Monday, 1 February 2016

Delete old operating system files after upgrading to Windows 10

If you have upgraded to Windows 10 from an earlier version of Windows, as I did, I upgraded from 7 to 10, you will now have some old installation files on your hard drive taking up valuable space.
Once you are happy that the upgrade went smoothly and you are happy using the new operating system, then you can go ahead and clean up these old files using Disk Cleanup. I actually waited over 6 months before performing this clean up.
You could locate the files on your hard drive and delete them manually, but it is always advisable to use Disk Cleanup to do the job for you.

To start the cleanup process, click the Start button, go to All Apps, then Windows Administrative Tools, then click Disk Cleanup.

A box will appear asking which drive you want to clean, which in my case is the C drive, and this should be the drive in most cases. In this box I simply click the OK button.

Disk Cleanup will now open as below and you need to wait for this to finish, which won't take long.

A selections window will now open, where you can select or deselect some options. These can be ignored though because we simply want to click the Clean up system files button.

Once the Clean up system files button has been clicked you will be presented with this box again, and as before you'll probably want to leave the C drive selected and click the OK button.

Again the Disk Cleanup will now open as below and you need to wait for this to finish.

You'll now be able to make some selections. As you can see here, there is a Previous Windows Installation(s) option that amounts to 21.4GB, which is quite a sizeable chunk of hard drive space being wasted, so select that option.
There is also a Temporary Windows Installation files option that can be selected, and in my case that will reclaim another 4.01GB of hard drive space.
You can select other items to clean while you are here as well if you wish.
Once you have made your selections click the OK button.

On this message box click the Delete Files button

This box will appear...

...before you can progress though you need to click Yes in this box.

Your computer will now be cleaned of unnecessary files as selected earlier including the large previous Windows installation files.

[This tutorial was made using Windows 10 but the procedure should be the same on other versions of Windows.]