Tips To Free Up Hard Drive Space On Windows

Free Up Hard Drive Space

How many times has it happened that you want to store or backup your beautiful pictures from your phone or a camera to your computer and it doesn’t have enough space?

Starting from few MB’s to Terabytes today, our hard disk storage capacity is getting larger and larger every year. But, no matter how big its capacity gets, it always seems to fill up.

No matter how big the storage capacity of a hard drive is, we always have something more to store in them. This can be even more frustrating if you are using SSD (Solid State Drive), which offers even less storage space than traditional hard drives.

Be it your important docs, photos, or videos; if you don’t have space to store them, it always becomes a problem, a problem that we all face!

But, don’t worry! here I am at your rescue! If you are running low on storage space, these tips will help you free up some space by getting rid of unnecessary and junk files.

Use Disk Cleanup Tool

It is an inbuilt Windows tool that can be used to delete temporary files and other junk data. To access this, go to My Computer or This Pc(in case of Windows 10), right-click on your drives and select Properties.

Drive Properties

Or, you can also search for disk cleanup in Windows start menu.

Click the Disk Cleanup Button under General Tab in disk properties Windows.

Disk Cleanup Tool to free up hard drive space Windows

Now, the Disk Cleanup tool will scan your drive and calculate how much of a space can be freed, it will take some time to complete.

After completion, select the type of files you wish to clean, it includes downloaded program files, temporary Internet files, offline web pages, recycle bin files, log files, and other unimportant files.

If you wish to further clear up your hard drive, you can even clear some system files which aren’t listed here.

Clean Up System Files

Click on Clean up system files, it will take some time to load. After that, go to More Options tab and click on clean up button under System Restore and Shadow Copies.

Delete System Restore

This option will erase all recent system restore points and shadow copies of older Windows versions.  So make sure that your computer is working properly. Because you won’t be able to roll back to the older version after this.

Uninstall Unnecessary and Space Hungry Applications

We always have tons of application and software installed on our pc that we rarely or never use at all. Uninstalling such applications can be good opportunity to free up some space on your hard drive.

From your Control Panel go to Programs & Features, there you can see the list of applications installed on your computer along with their sizes. If you can’t see this column, click on list icon in the right corner and select Detailed view. You can click on Size to sort them according to the amount of size they use.

Uninstall Unnecessary programs To Free up Hard Disk Space on Windows

Select the program you wish to uninstall, right-click on it chose Uninstall.

Although it is a good way to free up some hard drive space, not all applications report accurate amount space they are using.

If you are using Windows 10, you can go to Settings → System → Apps & Features and uninstall apps from there. It will let you uninstall both Windows Store and regular application, and of course, you can always use good old Control Panel if you prefer.

Uninstall Programs Windows 10

Delete Temporary Files

Reading this heading, you might wonder, doesn’t Windows Cleanup tool do that already? The answer is yes!

But, Here’s the catch!

Windows cleanup tool only cleans temporary files created by system and system applications. There are other third-party applications in our computers like Chrome or Firefox, they create GB’s of temporarily cached data on our hard drive.

They use this data to access websites faster next time you visit them. But, cleaning those data from time to time can save a lot of space on your hard drive.

But, who has a time to clean up temporary data of every browser and application on your computer? In such case, CCleaner is a great tool which cleans junk and temporary data from a variety of such third-party apps and even from Windows system.


Delete Duplicate Files

The problem of duplicate files is a problem that mankind has been facing even before the inception of modern computing.

Duplicate files are nothing but multiple copies of the single file present all over your hard drive. Be it your backup, important docs, log files or the beautiful pictures you take trying to get a perfect shot. Most of these pictures have almost same data with a slight difference, so what is the point in keeping all these useless photos instead of just perfect one?

These duplicate files tend to eat a lot of your space, getting rid of such files can reward you with a huge amount of free space on your hard drive.

But here’s a problem!

Who has a time in the world to find and delete every duplicate file in such huge haystack of data? This may get even harder in case of photos.

Well, don’t worry! We have written an amazing post on how to find and delete duplicate files on your pc, it is explained in great detail, the tips given are simple and takes no time to execute.

We have even mentioned how you can get rid of duplicate photos that are similar but not identical.

Decrease The Disk Space Used By System Restore

System restore is a feature used in Windows which provides protection to your system against unwanted system changes.

Every time a new Windows update hits your PC and you update it, the system protection creates a checkpoint or a restore point to earlier build. So in case, any problem occurs, you can always go back to earlier version of Windows.

But, such restore points tend to hog a ton of space on your hard drive. Fortunately, we can control how much of space can be allotted to system protection.

Start by right click on My Computer or This PC (in case of Windows 10) and select properties.

PC Properties

Now, you will see the window showing basic info about your computer. On the left panel, click on System protection.

system properties

After that, System properties window will open, in the Protection Setting, select your primary disk (which will have protection On by default and the System badge next to it) and click on Configure.

system protection


Now, you can either Disable system protection (not advised) or you can change the amount of disk space it uses by sliding the Max Usage slider. You can also delete all your previous restore points by clicking on Delete.

system restore

Also, I suppose you won’t forget to click Apply and OK after modifying the system protection settings.

Analyse Disk Usage

Analysing your hard disk usage is a great way to understand which and what types of files are using your disk space. There is a great software called WinDirStat which will help you in this task.


It is free, simple, and very useful to find which files are hogging your disk space. Once it starts, it scans your drives and shows exactly which files, folders, and which type of files are using how much of your disk space and it shows the stats in the little square boxes in different colors and sizes.

Disable Hibernation

Every time you hibernates your PC or it hibernates on its own, Windows saves the temporary files in the RAM to your hard drive. So, when you reboot your PC it starts where you last left off.

If you want to perform an extreme disk cleanup or free up space badly, you can use this trick to free up space on your hard drive.

To disable Hibernation, Press Win Key + X, and select Command Prompt (Admin).

Start CMD Admin Mode

After your open command prompt in admin mode, go ahead type this command to disable hibernation –

powercfg /hibernate off

hibernation off

To turn on hibernation, type this command and press enter –

powercfg /hibernate on

hibernation on

The only downside of this method is, you won’t be able to hibernate your PC anymore, that means no more pick up from where you left off.

Do you know any method that can help free up some space on your Windows PC? Let me know in the comment section down below.

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