Free up 30GB of hard drive space in Windows 10 by cleaning up after the Fall Creators Update

Microsoft has just released its biggest update to Windows 10 yet. The Fall Creators Update introduces lots of new features and general improvements, including new privacy and security options, My People, OneDrive Files on Demand, improvements to Cortana and Edge, 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 Fall 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.


The process is very straightforward. Click Start and type Disk Cleanup. Right-click the Disk Clean-up entry, and select Run as administrator. 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.

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 Fall Creators Update -- a whopping 29GB 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.

The Fall Creators Update also offers another way to do the same thing. Open Settings and go to System > Storage. Under Storage Sense click Change how we free up space. On the next screen, click select the Delete previous versions of Windows option, then click Clean now.

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 Fall Creators Update is mandatory, although you can delay it), they serve little use and so can be cleared out without problem.

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