If your disk space took a hit after upgrading to Windows 11, it's not because your new operating system is bloated. Here because.
After upgrading to Windows 11, you may notice a spike in storage usage. This is not because the new operating system takes up more space than Windows 10; instead, it is likely due to previous system backups which can take up a fair amount of disk space.
You can safely delete your previous Windows installation and Windows Update Cleanup files to reclaim hard drive space. But there is a caveat. Here we show you how to delete system files to free up disk space after upgrading to Windows 11.
How to reclaim hard drive space after a Windows 11 update via Settings
As a recovery solution, the Windows operating system creates a backup of the current version during the update. This is a safeguard if you choose to revert to the previous version or if the update fails.
These files are stored in the Windows.old folder and automatically deleted ten days after the update is performed. However, other Windows update files continue to live while installing new updates.
If you are happy with the upgrade to Windows 11, you can safely delete these files to reclaim valuable storage space. Here's how to do it.
- Awards Win + I to open Settings .
- In the card System , scroll down and click Archiving . The system will perform a quick scan and show the categories of files that take up the most space on the drive.
- Then, click Temporary files . It consists of downloading, cleaning up Windows updates, temporary installation and other junk files.
- Select the option Previous Windows Installations e Windows Update cleanup .
- Then, uncheck Download and other files. Some apps may require some files, so leave everything else unchecked.
- Check your selection and click the button Remove files . Windows will instantly delete all Windows backup files, freeing up a few gigabytes of storage space. If you don't see the space freed up immediately, do a reboot and check again.
Note that while these files can be safely deleted, you cannot go back to the previous version after deleting them.
Then, go to the folder C:UsersUsernameDownloads and look for large redundant files that you may have forgotten to delete. Alternatively, move important files to another drive or partition to optimize the main drive.
How to free up disk space after an upgrade to Windows 11 via Disk Cleanup
You can use the classic Disk Cleanup utility to free up the space occupied by Windows backup and other temporary files. It is a handy utility for quickly scanning and deleting unnecessary system files.
- Awards Win + WILL to open Windows Search.
- Type disk cleaning and open the app from the search result.
- Select the drive you want to scan, usually the boot drive, and OKAY.
- Click the button Clean up system files.
- Again, select the drive to scan and do click su OK .
- In File to delete, select options Windows Update Cleanup e Previous installation of Windows , if available.
- Uncheck the option Download , if available.
- Do click su OK then up Delete file to confirm the action. This is a permanent action and will permanently delete all files.
That's all. Disk Cleanup will delete the Windows update and other selected files freeing up the main drive with more storage space.