup files is the same in both Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.  Deleting the SP1 backup files will reclaim about 540MB on the system drive.

  • Click the Start button and type cleanup in the search bar to run the Disk Cleanup utility.
  • Scroll through the list of Files to Delete, and select Service Pack Backup Files, as shown below:

  • Click OK to delete the Service Pack 1 backup files.  This will take a few moments.

I typically run a disk defragmentation cycle after the SP1 backup files have been removed, since this is a fairly large amount of data to remove.