Erase old Windows installations to clean up the disk

Oct 3, 2018 11:45 GMT  ·  By  ·  Comment  · 

Windows 10 October 2018 Update is finally here, and most users can already install it manually without waiting for Microsoft’s automatic rollout.

It’s all possible thanks to the manual download mode that works by simply checking for updates in Windows Update on a system running Windows 10 April 2018 Update.

According to most user reports we’ve seen until now, the update to Windows 10 version 1809 completed successfully in the majority of cases, with our systems here at Softpedia also upgraded to the latest OS feature update correctly.

While after the installation of a new Windows 10 update most users start digging to see what’s new, one of the first things they should do is actually clean up some space. This is because previous Windows installations and the temporary files created to complete the upgrade eat up to several gigabytes on the local drives.

Microsoft has updated Windows 10 to automatically offer to clean up disk drives when users run out of space, but you can manually perform the same cleaning task right now with just a few steps.

Before anything, it’s critical to know that removing previous Windows installations means that you can no longer restore the older version. In other words, you can go back to the April 2018 Update if you’re not pleased with the performance in Windows 10 October 2018 Update.

Cleaning up drives in Windows 10 October 2018 Update
How to clean up the main drive

Microsoft is deprecating the classic disk cleanup utility in Windows 10, but you can still use it to free up space for the time being and remove previous Windows installations.

To do this, just type Disk Cleanup in the Start menu and hit enter. By default, the app can remove files like temporary Internet data, system-created Windows error reports, and others. However, you need to click the option that reads Clean up system files to be able to remove previous Windows installations.

The process does take a while, and the larger the data that needs to be deleted, the longer it takes to complete. However, when it comes to an end, you should reclaim at least several gigabytes of data.

Additionally, Storage Sense also lets you clean up the drives and remove previous Windows installations.

Launch the Settings app on Windows 10 October 2018 Update and go to the following path:

Settings > System > Storage > Change how we free up space automatically

In the Free up space now section, there’s an option that reads Delete previous versions of Windows. Check it and then click the Clean now button.

Again, the process takes a couple of minutes to complete, but it eventually deletes all the data and restores several gigabytes on the main drive where Windows is installed.

Against, it’s essential to keep in mind that removing these files technically means that you won’t be able to return to your previous Windows version.

Microsoft gives users 10 days to go back to whatever Windows 10 version they were running, after which the files can be safely deleted. If you’re still not sure whether the October 2018 Update fits your needs or not, it’s better to wait a few more days and see if there are any critical issues that may force the downgrade to the previous Windows version.

If it’s not and everything is running smoothly, you can safely remove all the files and reclaim your lost space. Windows 10 may also offer to delete old Windows installations once this timeframe expires.

The same policy is being used for upgrades from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 to Windows 10. Going back to an older Windows version will keep your personal files, but you’ll lose apps and drivers installed after the upgrade.

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Cleaning up drives in Windows 10 October 2018 Update
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