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How to Reclaim Storage post Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

If you’re running low on space after getting the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, use this guide to delete the previous version to reclaim storage.

During the installation of the Fall Creators Update, Windows 10 makes a backup of the current setup that can be used to restore the previous configuration in case of problems during and after the upgrade.

The only caveat is that even after the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update was successfully installed, and it’s working without a glitch, the copy of the previous version stored in the Windows.old folder is still around on your drive — wasting gigabytes of space that can be used by more important files.

Although this might not be an issue for devices with large hard drives, if you have a laptop or tablet with limited storage, you can reclaim that storage space (and more).

In this Windows 10 guide, we’ll walk you through three different ways to delete the previous installation saved on your computer after upgrading to the Fall Creators Update to free up storage space.

How to free up space using Storage sense

The quickest way to free up space on your device after installing the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update is to use the Storage sense option.

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on System.
  3. Click on Storage.
  4. Under “Storage sense,” click the Change how we free up space link.Storage Sense Setting on Windows 10
  5. Under “Free up space now,” check the Delete previous version of Windows option.
  6. Click the Clean now button.Delete Previous Version of Windows on Windows 10
  7. After completing the steps, Windows 10 will delete the backup files from the previous installation, including any other temporary files options you may have checked, such as temporary files from apps, files that have been in the recycle bin for over 30 days, and files that haven’t changed in the last month in the Downloads folder.

    How to free up space using Temporary files

    Alternatively, the Storage page in the Settings app allows you to delete the previous version of Windows using the Temporary files settings.

    1. Open Settings.
    2. Click on System.
    3. Click on Storage.
    4. Under “Local storage,” click your device main drive labeled “This PC.”Local Storage Settings on Windows 10
    5. Click on Temporary Files.
    6. Check the Previous version of Windows option.
    7. Click the Remove files button.Temporary Files on Previous Versions on Windows 10

Once you’ve completed the steps, the previous installation files will be deleted from your device, reclaiming several gigabytes to store more important files.

In addition to deleting the previous version backup, you can also choose to remove a number of other junk files to free up space, including temporary files from apps, Downloads folder, and those files in the recycle bin.


How to free up space using Disk Cleanup

In addition to using the Settings app, you can use the Disk Cleanup tool to remove the previous installation backup files.

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Click on This PC from the left pane.
  3. Right-click the Local Disk (C:) drive, and select Properties.This PC Right Click on Windows 10
  4. Click the Disk Cleanup button.Disk Cleanup on Local Storage on Windows 10
  5. Click the Clean up system files button.Cleanup System Files on Windows 10
  6. Check the Previous Windows installation(s) option.
  7. Click OK.Previous Windows Installation Disk Cleanup on WIndows 10

After completing the steps, the Disk Cleanup tool will properly get rid of the Windows.old folder containing the previous installation.

While in Disk Cleanup, it’s also a good idea to select other unnecessary files wasting space on your device, such as Windows Defender Antivirus, Windows upgrade log files, Downloaded Program Files, Temporary Internet Files, System created Windows Error Reporting files and others.

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