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Windows 10 updates are hogging up all my laptop's memory!

Not a computer-savvy guy but I love your column. I bought a small, cheap ($129.00) "travel" computer just for the road because it has nothing of mine on it (so no loss if it is lost or stolen) and all I need is internet access and email. It has 32G memory storage. The problem is that the Windows 10 operating system keeps updating and taking up all the memory. The last one of these updates finally took it all, so I couldn't even download a photograph. Is there a way to stop the Windows updates, especially since I don't need or want them? Thanks.

-- Submitted by jsmilligan71

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If all you need is internet access and e-mail…

In reply to: Windows 10 updates are hogging up all my laptop's memory!

…you might find that a user-friendly version of Linux (yes, there is such a thing these days!) might work better for you than Windows. My experience has been that for the same hardware, Linux generally runs faster and longer. You can also try it out first before installing by booting into a live environment (usually installed on a USB stick these days). If this is a route you want to go, you might be able to find local people who can help out by contacting the computer science department of the nearest community college or university - often there are knowledgeable students looking to earn a few extra bucks who could easily get it working for you. The version (called "distro" for "distribution") that I'm the most familiar with is Linux Mint, and depending on which "flavor" you choose, it can look very much like Windows.

I know this doesn't address your issues with Windows, assuming you're wanting to stay on that OS, but last I heard Windows 10 doesn't let you turn off the updates, so I'm not sure what can be done. Maybe someone who knows Windows better might have an idea…

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windows hoh memory

In reply to: If all you need is internet access and e-mail…

use windows disk cleanup. press clean system files. that might help

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Linux Mint

In reply to: If all you need is internet access and e-mail…

mint17@mint17 ~ $ uptime
10:10:18 up 96 days, 22:18, 2 users, load average: 0.30, 0.56, 0.73

I've not rebooted for almost 100 days. Several programs added, several removed, no reboot needed. Windows can't do that! I control all updates, no unscheduled mandatory updates either. I run Chrome and Firefox browser, and Thunderbird email. Each night put into Suspend/Locked mode. No complaints.

My partition size
118 GB — 67 GB free (43.1% full)


I don't save a lot of large files, so this is 4 years later, only 51 GB used yet. I do make larger file saves always to an USB external drive.

Linux is the way to go on such a small drive as on your computer. You can supplement that with a USB flashdrive to make file saves to.

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Choices

In reply to: Windows 10 updates are hogging up all my laptop's memory!

This whole subject has been talked about in forums since Windows 10 came out. First of all, there are many types of updates. Twice a yeas (spring and fall) there are the "creator updates. These usually come out March and September but the time you get them could be a month later. They are HUGE. In fact, they are the equivalent of a complete reinstall of windows from scratch EXCEPT it tries to save your files, programs and most of your settings. So, let me ask this: What make and model is it? Also, you say it has 32 GB of memory. I'm guessing you mean RAM? Does it have a hard disk (hdd) or solid-state disk (ssd)? (I hope it has one of those. Do you know how big the C: drive is? (hint: go to "This PC" on the desktop and double-click on that (left-clicks). Look down the left side of the window for C: and right-click on it to get a menu and left-click on "properties". The sizes should be in the middle.

So, are you getting an error message? If so, what is it? If not, the update you are probably dealing with is the last semi-annual update. They can take up to 12 hours but, if your PC is small, it could take longer. Overnight is a good theory. Then it will install cumulative updates then a few stranglers. So, in addition to the creator updates, there will be others that take somewhat less time. YES, it is very difficult to work while major updates/upgrades are going on. From what I heard, the only way to stop all updates is to turn off the Windows Update service. So, if you have access to cortana, type in "services.msc". Find the windows update service (write the information down) then set it to "disabled". So, my suggestion is that I "hope" you didn't mean that your hard disk is 32 GB because, technically, the Windows 10 minimum is larger than that. If you don't do updates or skip updates, you could find the laptop turns into a mess. And you won't get security updates. Also, be prepared to load drivers for the correct version of Windows 10 (32-bit? 64-bit?). Laptops/notebooks usually have some custom hardware that need NON-Microsoft drivers. You'll find those on the website for the manufacturer of your computer. (support) such as Support.Dell.com. If you had Windows 10 PRO you can postpone updates but I've heard you can't do that with Windows 10 Home Edition.

My suggestion: Make sure you have plenty of DISK space. If RAM is 32 GB that is great but not if it is disk. Part of the disk goes to paging files and then, when you update Windows, it keeps a copy of the old windows and the new version for 10 to 30 days (sorry, forgot which) before deleting the old one. Windows 10 is notorious because Microsoft decided to FORCE updates on people and, as with any computer, you really can't pick and choose updates because most updates require previous updates to already be in place. Hope some of this helps.

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Hogging up Laptop Memory

In reply to: Choices

You can go to Disc Cleanup Check items to be removed then clean Then go to Clean up system files go through the list you can read and check most all Except Restore Points ! Depending on what version you are working with You are looking for delete Previous Installations It is a Good idea to configure a restore point Before doing a disc cleanup for safety by going to control panel system advanced system settings system protection Make sure protection is on and create a restore point You may have to clear some disc space to configure a restore point When done you should be able to regain some storage space

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Disable the Windows Updates service

In reply to: Choices

It's the only sure fire way to stop updates. It works 100% of the time, it's easy and it's easily reversible. Just understand that your device will become susceptible.

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Howie, I'm pretty sure it 32GB disk space

In reply to: Choices

And probably one of the eMMC flash type storage--not hard disk or SSD. Those are most likely what comes in those budget type laptops or Netbook as they use to call them.

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Thanks

In reply to: Howie, I'm pretty sure it 32GB disk space

I kind of figured that out. If he had a machine with 32 GB of RAM, it would be a huge monster (this is why I keep "pushing" for firmer definitions rather than "general usage"... too confusing).

I wonder if that computer really came with Win 10 on it or not. Especially after looking at Microsoft's minimum requirements for Win 10 (current). As more features go in, the requirements do get higher, no?

The solution is that MS should STOP updating (especially feature updates) if the computer doesn't match the HCL or the current disk space issues. I know you can't have a user pick and choose their updates since no computer OS can really do that, but still. Maybe, at least a warning to those that can't do an update asking the user to free up some space.

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Looks like they still sell these as Walmart

In reply to: Thanks

https://www.walmart.com/ip/HP-Stream-11-6-Laptop-Windows-10-Home-Office-365-Personal-1-year-subscription-included-Intel-Celeron-N3060-Processor-4GB-RAM-32GB-eMMC-Storage/54056479

HP laptop comes loaded with Windows 10 Home and 32GB eMMC storage. Anyone who buys this will find themselves facing the same issue as this member -- once it receives a few big Win 10 updates... Minimun requirements of Windows 10 home is 16GB before the big updates.

I agree with you, MS should stop these updates if the PC doesn't match the HCL or disk space issues. Then again, I think HP should be more responsible knowing that 32GB storage capacity will without a doubt be eaten quickly with these big Windows updates. Sad

IMO for people who are buying a budget laptop for checking email and surfing the web should look into ChromeBooks and if there is any word processing or Excel needed, Google Docs and Sheets will do just fine and everything gets stored in the cloud. But that's just my opinion.
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Not Just Walmart

In reply to: Looks like they still sell these as Walmart

Try the HP website! They now come in a lot of colors. But it is interesting that they seem to push OneDrive. Not very good if you don't have Internet access nearby your location.

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The Stream at Best Buy is better

In reply to: Looks like they still sell these as Walmart

I've repped for Intel at Walmart and Best Buy and I actually love the Streams and have seen them sell like crazy. If you got it for that price - good for you! The problem is the 32gb at Walmart sucks, (I bought it on Black Friday and had to send it back), but the one at Best Buy has 64 gb and it works! I bought it instead when the HP guy pointed out it has 64gb EMMC (I thought the Stream was the Stream), and I love it. It's the little white 11" version.

I disrupted the Windows 10S it comes with (they are trying to make it Microsoft's answer to the Chromebooks by making it safe if you stay on Edge and only download from the Microsoft store), by downloading Chrome onto it.

But you're right, for only streaming, Chromebook is probably a better idea for you. I can actually load the full version of Office 365 onto mine (not the free app version that comes with it), so it works for me to have a full Windows 10 computer.

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The Problem with That

In reply to: The Stream at Best Buy is better

If, let's say, you only have a 32 GB version. You know that everything stored on it AT THE TIME of purchase fits onto the EMMC. Once you "touch it" or change anything, you run the risk of running out of EMMC. Remember "netbooks". They could, basically, run Windows XP. The one I had... OK, stiill have...could have been upgraded to a Win 7 "sampler" version. But, the full version? Maybe. or Maybe not.

If you look at the HP website and go into products -> notebooks, you will see that they are really pushing the tiny machines. BUT, they are also highly suggesting you use ONEDRIVE. That is, you don't store anything on the EMMC. You use the cloud. I know where I have to go in Win 10 if I want to change where various components of Win 10 reside. From the default of C: to whatever drive I want. You have to be careful that the system can actually connect to the Internet and to the cloud before some component is needed enabling you to do so. But what about an unsophisticated (not a negative adjective) user? The sad thing is that most tech people won't buy a computer like this unless it was single purpose... maybe. But someone who needs "low budget" computers might buy one and not have the expertise to take into account not only the size of the OS but also updates (especially spring/fall) but added apps (like OFFICE) and then make sure all of their photos and documents are on external storage (either a jump drive or cloud). If you see what I mean. To use a computer only running 32 GB of storage (like my iPhone 5), it takes a lot of discipline that most users don't have. I don't even think I have that. So, I agree with you (and others) that these tiny computers may have a place, but one has to evaluate their own needs and realize that size matters.

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Problem can't be solved

In reply to: Choices

These inexpensive pc's have 4GB memory and 32GB of eMMC soldered in storage. They have a crippled version of Win10 that will only install apps from Microsoft. If you leave windows alone and don't try to add none MS apps the machine will work but if you try to add a non MS app like the Chrome browser for example it installs full Win10 which doesn't fit and hangs the pc. I couldn't move enough files to a SD card to make it work. MS and the hardware companies shouldn't sell Win10 machines with 32GB storage. It is fine in a chromebook but not for Win10.

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Probably an m.2

In reply to: Choices

When @jsmilligan71 said there was 32GB of memory on a $128 laptop I believe storage is what is being talked about. I have run across several of these systems. They have a 32GB SSD m.2 card for the drive and that is it. There isn't much room for the bi-annual updates. Some of them have a micro sd card reader that is helpful and this might help @jsmilligan71.

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re:choices

In reply to: Choices

Reread the initial post. The person bought the computer for $129. You can't buy 32GB of ram for $129. At $129 my guess is they have 4GB of ram and 32GB of storage, probably SSD as I don't think a 32GB HDD has been made in many, many yeras.

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Sorry

In reply to: re:choices

I must have mist the $129 or assumed it was a typo at the time. Ah, I remember now. I ignored that because he didn't state if the computer was new or used. My computer (NEW) was $500 and it came with 12 GB RAM and a 1 TB drive. Yes, was on sale at Best Buy. So, prices don't tell me much.

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Not RAM

In reply to: Choices

These little computers are lucky if they 4gigs of RAM. It's 36gbEMCC total memory. Most of these computers come back, but people keep buying them because the price is so attractive.

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We've Figured That Out

In reply to: Not RAM

Now if only people would try to use the proper terminology for the proper things. If you think of it, redefining tech items with new terminology is prone to disaster. I won't get into a prime example of that (unless you want me to) because that can "burst" people's bubbles about their favorite tech. But in the case of Windows, "Memory" = RAM + Paging File (if you run out of disk space, you are more likely going to get the "out of memory" error because the paging file can't expand). I still remember computers having 500K ram. If you had 640K you can up it to near 1 MB by using QEMM386.

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Easy way to free up space

In reply to: Windows 10 updates are hogging up all my laptop's memory!

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WINDOWS.OLD

In reply to: Windows 10 updates are hogging up all my laptop's memory!

there are 2 types of updates. weekly, usually on Tues, and major, usually in Mar or Sept.
Weekly updates are generally fixes so they don't increase Windoz size much and may decrease it. Major updates indeed may increase Windoz size, BUT the major issue here is that a folder WINDOWS.OLD is created. This is basically the whole old system. U need to delete this if you are sure you don't want to roll it back. there are a couple of ways to do this, one is to use the CLEANUP utility. You can just delete it but if it goes into recycle you need to clean out the recycle bin also. Cleanup does both but also takes a long time.

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Re: laptop

In reply to: Windows 10 updates are hogging up all my laptop's memory!

I see that switching from Windows to Linux (that should be possible on this laptop) already has been suggested. An alternative is to buy a Chromebook, especially if you use webmail and not a local email client. If you don't type too much when emailing, even an tablet (or using your smartphone) is an option.

You can stop Windows updates by disabling the update service, but 32 GB stays a very limited machine.

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I think the problem is wide spread

In reply to: Windows 10 updates are hogging up all my laptop's memory!

On many of these PC's there is really only a "SSD" of sorts for a hard drive. They were made with not much thought as to the problem the user is having with the Windows updates. Since the brand name and model have not been given, there is only some ideas that might help.
If the PC has a SD card slot, then in some models and with much grief, the SD card can be used as an expansion place to add storage for Windows to do its thing while going through an update. There is not room in this small post to go through the process of getting Windows and your PC to accommodate this but there is a procedure if you search for it. Hp made some of these PC's and there is a process outlined on their user forum that works for that model.

Another way is to use a different PC and make Windows 10 installation media using the Media creation tool found here
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10
Using the "other" working PC, scroll down to the "Using the tool to create installation media" and follow the directions. Then boot this problem PC to that new media. Remove the Windows OS from this problem PC and install Windows new and clean, from the new media. It should be the latest Windows 10 and it should also give some spare space on the 32 hard drive. This will solve the problem until more updates end up doing the same thing. Then you will need to do it all again.

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MS Win 10 Minimums

In reply to: I think the problem is wide spread

(Sorry, there was a problem submitting your post. Please try again now or at a later time -- can anyone fix this?)

https://www.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/windows-10-specifications

The MINIMUM disk space that MS says it needs to run in 20 GB for 32-bit and 32 GB needed for 64-bit per the article above. Remembering that there are apps involved plus data storage, paging files, temp space, internet browser temp space, there is going to be an issue, especially if the poster is trying to run 64-bit. Now add on applications, and, even if he could get by with 20 GB as an absolute minimum. PLUS.. the specs say NOTHING about updates! I would assume that updates, especially the spring/fall upgrades, would double that requirement unless you can get rid of the old copy of Win 10 that hangs around for some time.
I think your suggestion of using the install media is a good first step. However, as with all "minimum" systems the user would need to monitor everything from the size of his paging file to his temp space. and what about those apps? If you are reading this, I might suggest you take a look at how your disk usage is. True, if you buy a new computer and go from a 128 GB drive to a 1 TB drive, you shouldn't have to worry for a long time, but we are dealing with microscopic computer here. I usually don't like swapping to a new OS, such as LINUX, just to fix a technical issue on Windows, but this time there is a point. The point being MS suggested sizes are minimalist and, IMHO, don't reflect real-world usage. So, maybe he can turn off the windows update service and then load the latest from the MS download site (thank you for providing the link, BTW. I can never remember it.). Of course, if he can run that successfully, he would need to go back and immediately turn off the update service again. And go through settings.

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Is Windows10 bloat-ware?

In reply to: MS Win 10 Minimums

I have one of those 128GB SSDs as the system drive for my laptop. I am always running short of space as 'everything' seems to want to load on that system drive in order 'to work properly'. I am constantly having to remove files from my drive after each update. I have moved whatever programs not absolutely necessary from the system drive to the second hard drive, but that still leaves me with a system drive loaded with 110GB-plus of 'stuff' on a 128GB SSD.

Why is Windows 10 so bloated?

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All fine here. A fresh install on an 120GB SSD had 99GB free

In reply to: Is Windows10 bloat-ware?

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Size of SSD

In reply to: Is Windows10 bloat-ware?

I had my desktop HDD C drive changed to an SSD 480 GB. If you are buying a new computer, don't buy less than 1/2 TB for your boot disc. This is especially true if you don't have a second disc in a desktop computer. In a laptop you will want 1/2 TB for sure as your pictures, documents and videos will all be on that disc. And you will still need to transfer some things to an external drive.

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Windows 10 updates are hogging up all my laptop's memory

In reply to: Windows 10 updates are hogging up all my laptop's memory!

The easiest way to stop the updates is to set your network's status to: Metered. Microsoft won't send updates over metered lines. You can change your network's status as follows:
Home>Network & Internet>Status>Change connection properties>Metered Connection--set to "on"

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Metered Connection

In reply to: Windows 10 updates are hogging up all my laptop's memory!

A way to prevent Windows 10 from automatically updating is to first set your WiFi as a Metered Connection.
Simply click on your WiFi symbol on the lower right hand corner of your PC. The pop-up window will then say at the bottom 'Network and Internet Settings' with the added information that you can make the connection metered. Click on this which will then open the Settings window on the WiFi section of your connection. Click on your Connection at the top and the window will then give you various options where scrolling down you will see the button to make the connection metered. Under this you also have the option to set a data limit to restrict the amount that Windows can download for any given Update.
Good Luck

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Add An SD Memory Card

In reply to: Windows 10 updates are hogging up all my laptop's memory!

Somewhere on the front edge or on the side of your laptop is an SD card slot. Buy a memory card at Amazon.com, or Walmart, or BestBuy. You can get a 64GB card for around $15 or a 128GB card for around $22 - $25. You can use an SDXC card (about 1-inch rectangular size) or a microSDXC card that comes with the adapter to make it the 1-inch size. Either one will work.
Slide the card into the slot on the laptop. Push it gently but firmly in as far as it will go. Wait a few moments for the laptop to recognise the card. Now you have lots of extra memory space. Don't forget to clean up up old files as already suggested by others here!

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Here's a Link

In reply to: Add An SD Memory Card

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