After you upgrade Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 to Windows 10, there will be some files left behind that take up a lot of space. Most notably the Windows.old folder. Here’s how to clean it up and get your drive space back.
We already wrote about the importance of not deleting the Windows.old folder, in case you wanted to revert back to Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. But if you’re happy with it, and want to get a good chunk of your local drive space back, you can.
Get Your Drive Space Back After Windows 10 Upgrade
To clean it up, open This PC, right-click your local C: drive and then select Properties from the context menu. Then click the Disk Cleanup button.
Windows will calculate how much space can be saved, and give you a list of files to delete. Instead of running it, click the Clean up system files button.
Windows will go through the calculation process again, and this time it finds more files and folders that can be deleted.
Next you’ll see the files and folders that can be deleted. Notice that the Windows.old folder is listed, and it takes up tons of space. Make sure to check it, and you can go ahead and remove Temporary Windows installation files and click OK.
You’ll see the progress while the files are deleted. The amount of space that these files take up and the time to delete them will vary between PCs. In this example I’m cleaning up files on a laptop that I started with the first Windows 10 preview, and continued to update each build after that, so I’m freeing up just over 20 GB.
If you see any Disk Clean up verification dialog messages come up, just click Yes or OK.
That’s all there is to it. Enjoy the extra space on your local drive to install your favorite apps and desktop programs.
If you’re sure you want to stick with Windows 10 after upgrading, cleaning up these files can save you a lot of space. This is especially important on devices that have a SSD with limited drive space.