Getting Rid of Old Windows Updates

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 15, 2018)

5

Roger has automatic updates turned on for his Windows system. In looking around on that system he sees a lot of old update files there were previously downloaded and installed. He wonders if it is necessary to keep all those update files on his computer.

If you have automatic updating turned on (as most people do), you can end up with quite a few updates on your system. (For more about how the updating works, see Understanding Windows Update.) Actually, those old update files can add quite a bit to the clutter on a system. It is a good idea to get rid of them periodically, so it is fortunate that Windows provides an easy way to get rid of them:

  1. Display the Control Panel.
  2. Click the System and Security link.
  3. Click the Free Up Disk Space link. (It is under the Administrative Tools heading.) Windows starts the Disk Cleanup Wizard.
  4. Click the Clean Up System Files button. Windows displays the Disk Cleanup for OS (C:) dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  5. Figure 1. The Disk Cleanup dialog box.

  6. Scroll through the options presented and make sure that the Windows Update Cleanup option has a check mark next to it.
  7. If you are using Windows 8, make sure that the Windows Upgrade Log Files option has a check mark next to it.
  8. Choose to clean up other areas of your hard drive, if you desire.
  9. Click on OK.

At this point Windows may take a bit of time to get rid of everything you requested, but when it is done, you may have a good deal more space available on your drive.

 This tip (132) applies to Windows 7, 8, and 10.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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What is 5 + 3?

2015-02-24 12:20:35

Roger Herman

Looks good. Will let you know how it turns out.
Do you have a print option for these pages?


2015-02-16 10:31:03

jon h

Because I run Disk Cleanup every week before I back up I have DC showing on the menu when I click on the Start button.
Just for kicks, I followed the suggestions in this article and it worked fine on both my Win7 and Win7 Pro machines.


2015-02-16 09:53:53

Sharon Forest

Thanks, Roger. I spent wasted time looking for what was posted.


2015-02-16 08:34:47

awyatt

Roger,

Did you do step 4? You won't see the check box until you do.

-Allen


2015-02-16 08:28:56

Roger

FYI: Windows 7 does not have the "Windows Update Cleanup" check box. And to get to Disk Cleanup, I had to got to 'Control Panel -> Performance Information and Tools -> Open disk cleanup'


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