Apparently my 8GB USB drive has some error that disables it from letting the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool (MCT) install the ISO onto it, so I've found another way to do it.

However, the temp files from the MCT download have taken more than 10GB of data somewhere on the drive that I don't know how to locate.

Does anyone know where they are located so that I can manually clean them up?


3 Answers 3


It is created on the drive(usually c:) where your current windows folder is, in a hidden folder called c:\$Windows.~WS, before the final Windows.iso was created in a folder of your choosing.

You can unhide files in view, folder options, view, in file explorer.

It does not get deleted after the Iso is made and contains about 6GB of files because it contains both sources\Installx86.esd and a nested sources\Windows\sources\Install.wim windows images.

The Windows folder containing the install.wim seems to be identical with the contents of the final windows.iso.

If $windows.~WS is like $windows.~BT, you cannot delete it by normal means, but try first anyway.

If not, you can probably delete it by doing a disk cleanup. Right click the drive, select properties from the bottom of the list. In the general tab select disk cleanup, wait for it to calculate, then click clean up system files, wait again then while it finds all the update files - hopefully it will remove the folder then, and select OK to delete it.

Source: Where does Media Creation Tool store all of it's data?


I found where Media Creation Tool saves downloaded files, a folder with a size of some GiB, it is:


I found that by reading the file:


There are lines with:

Transfer progress: [0%]
Transfer progress: [1%]

Before that lines (a few lines before them) there are lines with the text:

SetupManager: X86 Url = 
DlpTask: Adding file: Name = [], Source = 
SetupManager: X64 Url = 
DlpTask: Adding file: Name = [], Source = 

And on the end of that lines, there is the destination folder:

, Target=[C:\ESD\Download\installx86.esd]
, Target = [C:\ESD\Download\installx86.esd]
, Target=[C:\ESD\Download\installx64.esd]
, Target = [C:\ESD\Download\installx64.esd]

So i checked C:\ESD size and it grows as download progress.

Media Creation Tool also create two folders (a few MiB in size):


Hope this helps!

  • 1
    That's some really enlightening auxiliary information, thank you! Commented Jul 31, 2019 at 4:06

The creation tool only removes the temporary files after a successful ISO or USB media creation. If it fails, the temporary files have to be removed by the Disk Cleanup tool:

  1. Type the Window Key and write Disk Cleanup.
  2. Start the Disk Cleanup App.
  3. Tick the checkbox temporary files.
  4. Click OK and Delete Files to clean up the temporary files.

Disk Cleanup in progress

  • How to add an inline image. Copy and paste in the body. Windows has an inbuilt hotkey (Win + Shift + S) which executes Snipping Tool. Any screen captured will be copied to the clipboard.
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    Commented Apr 30, 2020 at 11:21

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