free space on hard disk drastically reduced after Windows 11 install


Florio

Active member
Local time
3:07 PM
Posts
27
OS
Windows 11
Hi there,

I updated from Windows 10 to Windows 11 yesterday as part of the normal Windows Update process. Everything ran smoothly and now I'm just discovering the changes etc. One thing that worries me is the size of the new OS, seeing as the free space on my C disk has been significantly reduced. From what I'd read prior to the update, Windows 11 requires 27 GB. I'd also figured that Windows 10, which had become bloated after so many updates, would have been removed and Windows 11 installed in its place. It seems that Windows 11 was installed on top of Windows 10!

Have the rest of you experienced a big drop in free space on your hard disk? Is there a way to free up some space?

Florio


Windows 11 version 21H2
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Pavilion
    Mouse
    HP wireless rechargeable
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Iobit Malware Fighter (with BitDefender engine)
Hello @Florio, welcom to Eleven Forum.

What is... the used/free space of Windows 11 on your computer?
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Win 11 Home ♦♦♦22631.3880 ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦23H2
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Built by Ghot® [May 2020]
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
    Motherboard
    Asus Pro WS X570-ACE (BIOS 4702)
    Memory
    G.Skill (F4-3200C14D-16GTZKW)
    Graphics Card(s)
    EVGA RTX 2070 (08G-P4-2171-KR)
    Sound Card
    Realtek ALC1220P / ALC S1220A
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dell U3011 30"
    Screen Resolution
    2560 x 1600
    Hard Drives
    2x Samsung 860 EVO 500GB,
    WD 4TB Black FZBX - SATA III,
    WD 8TB Black FZBX - SATA III,
    DRW-24B1ST CD/DVD Burner
    PSU
    PC Power & Cooling 750W Quad EPS12V
    Case
    Cooler Master ATCS 840 Tower
    Cooling
    CM Hyper 212 EVO (push/pull)
    Keyboard
    Ducky DK9008 Shine II Blue LED
    Mouse
    Logitech Optical M-100
    Internet Speed
    300/300
    Browser
    Firefox (latest)
    Antivirus
    Bitdefender Internet Security
    Other Info
    Speakers: Klipsch Pro Media 2.1
  • Operating System
    Windows XP Pro 32bit w/SP3
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Built by Ghot® (not in use)
    CPU
    AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ (OC'd @ 3.2Ghz)
    Motherboard
    ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe Wireless Edition
    Memory
    TWIN2X2048-6400C4DHX (2 x 1GB, DDR2 800)
    Graphics card(s)
    EVGA 256-P2-N758-TR GeForce 8600GT SSC
    Sound Card
    Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    ViewSonic G90FB Black 19" Professional (CRT)
    Screen Resolution
    up to 2048 x 1536
    Hard Drives
    WD 36GB 10,000rpm Raptor SATA
    Seagate 80GB 7200rpm SATA
    Lite-On LTR-52246S CD/RW
    Lite-On LH-18A1P CD/DVD Burner
    PSU
    PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750 Quad EPS12V
    Case
    Generic Beige case, 80mm fans
    Cooling
    ZALMAN 9500A 92mm CPU Cooler
    Mouse
    Logitech Optical M-BT96a
    Keyboard
    Logitech Classic Keybooard 200
    Internet Speed
    300/300
    Browser
    Firefox 3.x ??
    Antivirus
    Symantec (Norton)
    Other Info
    Still assembled, still runs. Haven't turned it on for 13 years?
Thanks for your reply, Ghot.

My C disk is 237GB of which 88GB remain free (prior to the Windows 11 installation, I had 106GB of free space).
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Pavilion
    Mouse
    HP wireless rechargeable
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Iobit Malware Fighter (with BitDefender engine)
Thanks for your reply, Ghot.

My C disk is 237GB of which 88GB remain free (prior to the Windows 11 installation, I had 106GB of free space).


Probably the... C:\windows.old folder?
You will have to enable: Show extensions for known file types, to see the file extensions.










If you don't see a windows.old folder, then please post a screenshot of Disk Management.
 
Last edited:

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Win 11 Home ♦♦♦22631.3880 ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦23H2
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Built by Ghot® [May 2020]
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
    Motherboard
    Asus Pro WS X570-ACE (BIOS 4702)
    Memory
    G.Skill (F4-3200C14D-16GTZKW)
    Graphics Card(s)
    EVGA RTX 2070 (08G-P4-2171-KR)
    Sound Card
    Realtek ALC1220P / ALC S1220A
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dell U3011 30"
    Screen Resolution
    2560 x 1600
    Hard Drives
    2x Samsung 860 EVO 500GB,
    WD 4TB Black FZBX - SATA III,
    WD 8TB Black FZBX - SATA III,
    DRW-24B1ST CD/DVD Burner
    PSU
    PC Power & Cooling 750W Quad EPS12V
    Case
    Cooler Master ATCS 840 Tower
    Cooling
    CM Hyper 212 EVO (push/pull)
    Keyboard
    Ducky DK9008 Shine II Blue LED
    Mouse
    Logitech Optical M-100
    Internet Speed
    300/300
    Browser
    Firefox (latest)
    Antivirus
    Bitdefender Internet Security
    Other Info
    Speakers: Klipsch Pro Media 2.1
  • Operating System
    Windows XP Pro 32bit w/SP3
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Built by Ghot® (not in use)
    CPU
    AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ (OC'd @ 3.2Ghz)
    Motherboard
    ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe Wireless Edition
    Memory
    TWIN2X2048-6400C4DHX (2 x 1GB, DDR2 800)
    Graphics card(s)
    EVGA 256-P2-N758-TR GeForce 8600GT SSC
    Sound Card
    Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    ViewSonic G90FB Black 19" Professional (CRT)
    Screen Resolution
    up to 2048 x 1536
    Hard Drives
    WD 36GB 10,000rpm Raptor SATA
    Seagate 80GB 7200rpm SATA
    Lite-On LTR-52246S CD/RW
    Lite-On LH-18A1P CD/DVD Burner
    PSU
    PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750 Quad EPS12V
    Case
    Generic Beige case, 80mm fans
    Cooling
    ZALMAN 9500A 92mm CPU Cooler
    Mouse
    Logitech Optical M-BT96a
    Keyboard
    Logitech Classic Keybooard 200
    Internet Speed
    300/300
    Browser
    Firefox 3.x ??
    Antivirus
    Symantec (Norton)
    Other Info
    Still assembled, still runs. Haven't turned it on for 13 years?

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Pavilion
    Mouse
    HP wireless rechargeable
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Iobit Malware Fighter (with BitDefender engine)
I've managed to solve the problem, Ghot. I found the solution on Two ways to reclaim space after upgrading to Windows 11. The culprit was the windows.old file. Thanks for your help.

Florio


Excellent.
Now would be a great time to consider backup software as well.
Most of us around here use Macrium Reflect or AOMEI Backupper (both free).

If you have the space to store the backups, having a current full OS image backup handy, will save you, time and time again. :)





And here are a few of the more common "tweaks" that people ask for...

 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Win 11 Home ♦♦♦22631.3880 ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦23H2
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Built by Ghot® [May 2020]
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
    Motherboard
    Asus Pro WS X570-ACE (BIOS 4702)
    Memory
    G.Skill (F4-3200C14D-16GTZKW)
    Graphics Card(s)
    EVGA RTX 2070 (08G-P4-2171-KR)
    Sound Card
    Realtek ALC1220P / ALC S1220A
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dell U3011 30"
    Screen Resolution
    2560 x 1600
    Hard Drives
    2x Samsung 860 EVO 500GB,
    WD 4TB Black FZBX - SATA III,
    WD 8TB Black FZBX - SATA III,
    DRW-24B1ST CD/DVD Burner
    PSU
    PC Power & Cooling 750W Quad EPS12V
    Case
    Cooler Master ATCS 840 Tower
    Cooling
    CM Hyper 212 EVO (push/pull)
    Keyboard
    Ducky DK9008 Shine II Blue LED
    Mouse
    Logitech Optical M-100
    Internet Speed
    300/300
    Browser
    Firefox (latest)
    Antivirus
    Bitdefender Internet Security
    Other Info
    Speakers: Klipsch Pro Media 2.1
  • Operating System
    Windows XP Pro 32bit w/SP3
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Built by Ghot® (not in use)
    CPU
    AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ (OC'd @ 3.2Ghz)
    Motherboard
    ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe Wireless Edition
    Memory
    TWIN2X2048-6400C4DHX (2 x 1GB, DDR2 800)
    Graphics card(s)
    EVGA 256-P2-N758-TR GeForce 8600GT SSC
    Sound Card
    Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    ViewSonic G90FB Black 19" Professional (CRT)
    Screen Resolution
    up to 2048 x 1536
    Hard Drives
    WD 36GB 10,000rpm Raptor SATA
    Seagate 80GB 7200rpm SATA
    Lite-On LTR-52246S CD/RW
    Lite-On LH-18A1P CD/DVD Burner
    PSU
    PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750 Quad EPS12V
    Case
    Generic Beige case, 80mm fans
    Cooling
    ZALMAN 9500A 92mm CPU Cooler
    Mouse
    Logitech Optical M-BT96a
    Keyboard
    Logitech Classic Keybooard 200
    Internet Speed
    300/300
    Browser
    Firefox 3.x ??
    Antivirus
    Symantec (Norton)
    Other Info
    Still assembled, still runs. Haven't turned it on for 13 years?
Windows.old was created to allow you to restore Windows 10, if you wished. With that gone, it will no longer be possible. If you want to go back, a clean install will be needed.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 22631.2861
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    homebuilt
    CPU
    Amd Threadripper 7970X
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte TRX50 Aero D
    Memory
    128GB (4 X 32) Kingston DDR5 5200 (RDIMM)
    Graphics Card(s)
    Gigabyte RTX 4090 OC
    Sound Card
    none (USB to speakers), Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Philips 27E1N8900 OLED
    Screen Resolution
    3840 X 2160 @ 60Hz
    Hard Drives
    Crucial T700 2TB M.2 NVME SSD
    WD 4TB Blue SATA SSD
    Seagate 18TB IronWolf Pro
    PSU
    eVGA SuperNOVA 1600 GT
    Case
    Lian Li 011 Dynamic Evo XL
    Cooling
    Alphacool Eisbaer Pro Aurora 360, with 3 Phanteks T30 fans
    Keyboard
    Logitech K120 (wired)
    Mouse
    Logitech M500s (wired)
    Internet Speed
    1200 Mbps
  • Operating System
    windows 11 22631.2861
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    homebuilt
    CPU
    Intel I9-13900K
    Motherboard
    Asus RoG Strix Z690-E
    Memory
    64GB G.Skill DDR5-6000
    Graphics card(s)
    Gigabyte RTX 3090 ti
    Sound Card
    built in Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Asus PA329C
    Screen Resolution
    3840 X 2160 @60Hz
    Hard Drives
    WDC SN850 1TB
    8 TB Seagate Ironwolf
    4TB Seagate Ironwolf
    PSU
    eVGA SuperNOVA 1300 GT
    Case
    Lian Li 011 Dynamic Evo
    Cooling
    Corsair iCUE H150i ELITE CAPELLIX Liquid CPU Cooler
    Mouse
    Logitech M500s (wired)
    Keyboard
    Logitech K120 (wired)
From what I'd read prior to the update, Windows 11 requires 27 GB
Welcome to Eleven Forum

Yes, as you have found Windows.old takes up a lot of space after an upgrade. If you had not cleaned it up yourself it should have been automatically deleted 10 days after the upgrade.

I have upgraded several of my machines from W10 to W11. In all cases the Windows 11 system files occupy about 1GB less than they did in the Windows 10 that was upgraded. Your 27GB figure is rather large, perhaps an upper limit. 10-15GB for the System files is more typical.


1636050775609.png
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Home
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Acer Aspire 3 A315-23
    CPU
    AMD Athlon Silver 3050U
    Memory
    8GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Radeon Graphics
    Monitor(s) Displays
    laptop screen
    Screen Resolution
    1366x768 native resolution, up to 2560x1440 with Radeon Virtual Super Resolution
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung EVO 870 SSD
    Internet Speed
    50 Mbps
    Browser
    Edge, Firefox
    Antivirus
    Defender
    Other Info
    fully 'Windows 11 ready' laptop. Windows 10 C: partition migrated from my old unsupported 'main machine' then upgraded to 11. A test migration ran Insider builds for 2 months. When 11 was released on 5th October it was re-imaged back to 10 and was offered the upgrade in Windows Update on 20th October. Windows Update offered the 22H2 Feature Update on 20th September 2022. It got the 23H2 Feature Update on 4th November 2023 through Windows Update.

    My SYSTEM THREE is a Dell Latitude 5410, i7-10610U, 32GB RAM, 512GB NVMe ssd, supported device running Windows 11 Pro (and all my Hyper-V VMs).

    My SYSTEM FOUR is a 2-in-1 convertible Lenovo Yoga 11e 20DA, Celeron N2930, 8GB RAM, 256GB ssd. Unsupported device: currently running Win10 Pro, plus Win11 Pro RTM and Insider Dev, Beta, and RP 24H2 as native boot vhdx.

    My SYSTEM FIVE is a Dell Latitude 3190 2-in-1, Pentium Silver N5030, 4GB RAM, 512GB NVMe ssd, supported device running Windows 11 Pro, plus the Insider Beta, Dev, Canary, and Release Preview builds as a native boot .vhdx.
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Lattitude E4310
    CPU
    Intel® Core™ i5-520M
    Motherboard
    0T6M8G
    Memory
    8GB
    Graphics card(s)
    (integrated graphics) Intel HD Graphics
    Screen Resolution
    1366x768
    Hard Drives
    500GB Crucial MX500 SSD
    Browser
    Firefox, Edge
    Antivirus
    Defender
    Other Info
    unsupported machine: Legacy bios, MBR, TPM 1.2, upgraded from W10 to W11 using W10/W11 hybrid install media workaround. In-place upgrade to 22H2 using ISO and a workaround. Feature Update to 23H2 by manually installing the Enablement Package. Also running Insider Beta, Dev, and Canary builds as a native boot .vhdx.

    My SYSTEM THREE is a Dell Latitude 5410, i7-10610U, 32GB RAM, 512GB NVMe ssd, supported device running Windows 11 Pro (and all my Hyper-V VMs).

    My SYSTEM FOUR is a 2-in-1 convertible Lenovo Yoga 11e 20DA, Celeron N2930, 8GB RAM, 256GB ssd. Unsupported device: currently running Win10 Pro, plus Win11 Pro RTM and Insider Dev, Beta, and RP 24H2 as native boot vhdx.

    My SYSTEM FIVE is a Dell Latitude 3190 2-in-1, Pentium Silver N5030, 4GB RAM, 512GB NVMe ssd, supported device running Windows 11 Pro, plus the Insider Beta, Dev, Canary, and Release Preview builds as a native boot .vhdx.
Many thanks to all who replied to my post.

Florio
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Pavilion
    Mouse
    HP wireless rechargeable
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Iobit Malware Fighter (with BitDefender engine)

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