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How to free up disk space after updating to Windows 10 April 2018 Update

You can reclaim gigs of drive space after updating your system.

Matt Elliott/CNET

Feeling a bit constricted after upgrading to Windows 10 April 2018 Update? If you are on a laptop or Windows tablet with a smallish hard drive, then you might be running low on disk space after installing the latest version of Windows. And that's because Windows keeps previous versions around after installing the new version in case you find the April 2018 Update not to your liking and want to roll back to Fall Creators Update. If you are ready to ride with Windows 10 April 2018 Update -- and I happen to think there are many new features, hidden gems and privacy settings that make the upgrade worthwhile -- then you can reclaim gigs of drive space by removing the files for those previous versions of Windows.

There are two ways you can remove these files. The quickest way is via Settings, but you can also use the Disk Cleanup utility, which requires a few more clicks but shows you how many gigabytes you'll reclaim by deleting those old Windows files.

Save space via Disk Cleanup

With this method, I discovered I could get back 25.5GB of space. Here are the steps:

  • Search for Disk Cleanup and launch the utility.
  • Click the Clean up system files button and wait for it to scan your system.
  • On the Disk Cleanup tab, check the box for Previous Windows installation(s).
  • Click OK.
Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Save space via the Settings

Deleting previous versions of Windows via Settings requires fewer clicks but doesn't show you how much space you'll get back.

  • Open Settings, click System and then click Storage.
  • Under Storage Sense, click Change how we free up space automatically.
  • Under "Free up space now," check the box for Delete previous version of Windows and then click the Clean now button.
Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

For more, here's everything you need to know about Windows 10 April 2018 Update.