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Use the Server Cleanup Wizard

Applies To: Windows Server 2003 with SP2, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1, Windows Server Update Services, Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard

The Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) 3.0 SP2 Server Cleanup Wizard can help you manage disk space on a WSUS server. The Server Cleanup Wizard can perform the following tasks:

  • Remove expired and old update revisions

  • Delete computers that have not contacted the server in thirty days or more

  • Delete unneeded update files

  • Decline updates that are not approved and have been expired by Microsoft

  • Decline superseded updates that meet all of the following criteria:

    1. Have not been approved for thirty days or more

    2. Are not currently reported as needed by any client

    3. Are superseded by an approved update


In a WSUS hierarchy, it is strongly recommended that you run the cleanup process on the lower-most, downstream/replica WSUS server first, and then move up the hierarchy. The upstream server should be the last one on which the cleanup is run.


Incorrectly running cleanup on any upstream server prior to running cleanup on every downstream server can cause a mismatch between the data that is present in upstream databases and downstream databases. The data mismatch can lead to synchronization failures between the upstream and downstream servers.


If you remove unnecessary content by using the Server Cleanup Wizard, all the private update files that you have downloaded from the Microsoft Update Catalog site are also removed. You must reimport these files after you run the Server Cleanup Wizard.

Running the Server Cleanup Wizard

To run the Server Cleanup Wizard

  1. Open the WSUS Administration Console by following the instructions in Open the WSUS Administration Console.

  2. In the left pane of the WSUS Administration Console, expand the server name, click Options.

  3. In the Options pane, click Server Cleanup Wizard.

  4. By default the Server Cleanup Wizard removes unneeded content and records for client computers that have not contacted the server for 30 days or more. Select the preferred options, and then click Next.

    The wizard will start the cleanup process, and will display a summary of its work when it is finished.

In some cases, particularly if you run the Server Cleanup Wizard on a WSUS server that has WSUS 2.0 downstream servers, you might see discrepancies in update metadata on upstream and downstream servers. In this case, you should run iisreset on the upstream server to refresh the web cache.


Running iisreset will disrupt all web services on the server. Before you run iisreset, coordinate this task with other web service administrators.