Microsoft is advising those with PCs that have scarce amounts of storage that the Windows 10 October 2018 Update will fail if it doesn’t have enough room to install – and that you should ensure your machine has the requisite space beforehand, because the OS won’t check for you.
In a support post addressed to devices with ‘low storage space’, Microsoft notes that machines such as thin clients or embedded systems could fail during the update initialization, and furthermore that: “Windows Update does not check systems for adequate space requirements before it initializes.”
Laptops with smaller SSDs, and indeed those budget notebooks which run with the likes of tiny eMMC drives (still flash storage, but slower than a traditional SSD), could also be in trouble on this score.
Microsoft’s solution is to regularly maintain your system, ensuring that unnecessary files are removed and that a good level of free disk space is maintained, with the company advising various measures that Windows 10 users can take in this regard.
That includes deleting temporary files (and binning downloaded files after they’ve been used), and remembering to empty the recycle bin regularly (of course, deleted files aren’t actually deleted until you empty the bin).
Furthermore, you should uninstall any apps you don’t use, and move files to another drive – or an online cloud storage locker, with Microsoft obviously using the example of its own OneDrive here – to free up further room on your system drive.
Of course, this is all fairly basic stuff and simply general good practice for keeping a tidy drive. But, the real point is that this space issue is something folks need to be aware of if they do have a machine with a small drive, and certainly before next month’s big update arrives, they should make sure their house is in order in terms of reducing drive clutter.
We’ve got plenty of advice to help you do this, but if you don’t fancy messing around manually pruning and tidying, then there are always third-party apps which can perform this sort of system maintenance for you, like CCleaner, which has a free version as well (and there are other freebie alternatives besides).
The good news is Microsoft has a new feature arriving with the October 2018 Update called Storage Sense, which will help free up disk space and continues to be honed in Windows 10 preview builds, being able to automatically store older or unused files on OneDrive (while leaving placeholders on your PC).