Since I'm running a laptop with a 20 GB SSD, i cannot easily fit Windows 8.1 plus personal files on the SSD, let alone install more software.

How can i generate a slimmed-down Windows 8.1? What software would I be able to use to generate a new, slimmer install disk I can use on my small SSD?

I've considered the following tools:

These are the factors I'm looking at.

  • Limitations of free version
  • Ease of use for non-experts
  • Achievable Smallness
  • Differences in result
  • Reliability/stability of result
  • Amount of diskspace and RAM required to run the tool
  • Good/bad experiences of users

Also open to alternative methods, including a manual approach with DISM.

  • Can I ask why you are focused on Win 8.1 - It seems that 10 is slimmer by design but better yet there are a number of very good, slim, Linux distributions such as DSL, Lubuntu, etc. Commented Sep 13, 2016 at 5:24
  • Wow, what a requirement. I'd not even consider installing it on a disk below 100 GB for the applications I want to run and you want to get down to 20 GB. May I ask what you want to use it for? Commented Sep 13, 2016 at 6:48
  • @SteveBarnes, because i own 8.1, not 10. Not trying to run Linux, Thx
    – johny why
    Commented Sep 13, 2016 at 21:32
  • @Thomas, for computing. This HP laptop was sold to me by Best Buy containing a 20 GB SSD drive with Win 8 preinstalled-- not really unusual. Check out the 2 tools i listed, and also nliteos.com. Minimizing a Windows install is not a new thing. Thx
    – johny why
    Commented Sep 13, 2016 at 21:35

1 Answer 1


While Windows 8 is not currently listed as available yet, (promised for later this year), you should keep an eye on WinBuilder which allows various OS images to be created via the Windows PE mechanism. There is also a lot of discussion on Reboot

  • Free - Gratis
  • Simple to use
  • thx for this! But for now, just looking at tools which already support 8.1.
    – johny why
    Commented Sep 17, 2016 at 1:42

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