Retrieve Space on HDD after Windows 8 Upgrade

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Have you recently upgraded to Windows 8 OS? You might have noticed that much of your hard disk space is eaten up after upgrading your computer from a previous Windows version to Windows 8. Most of the hard disk space is taken up by during the setup itself. During the process of upgrading the setup automatically stores much of your previous OS install in a special folder so you can recover information later if need. This special folder eats up lots of disk space. Here is the tutorial how you can safely remove the folder to reclaim the disk space.

retrieve disk space windows 8 upgrade

The folder that stores the previous versions of OS is named as Windows.old (windows dot old). This folder resides in the root of the C: drive after an upgrade to Windows 8. You can see this folder after any upgrade even though you haven’t formatted the hard drive during the upgrade.

Windows.old folder contains all backup for the files present previously on your PC that is before the upgrade. The setup automatically puts these files in Windows.old so that you don’t lose anything important during the upgrade. This is useful but takes up lot of space that is up to 15 GB or more.

Before deleting the folder make sure that you don’t need anything from the folder after an upgrade. Therefore it is recommended to keep the folder for weeks after upgrade and remove it when you don’t find it useful. Alternatively, you can copy it to an external USB disk or memory device before deleting it so that you can use it when needed.

However this folder cannot be deleted normally. You cannot simply get rid of it by selecting it and hitting the delete key on your keyboard. To get rid of this folder you will need a Windows utility program called Disk Cleanup.

disc clean up win old

Disk Cleanup does not list the Windows.old by default which make it difficult for the user to reclaim disk space easily. To retrieve the hard disk space, click on Clean up system files button, which will restart the disc cleanup process. Now you get an option called Previous Windows installation in the list. You can identify it from its size as it occupies an enormous amount up to some GB of disk space and savings associated with it. Just select it and hit OK.

Upon getting a confirmation prompting the disk Cleanup will remove the folder and you are left behind with additional free space on your PC’s hard disk.

Reclaim disk space upon upgrade to Windows 8 by following the method discussed above. So, that you can use up the space rather consuming the space unnecessarily, i.e. better use up rather than wasting the disk space.


Priyanka contributes to the Computer and Gadgets section on Techcular.

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