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8 Best Ways to Free Up Disk Space in Windows 10

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There’s a new trend where Windows user now install Windows 10 on a solid-state drive (SSD). This drive has a relatively small capacity compared to the commonly used hard disk drive (HDD). And after using Windows 10 for a while, you face a low disk space problem.

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Unknowing to you, a lot of things you are not aware of are taking over the space of your drives, like Hibernation files, system volume information, page files and Windows updates. If you stand by and do nothing about this, one day you will receive a Low Disk Space warning.

This article will focus on the best methods that you can take to free up or add more space to the Windows 10 system drive.

1. Delete Large File

The first thing that should come to your mind when you receive a Low Disk Space warning is to get rid of the unnecessary large files or you move them to an external disk.

The Windows File Explorer can help you in this process because it has it a built-in.

  • Go to File Explorer window and then go to the C: drive
  • Enter size:gigantic in the search box is at the top right of the window and press Enter to find files that are larger than 1-4 GB.

size-huge-min

  • Delete or move the large files that will be displayed on the search result

You can also type size:gigantic to find files are from 4GB and above or size:large to find files that ranging 128MB to 1GB.

Note: Make sure you know the file you are deleting so you won’t delete a file that will affect your system’s performance.

2. Run Disk Cleanup in Windows 10

You can use the Windows Disk Cleanup tool found in Windows 10/8/7 to delete different files including temporary internet files and even previous windows installations.

To locate the previous windows installations, just go to the C: drive and locate the Windows.old folder. Follow the steps below to use the Disk Cleanup tool.

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  • Open the Disk Cleanup tool and type “disk cleanup“ in the search box.

Also, you can right-click on drive C. Select Properties and then select Disk Cleanup to clean up the C: drive in Windows 10.

  • While in the Disk Cleanup window, select the items you want to delete and click the OK button and the deletion process will begin. And if you want to clean up more, click on Cleanup system files.

cleanup-system-files-min

  • Select the items you want to delete and click the OK button.

When you attempt to delete system files using this tool on Windows 10, it’s advice you leave the Windows ESD installation files. This file is used to Reset this PC, which gives you an option to reset your PC back to its factory settings but allows you to keep or delete your files. If you delete the ESD file, however, you will have a 3GB added disk space, but you will lose the Reset this PC feature.

what-to-clean-disk-cleanup-min

3. Scan Your Computer for Virus or Unwanted Software

Whenever your C: drive is full, think about carrying out a virus scan before thinking about deleting files. So it’s advised to have good anti-virus software installed on your PC.

Windows Defender is the least you should have and it must be updated to its latest version. Also to protect your system from malware and virus attacks, make sure your system is up to date because recent updates might come along with a recent security update.

4. Disable Hibernate

For those that have installed Windows 10 on an HDD, you already know that hibernating a PC allows it to start up very fast.

While the SSD folks know that it reduces their start-up time so there no need having it around when you can disable and delete the file to create more disk space.

Note: Hibernation eats up 3/4 of your installed RAM.

Deleting the hibernation files free up your disk space and give your PC a better performance. to disable Hibernate, you can run the following command below on your command prompt:

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powercfg.exe/hibernate off

5. Storage Sense for Freeing Up Space Automatically

Storage Sense is a built-in feature that frees up your disk space automatically. With it, you can also move files from one drive to another and also change the default saving the location of some files. To enable and configure Storage Sense, follow the steps below:

  • Head to Settings >> System >> Storage
  • Click on “Change How we free up space” to configure it

storage-sense-windows-10-min

  • There are two options there in which you can free up space. You can select one of them and configure to suit your preferences. When you are done you can click on the ‘Clean now’ button.
  • After configuration, you can turn it on

6. Reset Windows 10

Whenever you get rid of all the third-party software and also keep your files, you can reinstall Windows 10 losing no data.

The installation will insert a clean copy of Windows 10 and remove apps that were once installed on the PC. To do this, follow the steps below:

  • Click on Start >> Settings >> Update & Security
  • In the Update & Security window, click on Recovery. Then click on ‘Learn how to start fresh with a clean installation of Windows’ which is under ‘more recovery options’.
  • The click will take you to a web page. Scroll down on the page and click on ‘Download tool now’ to install the ‘Refresh Windows’ tool on your PC.
  • On opening the tool, it will immediately start refreshing. While refreshing, it will ask whether or not you want to save only your files.

7. OneDrive Files on-Demand

If you have a desktop app for OneDrive installed on your PC, know that it will take a lot of space to store your files on it especially if you have OneDrive for Business.

Fortunately, OneDrive allows you to enable Files on-Demand feature. This feature allows you to download files to local storage as you use them. Follow the screenshot below to enable this feature.

onedrive-mina

Bonus

8. Free up space using NTFS compression

If all our recommendations have not given you a breakthrough, then this method will. While it will give you the disk space you are craving for but it will slow down your system’s performance.

So I will recommend this as a desperate move.

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How to Set Up Folder Compression?

  • Locate the folder you want to compress using File Explorer.
  • Then right-click on the folder you have selected and click on Properties.
  • Click the Advanced button.

compress-folder-min

  • Select the ‘Compress contents to save disk space’ option and then click OK
  • Finally, confirm the operation and begin compression.

Note: You can undo the changes you have made when you no longer need to compress any file. This can be done by following the same instructions.

How to Set Up Drive Compression?

  • Right-click on C: drive with File Explorer and then click on Properties
  • Select the ‘Compress contents to save disk space,’ option

compress-c-drive-min

  • Apply the settings to begin compression.

Note: The compression process might take a while depending on the size of your disk. The exact space-saving will depend on your drive and the files that are stored in it. And if most files are compressed already, then there’s not much space to be saved.

We have laid before you different methods you can use to free up disk space in Windows 10. i have tried quite a few of them and they have proved to be effective.

But if you need to constantly free up space, this is a good time for you to ditch your present drive and upgrade to a larger hard drive.

Give us feedback on the methods you tried out. Share your thoughts with us by using the comments section below.

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