How to Fix the Can’t Update 1703 to 1903: “Not Enough Space” Issue on Windows 10/11

PC Repair Windows

Microsoft seems to release endless Windows updates. Today it rolls out a major update, and tomorrow it releases a few more to improve security, add new features, and fix reported bugs and errors. Although there’s nothing wrong with what it is doing, sometimes, installing a Windows update is problematic, causing frustrations and leaving users disappointed.

Among the major Windows updates that Microsoft released was the May 2019 Update version 1903. It was well accepted by Windows users not only because it is secure but also because it has amazing features like a new light theme and Windows Sandbox, a useful app for testers.

How to Update Windows 10/11 1703 to 1903

The May 2019 Update version 1903 was first made available to newer devices and gradually expanded to others. Like other Windows feature and security updates, it can be downloaded via Windows Update.

Should you wish to install the update manually, just follow these steps:

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  1. Visit the official Windows 10/11 1903 download page.
  2. Click the Update Now button to download the Windows Update Assistant tool.
  3. Launch the tool. Wait as it checks your computer’s specifications for compatibility.
  4. Once everything is checked out, the update process will commence. From here forward, the steps are straightforward. Simply follow the onscreen prompts. While the tool is running, you can minimize it and continue with whatever you are doing. Should you wish to stop the update process or run it later, you have the option to cancel it.

While version 1903 is loved by many, some users who are willing to upgrade to it are expressing their disappointment. According to them, while trying to install version 1903, they keep on getting the error message “Cannot update 1703 to 1903 on Windows 10/11: Not enough space.”

Basic Troubleshooting

In situations when you are unable to upgrade from version 1703 to 1903, you can troubleshoot the problem first using your computer’s built-in troubleshooting tool: Windows Update Troubleshooter. This tool fixes and diagnoses the most common update problems and allows your computer to download and install updates seamlessly.

To run the troubleshooter, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Start menu and navigate to Settings.
  2. Choose Update and Security.
  3. Select Troubleshoot and click Windows Update.
  4. Click Run the Troubleshooter.
  5. Windows Update Troubleshooter should open and start finding problems. If it detects any, it will notify you and let you fix them.

But why does this error message show in the first place?

Why the “Can’t Update 1703 to 1903: ‘Not Enough Space’” Error Occurs

As the error message suggests, there is not enough space on your hard disk to support the transition from version 1703 to 1903. To successfully install Windows 10 version 1903, your computer should have at least 32 GB of free disk space. Otherwise, you’d come across this annoying error.

What You Can Do

Want to free up your hard drive’s storage space to make room for Windows 10 version 1903? Here’s what you can do:

1. Empty the Recycle Bin

You may know this already: When you delete files, they are not erased from the hard drive right away. Instead, they go to the Recycle Bin, where you can retrieve them in case you need them back. But over time, these files accumulate, consuming a lot of space. This means, to reclaim storage space, the first thing you should do is empty the Recycle Bin.

To empty the Recycle Bin, follow these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Into the text field, input Recycle Bin.
  3. Click the topmost result.
  4. Navigate to the Recycle Bin Tools section.
  5. Hit the Empty Recycle Bin button.
  6. Confirm your action by clicking the Yes button.

Depending on the number of files in your Recycle Bin, you may be able to free up about 10 percent of your hard drive’s capacity.

2. Delete Junk Files Using Storage Sense

Storage Sense offers a quick and easy way to delete junk files from your hard drive. Using this utility, you can get rid of unnecessary installation files and temporary files to give room to more important files and improve your system’s performance.

To delete junk files with Storage Sense, follow the instructions below:

  1. Go to Settings and select System.
  2. Navigate to the Storage section and click the Configure Storage Sense or Run It Now option.
  3. Next, go to the Temporary Files section and tick the Delete temporary files that apps aren’t using option.
  4. When prompted how to clear deleted files, choose Recycle Bin.
  5. Go to the Locally available cloud content section and specify when you want OneDrive content to become online if it has not been opened.
  6. And then, tick the Delete previous versions of Windows option under the Free Up Space Now section.
  7. Finally, click the Clean now button.

To automate the process of removing junk files, use a third-party PC repair tool like Outbyte PC Repair. In just a few clicks, all sorts of computer junk, including user temporary files, unused issue logs, and unwanted Microsoft Office cache, will be swept out.

3. Uninstall Unnecessary Apps, Programs, and Games

Removing programs and apps that you don’t need is one way to reclaim space on your hard drive. Games, in addition, can also consume a lot of storage space. So, be sure to keep games to a minimum to reduce storage use.

To uninstall unnecessary apps, programs, and games manually, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Click Apps.
  3. Choose Apps and Features.
  4. Go to the Sort by filter and choose Size. This will allow you to sort all the installed apps, programs, and games by storage space consumed.
  5. Click on the name of the app or game you want to remove.
  6. Hit Uninstall.
  7. Click the Uninstall button once again to confirm your action.
  8. Follow the on-screen directions.
  9. Repeat the process to remove more apps and games.

4. Disable the Hibernation Feature

Hibernation is a great Windows 10/11 feature that preserves the current session and allows users to pick up where they left off prior to a shutdown. Although it’s a handy feature, it may consume gigabytes of space for saving and loading data.

If your storage space is running low, disable the Hibernation feature. Here’s how:

  1. Go to Start.
  2. Into the Search field, input Command Promt.
  3. Right-click on the top result and choose Run as Administrator.
  4. Disable the Hibernation feature. Do this by entering the command below followed by Enter:
    powercfg /hibernate off
  5. At this point, you can no longer hibernate your computer. But your storage space will increase to give space for more files.


When you cannot install the May 2019 Update version 1903 due to insufficient storage space, run the Windows Update Troubleshooter first. If nothing happens, delete unimportant files, apps, programs, and games that are eating up a huge chunk of your storage space.

Do you know other ways to free up hard drive space to give way to the Windows 10/11 Update version 1903? We’d like to know. Share them in the comments.

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