If your storage space is badly impacted after upgrading to Windows 11, it is not because your new operating system is bloated. Here's why.
After upgrading to Windows 11, you may notice an increase in disk space usage. This is not because the new operating system takes up more space than Windows 10; Instead, it's likely due to older system backups that can take up quite a bit of disk space.
You can safely delete your previous Windows installation and Windows update cleanup files to reclaim hard drive space. But there is one caveat. Here we are going to show you how to delete system files after upgrading to Windows 11 to free up space.
1. How to reclaim hard drive space after a Windows 11 upgrade via Settings
As a recovery solution, the Windows operating system creates a backup of the current version during the upgrade. This is a safety feature in case you are reverting to the earlier version or the upgrade is unsuccessful.
These files are saved in the Windows.old folder and are automatically deleted ten days after the upgrade has been performed. However, other Windows update files live on while you install new updates.
When you're happy with your Windows 11 upgrade, you can safely delete these files to reclaim valuable space. That's how it works.
- Press Win + me to open ideas.
- in the system Tab, scroll down and click warehouse. The system will perform a quick scan and display categories of files that are taking up the most space on your drive.
- Next click Temporary data. It consists of downloads, Windows updates cleanup, temporary installation, and other junk files.
- Choose Previous Windows installations and Windows update cleanup Opportunity.
- Next, deselect it Downloads and other files. Some apps may need some files, so leave everything else disabled.
- Confirm your selection and click on Remove files Button. Windows immediately deletes all backup Windows files and frees up a few gigabytes of storage space. If you don't see the freed space right away, do a reboot and check again.
MAKEUSEOF VIDEO OF THE DAY
Note that while these files can be safely deleted, you cannot revert to the previous version after deleting them.
Next go to the C: Users username Downloads Folder and look for large redundant files that you may have forgotten to delete. Alternatively, move your important files to another drive or partition to optimize your primary drive.
2. How to free disk space after a Windows 11 upgrade using Disk Cleanup
You can use the classic Disk Cleanup utility to free up space occupied by Windows backups and other temporary files. It's a handy utility to quickly scan and delete unnecessary system files.
- Press Win + p to open Windows search.
- Type Disk cleanup and open the app via the search result.
- Select the drive you want to scan, usually your startup drive, and OK.
- Press the Clean up system files Button.
- Again select the drive to be scanned and click on OK.
- Under Files for deletion, choose Windows update cleanup and Previous Windows installation Options if any.
- Disable that Downloads Option if available.
- click OK and then click Extinguish Files to confirm the action. This is a permanent action and will permanently delete all files.
That's it. Disk Cleanup will delete Windows Update and other selected files, freeing up your primary drive with more space.
Cleaning up junk files after upgrading Windows 11
Performing a routine cleanup task can help you remove redundant files and reclaim a lot of valuable space on your computer. Windows backup files are required for system restore operations. However, if the upgrade is successful and you run out of space, you can safely delete these files and make room for new files.
How to boot Windows 11 with Windows 10
If you want to try Windows 11 without wiping Windows 10, why not dual boot both? Here's how to do it.
About the author
(61 published articles)
Tashreef is a technology writer at MakeUseOf. With a bachelor's degree in computer applications, he has over 5 years of writing experience and covers Microsoft Windows and everything related to it. When you're not working, you can tinker it on his PC, try out some FPS titles, or check out animated shows and movies.
By Tashreef Shareef
Subscribe to our newsletter
Subscribe to our newsletter for tech tips, reviews, free e-books, and exclusive offers!
Click here to subscribe