Free up over 20GB of hard drive space in Windows 10 by cleaning up after the Creators Update

Clean Win 10

Microsoft has just released its biggest update to Windows 10 yet. The Creators Update introduces lots of new features and general improvements, including new privacy and security options, Paint 3D, Night Light, Game Mode, Dynamic Lock, and more.

However, a big update like this requires a big download, and the files that Microsoft places on your system don’t get removed afterwards. In other words, the Creators Update could be responsible for taking a massive bite out of your free hard drive space -- tens of gigabytes in fact. Fortunately it’s easy enough to reclaim this.

SEE ALSO: Why you shouldn't rush to install the Windows 10 Creators Update

The process is very straightforward. Click Start and type Disk Cleanup. Launch the Disk Clean-up app, make sure your system drive is selected, and click OK.

The tool will calculate how much space can be regained. Ignore this for now and instead click on the Clean up system files button. Select your system drive once more, and click the OK button again.

Disk cleanup

The tool will recalculate your space savings, but this time include a new option -- Previous Windows installation(s). This will include the files created by installing the Creators Update -- a whopping 20.2GB in my case. Check that box, and the Temporary Windows installation files one as well and click OK to remove those backed up files and regain your missing hard drive space.

Photo credit: Sakhal / Shutterstock

A word of warning however, these files are used to roll back your system to a previous installation of Windows and removing them takes away that option. If, however, you intend to stick with Windows 10 (and remember, the Creators Update is mandatory), they serve little use and so can be cleared out without problem.

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