Remove Previous Build Versions of Windows 10

Windows 10 has changed the way we receive new versions of Windows. Previously we would get a new version of Windows every couple of years. i.e, Windows 7 -> Windows 8 -> Windows 8.1 -> Windows 10.

Windows 10 is now upgraded on a “Rolling Release”. Meaning we receive a new “build” of Windows 10 every six months. This introduces new products or features that previously we may have only gotten with a whole new version of Window.

Windows 10 allows you to rollback to the previous build if there are any issues with the install. This is an option that’s available for 14 days after installing a new build.

After this period of time, you can no longer roll back, but the files for the previous build are still sitting on your machine taking up space. It can be handy to clean up these files to keep things running correctly or if you are getting low on space.

This can be done using a tool built into Windows call Disk Clean-up.

Disk Cleanup

First thing we need to do is open Disk Clean-up. This can be done by following the steps below:

  1. Hold the Windows Key and Press R
  2. Type in cleanmgr and press enter
  3. Ensure (C:) is show in the drop down box and click OK
Select the drive you wish to clean up

Disk cleanup will now scan through files and then the main window will appear.

Scanning for files that can be cleaned up
The main Disk Clean-up window

Removing Previous Builds

Before we can remove the previous builds of Windows 10, we will need to click the Clean up system files button at the bottom of the main Disk Clean-up Window.

You will be greeted with a UAC prompt (at which you may need to enter an administrator password). Click yes to allow the application to make changes.

Again you will need to ensure (C:) is shown in the drop down box and click OK.

Disk Clean-up will again scan through some files and then take you back to the Disk Clean-up Window.

Tick Previous Windows Installation(s) in the list of items. Other items you wish to remove can also be ticked. Click OK to start the cleanup.

Select the items you wish to clean

This can take some time. Once it has finished the Window will disappear. You will need to restart the computer afterwards to finalize the cleanup.