Upgraded your system to Windows 8.1? Time to free up some disk space - gHacks Tech News

Upgraded your system to Windows 8.1? Time to free up some disk space

Whenever you update your Windows operating system, be it by installing security or other patches, or by upgrading to a new service pack or even operating system version, a copy of the previous version of files is stored on the system so that it is possible to rollback the update.

An indicator that this is indeed the case is the Windows.old folder that you may have sitting on your computer's primary hard drive. It contains files and folders that were part of the previous version of Windows installed on the PC.

That's great if you run into troubles on the updated system, but it also means that storage space is being used by those rollback files that could be used otherwise.

After a while, those files become dead weight as you won't need them to roll back to a previous version of the operating system anymore.

Free up Disk Space after Windows 8.1 upgrade

If you have upgraded your operating system to Windows 8.1 recently from Windows 8, or maybe even from Windows 7 to 8 and then 8.1, then you may have Gigabytes of old versions stored on your operating system that you may not need anymore.

Tip: I suggest you work with the new system at least for one or two days to make sure that everything is working as intended. This includes connecting external hardware to the system and running all important applications that you rely on.

The Windows Disk Cleanup tool has been designed to remove temporary or old files from Windows that are no longer needed. This includes files from previous operating system installations as well as updates, and files that are no longer needed because they have been replaced with a newer version.

disk cleanup

Windows 8.1 users who upgraded their system from Windows 8 or Windows 7 may discover that they can remove Gigabytes of space from the system when they run the cleanup tool. The easiest way to run the tool is the following:

  • Tap on the Windows-key if you are not on the start screen.
  • Type Disk Cleanup and select "Free up disk space by deleting unnecessary files".
  • Click on the button "clean up system files". The application restarts and additional cleanup options are available.
  • Look for the entry "Previous Windows installation(s)" and "Windows Update Cleanup" and check how much disk space you can recover if you clean these.
  • Select all areas of the operating system that you want to clean and click on ok afterwards.
  • Note: if you select those options, you will no longer be able to restore the previous version of Windows or a previous update.

Tip: I'd recommend that you run the tool a couple of days after installing updates (to make sure everything is running ok) to free up disk space, especially if storage space is scarce on your primary drive.

Now Read: List of the best system cleaners for Windows

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    1. Howard said on October 20, 2013 at 4:20 pm

      Not mentioned is the windows temp folder NOT covered by the above cleaning which apparently was used in the creation of one of folders that is covered by the above.
      Within it was a folder owned by trusted installer of about 1.7 gig. I had to take ownership and assign myself rights in order to delete it.

    2. ilev said on October 20, 2013 at 6:02 pm

      Beware, Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 ugrade remove Reset and Refresh functions.

      How to restore Reset and Refresh in Windows 8.1


    3. Nebulus said on October 20, 2013 at 6:40 pm

      Upgraded your system to Windows 8.1? Time to free up some disk space? Go back to WinXP. Problem solved :))

      1. ilev said on October 20, 2013 at 6:55 pm

        When you have bought the Surface Pro with 32gb SSD and you have a 16GB of Windows OS, Office and Metro OS + apps , you are left with 12GB of free space soon to be gobbled by Winsxs within a couple of months and you do count every Byte you can free.

      2. JPS said on October 22, 2013 at 7:51 am

        That may sound good,but active support and updating for Windows XP comes to an end early next year.Not that you can’t use XP after that,it’s just there won’t be any support or updating for it.

    4. Julia said on October 21, 2013 at 12:02 am

      Yep Yep
      Up Up we grade

      The fall down will be sooo much more fun… :))

    5. Dario said on October 21, 2013 at 12:09 pm

      I recently upgraded to 8.1 and I like it so far. However I did notice that the performance of my games has slightly gone down and doesn’t respond as fast as it used to. I always kill all tasks and programs I don’t need while gaming using JetBoost, but even after adding the new features to be killed by the booster, the games still didn’t respond very well. It’s a shame that Microsoft doesn’t care much about PC gamers and thinks gamers will buy an XBOX instead. One thing they forgot is that PC gamers are PC gamers because of better performance in FPS games with a keyboard and mouse. They should have added a keyboard and mouse to the XBOX and I might consider switching to a console…Now I have to install XP for gaming alongside with 8.1 in dualboot…sigh

      1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 21, 2013 at 12:35 pm

        Did you make sure that graphics drivers are up to date and games as well? This can also be the reason for performance issues.

        1. Dario said on October 21, 2013 at 1:50 pm

          Yep. Tried both the official NVidia drivers and MS drivers, no difference. Even turned anti-aliasing off and dropped the resolution drastically, no difference. But I am using JetBoost to turn off all services not needed while gaming. What about all those people that don’t know about game boosters and just run a game while having several apps open in the background and a few browser windows? MS should have a built-in ‘gaming mode’. But since the majority are not ‘hardcore gamers’ and the ‘hardcore gamers’ already are geeky enough to know how to tweak their system to have it game ready, I can understand MS’s choice to not spend the time and money to develop a ‘gaming mode’. Besides, there is XBOX they would say…

        2. Martin Brinkmann said on October 21, 2013 at 2:35 pm

          I use my W8 system mainly for gaming, and have not noticed any slowdowns. That said, I only play Dota 2 at the moment and nothing else. Have you tried different games?

        3. Dario said on October 21, 2013 at 2:53 pm

          So far I have only tried Mass Effect 3. I will try turning off more features in JetBoost. If that doesn’t cut it then I will install Windows XP as a DualBoot with 8.1 Either way, as a PC gamer you would want to get the fullest out of your hardware, and somehow bare Windows XP just feels like the best choice for an optimal gaming experience. That said, it depends though until what point the drivers and games will support XP.

        4. Martin Brinkmann said on October 22, 2013 at 9:30 am
        5. Dario said on October 24, 2013 at 7:51 pm
    6. Mikez said on December 8, 2013 at 7:06 am

      Help! I’ve followed ur instructions deleted windows.old folder after upgraded to w8.1 and now needs to go back to windows8 to upgrade bios.
      I have the W8 recovery DVDs but no DVD drive. How do I go about it?

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