Run Disk Cleanup after the Windows 10 upgrade to free space

Whenever you install an update on a PC running Windows, especially if it is a service pack, larger update or even upgrade to a new version of the operating system, you end up with leftovers that remain on the system.

They are there so that you can return the system to the old state. That is useful in the beginning as updates can be the cause of issues on the system.

We have seen quite a few security update releases in the past for instance which produced blue screens, reboots or other undesirable effects.

Those leftover files become dead weight soon thereafter though. If you have installed the updated and noticed no issues fora couple of days, weeks or even months, then you may want to consider removing them.

This is especially true on systems that don't have a lot of free disk space. Depending on the updates, you may be able to free up Gigabytes of storage on the system.

If you have upgraded a Windows PC to Windows 10, and it does not matter if you did so using the preview or will do so once the operating system gets released officially, you may be able to remove old Windows installation files from the system to free up space.

Here is what you need to do

Attention: removing system files from previous installations prevents rollbacks on the system. Make sure you have used the operating system for a while after the update before you perform the operation to reduce the chance that the update causes issues on your system. I suggest that you spend at least a week working on the system.

disk cleanup windows 10

  1. Boot into the Windows 10 operating system as usual.
  2. Tap on the Windows-key, enter Disk Cleanup and select the result from the list that is displayed.
  3. Click ok on the first screen and wait for the scan to complete.
  4. Click on clean up system files once the window is displayed on the screen.
  5. Click ok again.
  6. Scroll down until you find previous Windows installation(s) listed there and check it.
  7. Check Temporary Windows installation files as well.
  8. You can check other items as well here to free up more.
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As you can see on the screenshot above, I was able to free up 3.7 Gigabyte of storage space by running Disk Cleanup on the Windows 10 PC.

You may be able to free up more or less depending on the updates that you have installed on your Windows system. Disk Cleanup is part of all recent versions of Windows.

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Run Disk Cleanup after the Windows 10 upgrade to free space
If you have updated your PC to Windows 10, you may want to run Disk Cleanup to free up Gigabytes of disk space on it.
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Responses to Run Disk Cleanup after the Windows 10 upgrade to free space

  1. David Seong October 27, 2014 at 4:35 pm #

    I cannot find disk cleanup when i search for it.

    • Pamela Greenwood September 8, 2016 at 7:21 pm #

      I can't find disk cleanup on my task bar

  2. David Seong October 27, 2014 at 4:41 pm #

    If you cannot find Disk Cleanup in the search, try searching for "free disk space by deleting unnecessary files".

  3. Stan October 27, 2014 at 10:03 pm #

    To get to Disk Cleanup...

    Open File Explorer or My Computer. Right click the (C:) drive, and select Properties. The Disk Cleanup button is in the first tab that opens.

    This works in Windows XP and probably earlier, as well as on Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 - probably in Win 10 but I haven't tried that yet.

    Another way in Windows 8 and up is to open the Control Panel and go to System and Security -> Administrative Tools. There you will find the Disk Cleanup tool.

  4. jasray October 28, 2014 at 12:04 am #

    Yep, really important to eliminate Windows.old if playing around with Windows 10 and the latest update on a virtual system--couldn't figure out where all my limited space went for a day or so. Windows.old . . . .

  5. OneWindows October 28, 2014 at 1:00 am #

    Surprisingly useful! I found more than 4GB prev. Windows instl. with this trick. A must after each update or build upgrade.

    And yes, to find it you can't click the "Disk Cleanup" icon it will only open the picture icon, I have to click "free disk space by deleting unnecessary files" result to run it.

    Thanks Martin :)

  6. Trebuchette October 28, 2014 at 9:12 pm #

    just type


    from a command prompt to open Disk Cleanup.

  7. Elben October 29, 2014 at 2:46 pm #

    I also used this trick once to delete a file that was not otherwise deletable. I don't remember exactly but once I was not able to delete a file-windows was giving me an error. What I did was I created a windows.old folder and moved the undeletable file to this folder and ran Disk cleanup tool and it got deleted. After I came to know about Unlocker, I didn't have to do that again.

  8. willie vigil October 1, 2015 at 3:30 am #

    why did i loose my dvd/cd when i upgraded to windows 10 from 8.1 ? how do i fix this problem ?

  9. JEFF December 4, 2015 at 6:17 pm #

    same thing happened to me! did you figure out yet how to fix t

  10. Anonymous February 19, 2016 at 10:46 am #

    is there any need to keep the old windows files saved, and if so how can you save them to an external drive?

  11. Herman E Borden August 13, 2016 at 8:20 pm #

    how to create disk space on f drive

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