Reclaim Disk Space After Windows 10 November Update [Tip]

It was last week when Microsoft rolled out the first major update to Windows 10. Dubbed the November Update (1511 build 10586), the package offers some significant improvements in performance as well as some additional new features at its best. Have you ever noticed that how much space on PC’s hard disk can this update eat up? Space than can actually be freed up, and in most cases extends to as much as 17 to 20GB.

The Windows 10 update saves files from your previous installation so that you can revert back to it if you need to. Those who are well versed with upgrading from one Windows version to another would already know that the process includes backing up your previus installation of Windows to make sure that in case anything goes wild during or after the upgrade, you are still able to roll back to the previous stable state.

The same happened with the November update to Windows 10, you may noticed by now that a fair bit of disk space missing. Update released as part of Microsoft’s effort and move to continue offering the OS as a service with major updates being rolled out to improve the experience. The process here involves backing up your earlier version of Windows installation to your HDD, which naturally occupies some space, I mean it a lot.

If you have a large drive, that may not be a big deal. If you have 5GB or more space on the drive where Windows is installed – it will not really be made aware during the update process that a backup will be made. And when you only have space less than 5GB left on your disk, the update process will prompt you to either clean up the disk, or choose another partition, or an external storage device. Given the nature of this update, this is the part where Windows informs you that if you choose an external storage device, you will need to keep it safe incase you ever wish to roll back to the original state after the upgrade.

In fact if you’re running low and happy with your Windows 10 installation, reclaiming that space is easy. Deleting those files can get you back up to 20 GB of disk space. How to do so? There will still be a Previous Windows Installation backed up on your system drive, whether you chose some other drive, external drive or persisted with the system drive. Could be 4GB, or 20GB depending on how you proceeded with the update.

Just open up the Disk Cleanup utility, click Clean Up System Files, and select Previous Windows Installation(s) to be deleted. Now that it’s clear that this backup is purely meant as a fail-safe option for your PC. Notably, if you are confident and satisfied with your Windows update installation, you can simply remove those files and free up some extra storage space. Follow the aforementioned procedure, in a certain manner.

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