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Level 10

Cleaning up Wsus content folder

I was wondering if anyone could give me an idea of how large my WSUS content folder should be? We have one upstream server and 18 downstream servers. I noticed the other day my WSUS folder was over 250GB. After reading online I've found conflicting ideas on whether this is normal or not. I've been running a clean up on each server every month with patch manager, but I don't think it's getting rid of all that much stuff. I was reading about having to decline old approved updates and any superseeded updates to really get the cleanup to delete anything. I also thought that if i cleaned up the content folder on my upstream server shouldn't it get cleaned up on the downstream servers as well once they sync back to the upstream server?

Just a little confused as to why the folder is so large we are pulling win7, 2008, 2012, win10, 2016 and office updates. My console shows 20,000 total updates the majority of them declined, but they don't seem to be getting cleaned up.

Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance just trying to get this under control.

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Level 14

Re: Cleaning up Wsus content folder

I don't recall having a ballpark on the GB size on disk of approved updates, usually it's not as big of an issue as the database getting overly large and slowed down.

Reading this, I recalled an older set of articles that I've used in the past to troubleshoot and gauge for WSUS timeouts, but I'm not sure how much of that relates to what you're after:

WSUS Timeout Errors - Too many updates

It also talks about ways to clean up older updates in the system.

For me, I'm not sure that 250 GB seems all that crazy and the data is basically at rest unless an update is copying it "downloading" to the nodes for update anyway. It's the 20k updates that would seem abnormal.

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Level 10

Re: Cleaning up Wsus content folder

Just so I'm understanding this correctly I would need to decline very old updates before they get cleaned off my server? And going back to the downstream servers they should replicate the changes from my upstream server so once the updates have been declined and a cleanup run it should remove them from the downstream servers as well or would I have to run the cleanup wizard on each individual downstream server?

Thanks for the reply I'm going to take a look at the dates of some of my updates and look into declining past years and see if that cleans it up any.

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Level 14

Re: Cleaning up Wsus content folder

It's been a little while since I've been this deep with this process, but what I would do is clean up the primary, synchronize everything (upstream and downstream servers) or wait for them to do it on their schedule, then check your downstream servers.

I believe the downstream servers should clean up themselves during the synchronization, but I would check and then do it if needed, but only after they've synchronized as that's when they're exchanging database information about approvals and the like.

The cleanup wizard cleans up updates that haven't been approved for more than 30 days, unneeded updates and expired updates. I don't think it always works as expected, I vaguely recall declining the updates seemed to kind of force them into an "unneeded" status.

In any case, this article may help some as well. I skimmed it myself, but if you wanted to go nuclear (start over without having to re-install) the wsus reset command is a good option as it's supposed to wipe out the content store and then sync it to what the database actually reflects. Only used it a few times, but overall this has some good information for cross reference:

What to do when your WSUSContent folder grows too large – GBorger's Configuration Manager Blog

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Level 10

Re: Cleaning up Wsus content folder

I'll give it a view. I'd prefer not to reset as I've read it just re-downloads all the updates again.

Thanks again I'll let you know how it turns out.