Microsoft warns that overstuffed hard drives could stall the Windows 10 October 2018 update

If you have a tablet or older laptop with just a tiny bit of storage available, give consideration: Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 10 October 2018 Update could cause you some headaches unless you tidy up.

Inside a support document, Microsoft seems to acknowledge that Windows 10‘s Windows Update fails to check PCs for adequate storage before it kicks off, an oversight that could cause the upcoming feature update to repeatedly fail unless laptop computer has enough space to upload it. A Microsoft spokesman denied this, though, proclaiming that Windows will in fact determine should there be enough space for installation. Otherwise, it will request you to delete some files.

Microsoft hasn’t said exactly how much space the upcoming October Update will require, however the company recommends a “regular regimen of system maintenance to help make sure that updates are successful.” Which involves regularly banishing unused files towards the cloud or deleting temporary files.

Fortunately, Microsoft already provides some tools to help you with this particular, including an automatic routine that you could switch on having a toggle: Storage Sense. Found within Settings > System > Storage, toggling on Storage Sense will automatically delete temp files within the Trash can every 30 days, and will perform the same for the Downloads folder if you wish. (This latter feature is off by default, as many people use Downloads as a general repository for random files downloaded from the web.) Microsoft also recommends inserting an Sdcard or attaching another hard drive to supply additional space.

Another alternative would be to click on the This PC bar towards the top of the Storage menu within Settings, which (non-intuitively) expands to show various types of files within your PC: apps, photos, documents, etc. If you click on the “temporary files” line, Windows will scan those files making suggestions of files that may be safely deleted.

Finally, there’s OneDrive. Although the Web interface could be daunting, you are able to click the small cloud icon on the taskbar, register to OneDrive there are already, and dump files into the cloud. Alternatively, you can use a memory stick or perhaps an external hard drive to dump some files as the update happens.

Somewhat ironically, the October 2018 Update includes some features that Microsoft says will facilitate this method in future updates, including a better Storage Sense that will automatically send files you haven’t utilized in some time to your OneDrive cloud storage. But until the October 2018 Update hits your PC, you won’t have access to them.

The conclusion: Windows feature updates are kind of a problem, however they are the vegetables that Microsoft makes your computer eat to keep up and running, and also to enable new capabilities with time. A little bit of prep work will help help you to digest.

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