How to update Windows if I ran out of disk drive space?

update windows

With the advancement of Windows, the disk space needed for its installation has also increased. The space requirements vary depending on the specific version of Windows being installed, and this can pose storage challenges when it comes to installing updates.

To address this issue, Microsoft introduced a feature called Reserved Storage. This feature allows Windows to allocate a small portion of disk space specifically for downloading and installing system updates. It ensures that there is sufficient storage available for updates without users having to worry about running out of space.

However, many users choose to deactivate this function to free up more storage space. While this may provide immediate benefits in terms of additional storage, it can become problematic in the long run when it comes to updating the system, particularly if storage space is consistently limited.

Free up space in Windows

Windows stores installed updates on the computer for an indefinite period to enable users to uninstall updates and revert to a previous system state if needed. Depending on the type of update, they can occupy a significant amount of disk space.

Fortunately, Windows provides a feature that allows us to reclaim the space occupied by installed updates. To do this, we can access the Disk Cleanup application through the Windows search box.

Once the application is open, we select the drive where Windows is installed and click on the “Clean system files” option. The application will then display the space occupied by installed updates at the top, along with the corresponding size. This allows us to easily identify and reclaim the disk space occupied by these updates.

Delete Windows Updates

After selecting the “Clean system files” option, you can further optimize your disk space by clicking on “More options”. In the “Programs and features” section, click on “Uninstall” to access a list of all the applications installed on your computer. Review this list carefully to identify and remove any applications that you no longer use or need. This step will help free up additional space on your system by eliminating unnecessary software.

free up space windows

To create more space on your hard drive for downloading updates and maintaining an updated computer, you can consider deleting older restore points while retaining the most recent one. In the “System Restore and snapshots” section, click on “Configure”. Then, select “Delete” to remove all previous restore points and free up valuable disk space. Make sure to confirm your action to proceed with the deletion. This will help optimize your storage and ensure sufficient space for future updates.

Free disk space

Other methods

If you find that you’re unable to free up enough space on your hard drive to download updates, there is another workaround you can try. You’ll need access to another computer with sufficient storage and two USB flash drives, each with a capacity of 16 GB.

First, create a Windows 10 or Windows 11 installation media on the first flash drive. Then, connect this USB drive to your computer and run the setup.exe file. Follow the on-screen instructions, and when prompted about insufficient space, you’ll be given the option to select a drive with available storage to download and install the latest updates. At this point, choose the second USB drive, which should have free space, as the destination for the updates.

By utilizing this method, you can leverage the additional storage provided by the second USB drive to facilitate the downloading and installation of updates on your computer.