Reclaim drive space by cleaning up Windows updates in Windows Server 2016 2019
For most desktop machines harddisk space is not a critical issue due to the low cost per Gigabyte of current consumer drives. Unfortunately server disks are a lot more expensive and keeping disk space small for virtual machine implementations is critical, making the ballooning system drive for Windows server an ever increasing problem.
To safely reclaim some of that space you clear out a lot (sometimes up to several Gigabytes) of disk space by clearing up Windows updates.
First, from an Administrator level command prompt, run the following:
dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup /ResetBase
* be sure your server is working correctly first - because you wont be able to uninstall any updates after running this command
Second, open File Explorer and delete all files and folders in:
* be sure NOT to delete the actual "Download" folder, just the contents