The Windows 10 Creators update officially launched earlier this week and it’s quite a nice update. Plenty of processes have been streamlined and cool new features have been added. If you have already updated or are considering updating soon, be aware that you may notice a big drop in your usable hard drive space, this is normal and can easily be fixed, so tag along and we will show you exactly how to free up on average 30gb of space. (This guide works for any and all major Windows System Updates.)
If you have just installed Creators and are wondering where the hell all your hard drive space has gone, don’t freak out just yet. Windows has made a backup copy of your old operating system, just in case something goes wrong during the update. Once your system has been updated and is in working order, you won’t need to keep this backup folder anymore. (it's automatically removed after 10 days anyway)
This backup folder is stored on C: drive (unless you have installed Windows elsewhere) and is called Windows.old. Luckily though, removing the Windows.old folder is easy and won’t harm your computer in any way. Below are the steps you will need to follow in order to remove this backup copy of Windows safely.
How to Free up Gigs of Space on Your Hard Drive After Installing Windows 10 Creators or Any Other Major Windows Update.
The folder taking up all the space will be saved on the same drive your operating system is installed. This drive is generally going to be C: However, if you have installed Windows elsewhere, that is where you will need to go for this guide.
NOTE: Don’t be fooled into thinking that if you simply find the folder, you can delete it, save some space and be done. Doing this will not work as well as the correct method and may in fact, cause some complications.
To remove this folder correctly, there is a specific method you need to follow. First, open Windows Explorer and click on This PC, found in the left-hand pane. Next right-click on Local Disk C: (or whatever drive you have Windows installed on) and select Properties.
This will open a new window, in this new window, stay on the General tab and select Disk Clean-up to the right of the pie chart.
Another new window will open, this will show you a list of things that you can clean. Next, you will need to select Clean up System Files (You will need admin rights to do so) Now just wait for the calculating process to conclude, it might take some time, so be patient.
When the calculating is finished, you will see another new window, this window will display all the things you can delete to free up some space on your computer. The main ones you are going to want to tick the boxes for are:
- Previous Windows installations.
- Temporary Windows installation files.
Feel free to tick any of the other boxes that you know you want to clear, especially if they are using a fair bit of disk space. After you have picked out what you want to delete click Ok. You will see another warning box that lets you know if you delete these files, you won’t be able to restore Windows back to a previous state. Just accept the warning with Ok once more. The process will take some time just as the previous calculation did.
Just a final note, make sure your version of the Creators is working fine for a few days at least before deciding to remove the backup copy. For example, the Windows 10 Fall Creators update has major start menu bug on some systems which doesn't always show straight after updating. After that, you should know all is going to be fine.