Windows 10 Space Issues

After a couple of years of being out in the wild, Windows 10 is finally coming into its own. I have a lot of mixed feelings about the OS overall to be honest, and I do feel that Microsoft is officially using its install base as guinea pigs for their own personal debugging as the OS just doesn’t feel as stable as past iterations of Windows, but with all that being said Windows 10 is slowly moving into a position of dominance. As with other versions of windows, Microsoft has moved to deploying large updates with what is essentially an image of the OS and migrating settings into it and with that one will notice large chunks of space disappearing from their SSD unexpectedly. 

Just recently I popped open my drive and noticed a nice hearty blue line showing a nice plump C:\ drive. 


I keep tabs on my drives, and needless to say its rather annoying to see a full 18 Gbs of space disappear overnight. Of course I knew that it was an update, but realized that many people probably do wonder where their space has gone and what they can do about it. Looking below, one can see a windows.old file.  This is where the windows update has stored your old OS as the new update image was deployed. It is also this folder that allows one to roll back an update, so please keep that in mind if you are thinking about getting rid of this.


So at first glance, a person might think they can simply delete this file, but since this folder contains operating systems files, Windows will prevent you from deleting this and you will get a message like: Folder Access Deniedimage

Now, you could go ahead and just add yourself to the permissions and propagate them etc. That would be rather time consuming though and you will often still have issues with files that seemingly don’t delete and “linger”. Instead, what you will want to do is use disk cleanup (start – Windows Administrative Tools – disk cleanup) and then select  Clean Up System Files


Choose Previous Windows Installations.


And then hit OK.  Follow the prompts. The utility will prompt you to say yes to not being able to undo the update. If you are sure you want to do this, go ahead and hit yes.


It’ll take a few minutes, and soon you will have reclaimed your SSD and will have deleted Windows.old  .



Copyright © 2010 Paul Guenette and Matthew Sleno.