Ahead of next month's release of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update, Microsoft is warning users to make sure there's sufficient storage space for the upgrade, or there may be trouble.
The alert is targeted at users of systems with limited storage space, which may fail to initialize after running Windows Update.
Microsoft singles out "thin clients" and "embedded systems". But since Windows 10 demands around 10GB of space to install, it could be taken as a general warning for owners who've skimped on PC costs by buying Windows laptops with 32GB flash storage.
Many of these users have in the past been met with 'Windows needs more space' warnings during an upgrade.
The cause of this issue is something that users might assume Microsoft had eliminated by now, for example, by raising minimum storage requirements for hardware makers, which are respectively 16GB and 20GB for 32-bit and 64-bit Windows 10 desktops.
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But Microsoft's explanation for this specific failure is different: "Windows Update does not check systems for adequate space requirements before it initializes."
The company recommends a "regular regimen of system maintenance", which means manually getting rid of unnecessary and temporary files and "maintaining awareness" of available and used storage.
To make way for Microsoft's OS, users should zap temporary files, downloads, and empty the recycle bin, as well as uninstall apps that aren't being used.
Users should also consider moving photos and other content to a USB thumb drive or another storage device. Finally, users could save fewer OneDrive files locally on the PC.
Microsoft has provided step-by-step instructions to do each of these tasks.
Microsoft will partially automate these via improvements to its Storage Sense app. But that's coming with the Windows 10 October 2018 Update, so it won't be much help until the new version of the OS is installed.
Until then, there's the now-deprecated Disk Cleanup tool. But owners of 32GB storage devices will probably have to follow Microsoft's manual instructions to make way for the next version of Windows 10.
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