Tips To Free Up Hard Drive Space On Windows


Free Up Hard Drive Space

How often 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 a few MBs to Terabytes today, our hard disk storage capacity grows 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 use 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 junk files.

Use Disk Cleanup Tool

Disk Cleanup is an inbuilt Windows tool that can be used to delete temporary files and other junk data. To open Disk Cleanup browse This PC, right-click on Drives, and select Properties.

Drive Properties

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

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

Disk Cleanup Tool

The Disk Cleanup tool will scan your drive and calculate how much space can be freed; it will take 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, recycles bin files, logs 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 the More Options tab and click on the clean-up button under System Restore and Shadow Copies.

Delete System Restore

This option will erase all current system restore points and shadow copies of older Windows versions.  So make sure that your computer is working correctly. 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 applications and software installed on the pc that we rarely or never use. Uninstalling such applications can be an excellent opportunity to free up some space on your hard drive.

From your Control Panel, go to Programs & Features. You can see the list of applications installed on your computer and their sizes. If you can’t see this column, click on the 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

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

Although it is an excellent way to free up some hard drive space, not all applications report the exact amount of space they are using.

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

Uninstall programs Windows 10

Delete Temporary Files

Reading this heading, you might wonder, doesn’t the 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 on our computers like Chrome or Firefox; they make GBs of temporarily cached data on our hard drive.

They use this data to access websites faster the 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 time to clean up temporary data of every browser and application on your computer? In such a case, CCleaner is a great tool that cleans junk and Temporary data from various third-party apps and even from the Windows system.

CCleaner

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 a single file on your hard drive. Be it your backup, essential docs, log files or the beautiful pictures you take trying to get a perfect shot. Most of these pictures have almost the same data with a slight difference, so what is the point in keeping all these useless photos instead of just the perfect one?

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

But here’s a problem!

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

Well, don’t worry! We have written a fantastic post on how to find and delete duplicate files on your pc; it is explained in great detail, and the tips given are simple and take 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 that protects 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 an earlier build. So in case any problem occurs, you can always go back to an 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 space can be allotted to system protection.

Start by right click on My Computer or This PC (in the 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, the System Properties window will open in the Protection Setting. Select your primary disk (which will have protection 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 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.

Analyze Disk Usage

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

WinDirStat

It is free, simple, and valuable to find which files are hogging your disk space. Once it starts, it scans your drives and shows exactly which files, folders, and which types 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

Whenever you hibernate 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.

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

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 that you won’t be able to hibernate your PC anymore, which means no more picking 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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