Free up Gigabytes of disk space after Windows 10 Creators Update installation - gHacks Tech News

Free up Gigabytes of disk space after Windows 10 Creators Update installation

You may save Gigabytes of hard disk space after upgrading a Windows PC to the Windows 10 Creators Update by running the Disk Cleanup Tool.

Veteran Windows users know that previous versions of Windows installed on a computer are kept on disk when the operating system is upgraded to a new version.

These upgrades can be from an older version of Windows, say Windows 7, to a newer one, say Windows 10, or from an older version of Windows 10 to a newer version.

The main reason why the old version of Windows is kept on disk is that users may restore it should they run into issues with the newer version.

Note: This means that you should only run Disk Cleanup once you are reasonably sure that the new version of Windows works fine. A backup is still recommended just to be prepared for all eventualities.

Disk Cleanup after upgrade to Windows 10 Creators Update

windows 10 creators update free up disk space

Tip: Find out how to speed up the loading of the full Disk Cleanup interface on Windows 10, or by using a command.

Disk Cleanup is a built-in tool of Windows that enables you to remove -- mostly -- temporary files or logs on the system.

The elevated version of Disk Cleanup supports the removal of old versions of Windows, and this is exactly what you may want to do after making sure that the new Windows 10 Creators Update version installed fine on the PC. I suggest you wait at least a couple of days before you run Disk Cleanup.

Here is what you need to do to clean up the old Windows installation:

  1. Tap on the Windows-key on the computer keyboard, type Disk Cleanup, and select the tool when the results are displayed.
  2. Select the main drive (usually c:).
  3. When the Disk Cleanup interface opens, click on "Clean up system files".
  4. Select the main drive again.
  5. Locate "Previous Windows installation(s)" under files to delete, and check the box next to the entry.
  6. Select other items that you may want to clean.
  7. Click ok to run the process.
  8. Confirm the prompt (are you sure you want to permanently delete these files).
  9. Confirm the second prompt during cleanup that informs you that you won't be able to restore previous Windows installations if you delete the files.

disk cleanup prompt

The Disk Cleanup tool removes the old Windows installation, and frees up disk space that it occupied in the process. Please note that it may take a couple of minutes to clean up old Windows installations.

As you can see on the screenshot above, the previous installation of Windows -- the Windows 10 Anniversary Edition in this case -- took up 32.9 Gigabytes of hard drive space. In case you are wondering where those files are located on the disk. You find the Windows.old folder on the primary partition, e.g. c:\windows.old\ usually.

Now You: How much disk space did Disk Cleanup free up on your system?

Free up Gigabytes of disk space after Windows 10 Creators Update installation
Article Name
Free up Gigabytes of disk space after Windows 10 Creators Update installation
You may save Gigabytes of hard disk space after upgrading a Windows PC to the Windows 10 Creators Update by running the Disk Cleanup Tool.
Ghacks Technology News

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    1. RossN said on April 11, 2017 at 12:14 pm

      Ran cleanmgr, removing junk, so I just had a couple of previous Windows entries left to do.
      Then ran it again, freeing up 9.42GB of Anniversary Edition files..

    2. CHEF-KOCH said on April 11, 2017 at 1:27 pm

      Or just install CCleaner with advance winapp2.ini.

    3. Yuliya said on April 11, 2017 at 3:59 pm

      Forced OS reinstallation every six months. Oh, the joy of using Windows 10, lol

      1. LikeReally said on November 4, 2017 at 6:25 pm

        Oh how I dislike these kind of comments. No one is forcing you to use Windows. There is plenty of options out there, Linux, OSX, anything you might like more. But crapping all over Windows for no apparent reason, totally unnecessary. Worst of all, Windows 10 works like a charm, it actually made me finally go back from OSX after 10 years of constant use. 3 of my production machines are running Windows 10 here and not a single one has issues. Updates? You are annoyed by updates? You live under the rock. They improve OS in every possible way, and even if they have some initial bugs at the launch, that’s normal, every single platform has them. Updates are also needed to keep up with hackers/attackers, making OS more secure in every possible way. Not sure what’s your problem here, but you seem like one of those who complain on every OS out there, nothing is good enough for your kind. Get a life!

      2. DavidR said on November 4, 2017 at 6:30 pm

        lol Yuliya, you are complaining about Windows 10 just because it leaves Windows OLD folder with all the files from previous installation?! It gives you a choice, if you don’t like this new update for any reason, it gives you an option to roll back to the old one. How in the f*****g hell is this bad?!! It give you options, I repeat OPTIONS! Plus, there is a built-in tool right here in Windows to erase all those Windows OLD files with just a couple of simple mouse clicks (read this article thoroughly next time before s*****g on public pages).

        Oh my God, this world is going wrong way…

    4. Jeff said on April 11, 2017 at 7:19 pm

      Smart people do not use Windows 10, only idiots do.

      1. Not Jeff said on April 11, 2017 at 9:31 pm

        All people named Jeff are idiots

        1. Also Not Jeff said on April 13, 2017 at 1:16 am

          It sure sucks to be Jeff.

      2. Jeff 2 said on August 11, 2017 at 6:02 am

        You’re right Jeff

    5. ffuser said on April 11, 2017 at 8:00 pm

      What this has to do with Firefox?

    6. Peter (NL) said on April 12, 2017 at 11:37 pm

      @Martin :
      This article can be filed in another topic / category. It has obviously nothing to do with Mozilla Firefox browser.


    7. Pants said on April 13, 2017 at 5:09 am

      Hah .. this is tagged as a Firefox article .. MARTIN!!!!

      1. Martin Brinkmann said on April 13, 2017 at 7:30 am

        Corrected, thanks :)

    8. Sundeep said on April 14, 2017 at 8:47 pm

      I thought the old build of windows disappears automatically after couple of months or some time. Sure you can use your suggestion to get the space now.

    9. Glendaleguy said on November 14, 2017 at 6:47 pm

      I love Windows 10 (Creator update took quite a while to install). Running it on my 12 yr old Dell 1537 Laptop, which started with windows Vista, then upgraded to Windows 7 Home and now to Windows 10 Home. It has never worked better, the CPU doesn’t run at max capacity much, disk driver and ram also running at ‘lighter’ amounts, the fan does not run often as it did on the old OS systems. The settings options are so easy/user friendly… Runs perfect with older OS chips/processor. The list goes on… Bravo to Microsoft! I would definitely not remove old versions or restore will not work. Just let the system dispose of them as designed by the latest OS.

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