Microsoft has committed to rolling out two major upgrades to Windows 10 every year, and we are the on the cusp of a second one for 2018. It's called the October 2018 Update, and as the implies, Microsoft will begin pushing it out to PCs next month. Here's the thing though—if you don't have enough storage space, the update will fail to initialize. That's not all, though.
In a new support document, Microsoft points out that "Windows Update does not check systems for adequate space requirements before it initializes." So, it is up to Windows 10 users to ensure they have enough free space on their primary storage drive to download and install a bi-annual upgrade, with one being right around the corner.
"On Microsoft Windows 10 systems that have limited storage space (such as thin clients or embedded systems), when you run Windows Update, the update initialization may fail...We recommend a regular regimen of system maintenance to help ensure that updates are successful," Microsoft says.
It's a little weird that with all the telemetry data Microsoft wants to collect in Windows 10, it can't be bothered to look at drive space when Windows Update does its thing. But whatever, it is what it is.
If you're low on disk space, there are a number of things you can do, as the support document points out. One them is to empty the Recycle Bin. This permanently erases your deleted files (or at least makes them more difficult to recover), but it frees disk space. If the Recycle Bin icon is not on your desktop, type "recycle bin" in the Cortana search bar to bring it up. There's an option to "Empty Recycle Bin" in the upper-left corner.
You can also delete temporary and downloaded files. For the former, type "storage" into the Cortana search bar and clicking on the result (it's located in System Settings). Under Storage, click on This PC > Temporary files. Check the box for Temporary Files and click the Remove Files button. For the latter, type "downloads" into the Cortana search bar and click on the Downloads folder. Alternately, navigate to C:\Users\[USER NAME]\Downloads. Go through and delete all of the downloaded files that you don't need.
This will throw more files into the Recycle Bin, so if you need this step, head back into the Recycle Bin and empty it again (or reverse the order so you only empty it once).
A few other tips that Microsoft serves up include:
- Move less frequently access files (like photos and videos) to an external storage drive, such as a USB thumb drive or external hard drive.
- Save files to a secondary drive instead of the primary drive. You can configure this by going to Start > Settings > System > Storage. Under "Save locations," select a drive from the drop-down menu.
- Save fewer OneDrive files on your PC.
All that said, how much free space will you need to download and install the October 2018 Update? Microsoft hasn't listed any system requirements yet. As a point of reference, the hard disk requirements for the April 2018 Update stand at 16GB for 32-bit and 20GB for 64-bit. The actual download is much smaller, but you also have to account for unpacking and installation.