Windows 8.1 Update tip: Free up a lot of disk space

On April 8, Microsoft gave us an update for Windows 8.1. Now that you've had some time to play with the new update, now is a good time to free up some extra space on your hard drive by deleting some Windows Update files.

How much space you'll free up depends on whether you've ever used the Disk Clean-up tool, and the number of different Windows versions you've ever run on your PC. I was able to free up a little less than 2 GB. That's not much, but on a three-year-old computer that will soon need a new hard drive, I'm happy with all the extra space I can get.

Although we focus on cleaning Windows 8.1, this tool is also available in Windows 7 and 8.

Clean up from Control Panel

Let's start by right-clicking the Start button in the lower left corner and in the drop-down menu Control Panel to select. In the category view, select System and Security>Administrative Tools>Free up disk space.

In the next window (sometimes only appearing after a few minutes) you will see a list of different files that can be deleted to free up extra disk space. But we also want to clean up the system files, in addition to the usual temporary Internet files and error reports.

To do this, click on the button Clean up system files and wait for Disk Clean-up to calculate how much space you can free up.

A few minutes later you should be back at the Disc Clean-up window. Scroll down the list of items you can safely delete, paying particular attention to large files. Some will not be checked, but you can throw them away if you don't need them (anymore).

Once you're done, click OK and then Delete Files in the pop-up menu that appears. After a few minutes, the files will be deleted leaving you with a few extra gigabytes of storage space.

This is a freely translated article from our American sister site PCWorld.com. Described terms, operations and settings may be region specific.

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