1.    2 Weeks Ago #1
    Join Date : Oct 2015
    Posts : 5
    Windows 10

    Windows Update Clean-up files 3.99TB

    Windows 10 just installed the latest update. It did take a little longer than usual to restart.

    I went to do a clean-up and backup before shutting down for the night and it claims I have 3.99TB of old Windows Update files. The fact I only have a 500gb SSD drive, I find that impossible. Anyway, I did the clean-up which took almost 15 minutes to complete.

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    So where did Windows manage to put the 3.99TB files? Where are my Windows backup files stored so I can take a look to see what is in the folder?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2.    2 Weeks Ago #2
    Join Date : Aug 2016
    S/E England
    Posts : 592
    Windows 10 Home x64 (1607)

    The folder is WinSxS and the apparently impossible size (unless you actually do have a >4TB HDD) is due to hard links.

    A hard link is a file system object that lets two files refer to the same location on disk. Some tools, such as the File Explorer, determine the size of directories without taking into account that the contained files might be hard linked. This might lead you to think that the WinSxS folder takes up more disk space than it really does.

    Apparently Disk Clean-up is another of those tools that doesn't check for hard links when calculating sizes. It is safe to continue and let Disk Clean-up delete these files because the actual physical copy of the file only gets deleted when the last of its hard links is deleted.

    PS: don't forget to restart your PC. Disk Clean-up really means it when it says "(you might need to restart your computer.)" for the Windows Update Clean-up. It won't prompt you for a restart, but you will more than likely see the blue 'Windows is configuring uppdates' screens and followed by a lengthy 'Cleaning up...' screen when you shut down, Only then is the clean up complete.
    Last edited by Bree; 2 Weeks Ago at 17:43. Reason: PS:
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3.    2 Weeks Ago #3
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 358
    Windows 10 Pro 64bit v10586.3

    It is okay, just run drive clean up and check system with sfc /scannow run command after. This clean yields back about 1.xx gb.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4.    2 Weeks Ago #4
    Join Date : Oct 2015
    Posts : 5
    Windows 10

    Many thanks for the really detailed explanation. I will ensure I restart directly after the cleanup. I've noticed in the past that Win10 shows the 'Windows is configuring uppdates' after a restart and disk cleanup. I always assumed this was a glitch of Win10. I had manually pressed the on/off button in the past to bypass it. I will leave it to 'do its thing' in future.

    Thanks again both of you.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5.    2 Weeks Ago #5
    Join Date : Aug 2016
    S/E England
    Posts : 592
    Windows 10 Home x64 (1607)

    Quote Originally Posted by thecaretaker View Post
    I've noticed in the past that Win10 shows the 'Windows is configuring uppdates' after a restart and disk cleanup. I always assumed this was a glitch of Win10..
    I assume that, as with an update, some files are in use and can only be removed when no longer open - ie. during a restart.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6.    2 Weeks Ago #6

    Thanks, Bree for the explanation and resource. It provided the inspiration for my blog post today. You rock!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7.    2 Weeks Ago #7
    Join Date : Sep 2016
    Posts : 43
    Windows 10

    Out of curiosity I have just checked mine... 1.3GB must be lucky Lol

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      My System SpecsSystem Spec


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