You may have heard by now that a support document published by Microsoft is warning users that the next Windows 10 update expected to arrive this October may fail if there is insufficient space on your hard drive. The document appears to mean ‘thin clients’ or users who have very little disk space to begin with. The document tells you how to free up space but fails to mention the actual storage space requirements for the Windows 10 October 2018 update.
Storage Space Requirements
In order to successfully upgrade to the next version of Windows 10, you need at least 10 GB free storage space on your hard drive or solid state drive.
This free space must exist on the drive that Windows 10 is installed on. If you have a HDD or SSD that’s split into two drives, the C and D drive, and Windows is installed on the C drive, then the 10 GB space must be available on the C drive. It will not matter how much free space is available on the D drive, or any other drive if your C drive (or Windows drive) doesn’t have the required amount of space.
This 10 GB is a conservative estimate. Ideally, when you create an installation drive for Windows 10, the files alone take up 4 GB space and these files expand during installation however, they expand on the drive of the system they’re being installed on. The total space they consume once installed is 20 GB so the 10 GB we recommend is cutting it close but it ought to do. If you can free up 20 GB space then you shouldn’t have any problems.
Free up as much space as you can. If you have backups of your phone, a cluttered downloads folder, a bulging Recycle Bin, loads of movies, downloads saved in the Netflix app, or unnecessary files cluttering your desktop, it’s a good idea to purge what you can and move everything else to a different drive. You can move them to an external drive, or an internal drive so long as the net result is that you have at least 10 GB free space on your Windows drive.
You can try using the Storage Sense tool to free up space. Additionally, you can use the Storage settings to determine which folders take up the most space on your C drive, and move whatever you can.
If you can free up something around 20GB of space on your system, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. Remember that when Windows 10 gets a major feature update it also creates a backup of the current version in your Windows drive that you can restore to within 30 days. That alone requires considerable space.
If your HDD or SSD doesn’t have enough space and you’re unable to create any, consider backing everything up and doing a clean install. It might be the only alternative you have.