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How to get free disk space back after installing Windows 8.1 Spring Update 1 (Feature Pack)

Yesterday I installed the recently leaked RTM build of Windows 8.1 Spring Update 1 (Feature Pack) and was disappointed by the fact that my free space was considerably reduced after installing it. You may face a similar scenario and may not be able to reclaim all the disk space again just by running Disk Cleanup or CCleaner. So in this article, I would like to share with you a simple way of cleaning unneeded files from your hard drive after installing the latest Windows 8.1 updates.

My disk free space got reduced by approximately 7 GB. Windows 8.1 does not come with any special cleaning tool to do comprehensive cleanup, so I tried the built-in cleanmgr.exe tool (Disk Cleanup). It cleaned up approximately 900MB after doing Windows Update Cleanup so I was determined to get more free space back. Here's what I did:

  1. Open a command prompt as administrator (see how).
  2. Type the following command:
    Dism.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup /ResetBase

    dism cleanup

  3. Delete all of the files from C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download folder. (They are files stored by Windows Update before updates are installed. After any update is installed, it is safe to clean up this folder).
  4. Reboot your PC

This can free up several GBs of disk space. This is similar to the way you clean up disk space after installing updates for Windows 7 but does a more comprehensive cleanup. The only downside to this is that you won't be able to uninstall the updates.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

10 thoughts on “How to get free disk space back after installing Windows 8.1 Spring Update 1 (Feature Pack)”

  1. Now that the update has been released in disc cleanup build in windows you can remove the install files from there ^^

  2. Really nice tip! Nowadays with expensive SSDs we need all the space back we can to make the use of SSD reasonable.

  3. i got error: 740
    elevated permissions are required to run DISM. Use an elevated command prompt to complete these tasks.

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