Windows 10 update will show Windows needs more space warning when it detects there is insufficient storage space in your hard drive for Windows Update to download its installation files. It will suggest you to either free up your C: drive, or choose another drive such as an external drive, SD card or USB drive.
Windows 10 downloads its update onto the C:\Windows (or whichever drive your OS was installed) folder on your primary hard drive. If your hard drive has lesser than the required storage space for Windows 10 update’s installation files, especially when it’s a major update, it will immediately show the Windows needs more space error when you attempt to run Windows Update via Settings or media creation tool.
This incident will always happen especially when you are using a tiny sized SSD hard drive for your Windows 10 OS. I’m using an 128GB SSD for my Windows 10 Pro and I’ll have to see this Windows needs more space warning every time I run Windows Update
In this guide, we will show you what you can do to make space for Windows 10 Update to continue its update.
Fix: Windows Needs More Space for Windows 10 Update
Free up space in your C: drive
Well, it’s not necessary smart to spend time trying to make space from a drive full of system files. But if there is just any opportunity you can make a gigabyte free from it, do it.
You can directly click on the Free up space button in the Windows needs more space warning window, or just run the disk cleanup for your C: drive. Both of which will do just the same thing – to clean up the accumulated temporary files, deleted files in the recycle bin, and optionally the shadow copies of your recent system restore points (not recommended unless you are sure you won’t need them in the future).
Choose another drive instead
If you can’t clear enough space for the Windows 10 update, you will need to use an external drive. Connect your external drive to your computer. Then, click I want to use external storage instead in the Windows needs more space window. It will detect your recently connected drive which will then be available as an option in the Step 2: Select or connect and external storage device.
It will also show how much space is needed for the update. Make sure your external drive has enough space needed, otherwise, it can’t be selected. Select your drive and click Continue. Windows Update should begin right away.
It’s not necessary to have an external drive if you already have multiple internal hard drives in your PC. They will also be shown as selections in the drop down menu.
Change the download location for Windows 10 Update
A more permanent solution would be to permanently change the Windows 10 update download location so that Windows update will download its installation files into a folder of your preference instead of the default folder in the C: drive.
We recommend you to use this method instead as you will not to worry about insufficient space for Windows Update anymore in the future. To learn more about this, go to: Change Windows 10 Update download location.
If you decide to not install this particular update, just click on the I don’t have an external storage in the Windows needs more space error window.