Basics

Make room on my computer for phone updates

To update your phone's software, we need to store a variety of files on your computer. This includes a temporary copy of the software update itself, plus a backup of your phone's existing software and settings. If you're using an earlier version of Windows Phone (prior to 7.5), we might also need to back up media on your phone (music, pictures, and videos).

If your computer doesn't have enough free space to store these files, you might encounter an error during the phone update process. Here are answers to some common questions about making room on your computer for phone updates.

How much free space do I need on my computer?

The amount of free space you'll need depends on the size of the update you're trying to install and how much room it will take to store a backup of your phone's existing software, settings, and media (music, pictures, and videos).

At a minimum, your computer needs at least as much free space as you've used on your phone. For example, if you're currently using 6 GB of storage space on your phone, you'll need at least 6 GB of free space on your computer for the backup, plus some extra space for additional files such as the temporary copy of the software update. So, in this example, you might need 7 GB or more of free space on your computer.

How do I find out how much space I'm using on my phone?

You can look on your phone or your computer. Do one of the following:

On your phone

  1. On Start, flick left to the App list, tap Settings Settings icon > About.

  2. To find out how much space you're currently using, subtract the Available Storage from the Total Storage.

    For example, if your phone has 8 GB of Total Storage and 2 GB of Available Storage, you're using 6 GB of storage (8 GB - 2 GB = 6 GB). You'll need at least this much free space on your computer to store the backup of your phone during the update.

On your computer

  1. Connect your phone to your computer using the USB cable that came with your phone.

  2. In the Zune software, click Phone > Summary.

  3. In the storage indicator at the bottom of the screen, look at the number that appears next to Total Space Used.

    For example, if the indicator says TOTAL SPACE USED 6 GB, you're using 6 GB of storage. You'll need at least this much free space on your computer to store the backup of your phone during the update.

How do I free up space on my computer?

To make room for the update, do one or more of the following on your computer:

  • Click the Start Windows Start button button, navigate to the Disk Cleanup tool, and run it to remove temporary files that your computer doesn't need. This might take a while. For more information on using Disk Cleanup, see the instructions for Windows 7, Windows Vista, or Windows XP SP3.
  • Move files, music, videos, or pictures to a location on another hard drive or portable storage, or delete them if you don't want to keep them anymore.

When you've freed up enough space for the update to continue, disconnect and reconnect your phone, and try updating again. See How do I update my phone software? for more info.

What if I can't free up enough space on my computer?

Do one of the following:

  • Try reducing the amount of space you're using on your phone. This decreases the amount of space needed on your computer to store the backup of your phone. For more information, see Make room on my phone to update it.
  • If you're running Zune software 4.8, you can choose not to back up your phone's existing software and settings. This option appears in Zune software when we detect that your computer doesn't have enough free space. Keep in mind that if you choose to skip the backup and the update doesn't complete successfully for some reason, you might not be able to restore your phone's software and settings to their previous states.

If you need additional help, see the Windows Phone Support site.

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