Monthly Archives: November 2017

Free up space after Windows creators updates.

Microsoft recently released the latest major update for Windows 10 but you may not know that Windows keeps a copy of the old operating system after it does feature updates, mainly to make it easier to roll back the update if issues are encountered, but that it means that the old installation of Windows takes up numerous Gigabytes of space on your HDD that can slow the system down.

It is recommended to remove the old installation files only if you are confident that you don’t need to roll back to the previous version. If you are in doubt, create a backup of the main Windows partition so that you may restore it should the need arise to roll back the Windows version.

Whenever you update your system, Windows will automatically cache all its Windows update install files. Though this may seem strange, this does help if ever you are needed to roll back the Windows updates. Using the cache, Windows does the updates without needing to download them again. downside is that the Windows update folder can grow in size and take up GBs of hard drive space. If space is limited, clearing the Windows update cache can help you regain that lost hard drive space. Moreover, clearing the update cache also helps in situations where the update files are corrupted. Here is how you can clear the Windows update cache in Windows 10.

There are a few ways to do it, but this should be the easiest to follow for all users.

Hit the Windows key, then type “disk cleanup”, and select the drive where Windows is installed (usually C:).
look for “Previous Windows installations”.  If it is not there click on “Clean up system files” & follow the prompts
You can also check other entries to free up more disk space if you wish.
Hit “ok” once you have checked all entries to start.
Confirm “are you sure you want to permanently delete these files”.
Windows will remove files and frees up the disk space in the process.
Close the dialog box to return to windows.

The latest version update to Windows 10  comes with an automatic clean up option that you may wish to activate. Windows 10 will usually delete previous versions of Windows 10 ten days after installation of the update. This gives you more than a week to determine whether the new version is stable and functional before the old version gets deleted.  The main advantage of this method is that it is automated. Set it once, and you never have to worry about cleaning up disk space manually again. The downside is that the previous installation files are deleted after exactly ten days. This means that you only have ten days to test the new version, and also that disk space won’t be freed up earlier.

Clearing the update cache in Windows is easy, but probably not as straightforward as it should be in some cases. Although we can use the Disk Cleanup Utility, it may not clear the update cache completely, so if you are going to use the manual method, you may also need to stop the Windows update service before clearing the update cache. To do that, search for “Services” in the Start menu and open it. If you are using your system as a standard user, then open it as an administrator using the right-click menu.  Once you have done a cache clean it also makes sense to a defrag of your drive if you are using an IDE or SATA based system as opposed to an SSD in a more modern or updated PC or laptop.