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You must do this one thing before the next Windows update

Next month, Microsoft is set to release the next major Windows 10 update called, appropriately enough, Windows 10 October 2018 Update. As usual, this update will bring various enhancements and features to the platform when it drops.

This update may not be as big as the April Update but it will bring features like improved Storage Sense, a Your Photos desktop pin, an updated Emoji panel, more Fluent Design user interface improvements, multitasking Sets, and improved game modes.

If you’re looking to get the update as soon as it is available, keep in mind that it could be another large download (reported to be around 10GB) so make sure you clear enough space.

And even worse, Microsoft is now actually warning users to make sure that they have enough space for the update files on their Windows 10 machines … or else…

Microsoft’s new Windows Update warning

Microsoft has started issuing warnings to Windows 10 users with limited storage space. The warning states if your system doesn’t have enough space, it may fail to initialize after running Windows Update.

The warning is mostly directed to “thin clients” and “embedded systems,” but it should also apply to older Windows 10 machines with limited 32GB storage.

Chances are, with the sizes of all the recent major Windows 10 updates, owners of these types of machines always get these “Windows needs more space” warnings during each update.

However, this is the first time that users have been warned of this specific failure. “Windows Update does not check systems for adequate space requirements before it initializes,” Microsoft’s warning states.

Microsoft’s recommendations

As for the fix? Well, in a way, Microsoft is blaming you if your computer fails to boot when attempting an update due to inadequate storage space.

The company recommends a “regular regimen of system maintenance,” implying that you should constantly check your storage space, and manually get rid of unnecessary and temporary files regularly.

To prepare for major updates, especially if you have limited space, Microsoft recommends that users clear temporary files, old downloads, empty the recycle bin, and uninstall unused applications as often as you can.

Consider getting an external drive for your personal files or even better, move your photos, videos, music and other files to a cloud service too.

Fun fact: Windows 95’s six-second startup sound was composed by experimental music pioneer Brian Eno.

How to free up space in Windows 10

Need help clearing out space? Here are some tips to help you out:

1. Use Storage Sense to remove unused files

Storage Sense is a handy feature in Windows 10 that can automatically delete files that you don’t need. This data includes temporary files, recycle bin data, installation files and previous versions of Windows. It’s the first tool you should try if your hard drive space is running thin.

Here’s how you free up space with Storage Sense:

  1. Open Settings >> System >> Storage.
  2. Now look for the Storage Sense section then click on “Change how we free up space.”
  3. Here, you can toggle the different types of files that will be automatically deleted:
  • Delete temporary files that my apps aren’t using.
  • Delete files that have been in the recycle bin for over 30 days.
  • Delete files in the Downloads folder that haven’t changed in 30 days.
  • Delete previous versions of Windows (if available).

To instantly free up space, click the “Clean Now” button. This will delete the files that you’ve selected.

Note: If you want Windows to automatically perform this action whenever you’re running low on space, toggle Storage Sense to “On.” I’d rather have this toggled off, however, and manually review my files before I clean up my drives.

2. Use Disk Cleanup

Disk Cleanup is the classic Windows tool for freeing up storage space. Similar to Storage Sense, this tool analyzes your drive for files that you may no longer need. This includes temporary internet files, downloaded program files, recycle bin data and thumbnails.

Here’s how you access Disk Cleanup on a target drive:

  1. Open File Explorer then right click on the drive you want to clean up.
  2. Now, on the General tab, click on the Disk Cleanup button.
  3. The next window will list all the types of files you can delete. Check the ones you want to get rid of. (Recommended file types you can safely delete are Temporary Internet Files, Recycle Bin and Downloaded Program Files.)
  4. Click on the “Clean up system files” button to start the cleanup process.

3. Move apps and games to an external drive

Of course, the best way to free up space on your main Windows drive is to get an external drive then move all your documents, downloads, videos, music, and photos to it.

Better yet, you can also move most apps and games to the external storage.

Here’s how:

  1. Make sure your external drive is connected.
  2. Open Settings >> Apps & Features.
  3. Click on an app >> select Move (if available).
  4. On the drop-down box, select your external drive.
  5. Click Move.

Do this for each app or game you want to move. This is a great way to free up space but keep in mind that you need to have the external drive connected to open the app.

Click here for more tips on how to clear up storage space on your Windows 10 machine.

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