How To Clear Disk Space On Windows 10


8 quick ways to free up drive space in Windows 10

Any computer or laptop, no matter how huge the hard disk or solid-state drive is, will eventually run out of space due to the amount of data being stored on it. If you’re close to reaching the physical storage limit of your computer, here are several easy hacks you may apply to free up a couple of gigabytes of storage space. Following these suggestions will only get you so far; if you still need more free space after implementing these suggestions, you may need to add a second hard drive or replace your existing drive with one with greater storage capacity.

Empty the Recycle Bin

When you delete objects from your computer, such as files and images, they are not instantaneously removed from your system. Instead, they are sent to the Recycle Bin, where they continue to consume critical hard-drive space. The Recycle Bin may be emptied by selecting it on your desktop, selecting it from your right-click menu, and then selectingEmpty Recycle Bin. A warning message will appear, asking whether you are certain that you wish to permanently delete the items from your Recycle Bin.

Disk Cleanup

Windows includes a built-in disk cleanup utility, aptly named Disk Cleanup, that can assist you in freeing up disk space by removing a variety of files – including temporary internet files, system error memory dump files, and even remnants of previous Windows installations that may still be lurking on your computer. Disk Cleanup may be found in the Startmenu, under the Windows Administrative Tools heading. You may use Disk Cleanup or just search for it. Select the file types you wish to remove – everything from Downloaded Program Files to Thumbnails – and then click OK to confirm your selection.

And if you wish to eliminate system files, such as the Windows.old folder (which contains the remnants of earlier Windows installations and can be several gigabytes in size), choose Clean up system files from the drop-down menu.

Delete temporary and downloaded files

You can delete temporary files and downloaded items that you may no longer require without having to use Disk Cleanup, as well as data that you may have downloaded but do not need. Navigate toSettingsSystemand selectStoragefrom the left-hand panel. After that, selectTemporary filesfrom the list that displays how much space is being used on the C: disk, and then choose the types of temporary files you wish to delete by checking the boxes next to them before clicking theRemove filesbutton to delete them.

Turn on Storage Sense

Alternatively, you may automate part of this cleanup by returning to theStoragepage inSettingsand switching onStorage Sense. In Windows, you may configure the system so that it automatically deletes any temporary files that are no longer needed and any files that have been in the Recycle Bin and Downloads folder for more than a day or for up to 60 days. If any local files have not been opened for a specific amount of time, you may choose to have them moved off your PC and into the cloud through OneDrive by selecting this option.

I’m quite good at emptying the Recycle Bin on a schedule that’s somewhat resembling a regular basis, but I’m also really pleased with Windows’ ability to track down and delete unnecessary temporary files and outdated downloads. Featured image courtesy of Matt Elliott/CNET

Save files to a different drive

If your computer has numerous hard drives or a hard disk that has been partitioned, you may find yourself running out of space on one of the drives in a short period of time (or partition). Fortunately, you can correct this by altering the default save places for programs, documents, music, photographs, and videos on your computer. To do so, visit theSettingsmenu and navigate toSystemStorage, where you will find the Change link at the bottom of the page. This is where new material will be saved.

You can also choose a partition or drive that is not connected to your PC to store files for categories such as apps, documents, music, photos and movies.

Disable hibernate

Instead of entirely shutting down your computer, you may put it into hibernation, which is a quasi-shutdown mode that allows the machine to start up more quickly than usual. It takes up space when your computer goes into hibernation because it stores a snapshot of your data and drivers before shutting down. If starting up quickly isn’t a concern for you, you may save up some critical hard drive space by deactivating hibernation completely. This is because the hiberfil.sys file can take up several gigabytes of space on your hard disk when enabled.

Run as administrator by right-clicking Command Prompt at the top of the search results and selectingRun as administrator from the menu.

(If you find yourself missing hibernating, the command powercfg /hibernate may be used to re-enable the functionality.) Featured image courtesy of Matt Elliott/CNET

Uninstall apps

If you’re like most people, you have some apps and programs on your computer that you don’t use. These may be apps that you’ve installed and then forgotten about, or bloatware that came preloaded on your computer from the manufacturer. To find out which programs are eating up space, visit theSettingsmenu and selectAppsAppsfeaturesand then selectSort by size from the drop-down menu. To uninstall an app from this menu, first choose the app and then select Uninstall from the context menu. Some outdated apps may not display in this list if you’re running Windows 10 ($130 at Amazon), which is a modern operating system (some appear, but some do not).

Click Uninstall an application underPrograms to get a list of the legacy apps that are currently installed on your computer (you can also sort this list by program size).

Remove an application from this list by selecting it with the left mouse button and then clicking the Uninstallbutton at the top of this list. Featured image courtesy of Matt Elliott/CNET

Store files in the cloud – and only in the cloud

If you use cloud storage, whether it’s through OneDrive or another service, you’re likely to be double-storing files and photographs as a result. In any case, you aren’t required to do so because all cloud storage providers enable you to choose which folders are downloaded and saved on your computer (as well as in the cloud). Featured image courtesy of Matt Elliott/CNET If you are using OneDrive, here is what you need do: Right-click on the OneDrive icon in your system tray and select Settings from the menu that appears.

This setting will allow you to access the files you have saved in OneDrive from the File Explorer application on your PC, which performs the impressive feat of displaying all of your local and cloud-based files in a single location.

  • The blue cloud represents a file that can only be accessed online. When you see a green checkmark in a white circle, it means the file is locally saved and may be reverted to online storage if you run out of space. A white checkmark in a green circle indicates a locally saved file that will remain in place regardless of how much space is available

You can effortlessly move OneDrive folders and files from your computer to your OneDrive account and back again. Using the right-click menu, select Always retain on this device to transfer a file or folder from OneDrive to your PC. To delete the local copy of a file or folder and have it only be kept on OneDrive, right-click it and select Free up space from the context menu.

How to Free Up Hard Disk Space on Windows 10

If you need to clear up some disk space on your computer, Windows 10 includes a specific settings menu to make the procedure more convenient and straightforward. You can view how much space has been taken up on your device, as well as what kind of material has taken up that space. The Storage Sense tool will automatically delete temporary files, things from the Recycle Bin, and other objects that you may no longer require in your computer’s storage. Find out how to access your internal storage and free up space in a matter of minutes.

Storage Settings

Go toSettingsSystemStorage to see how much free space you have left on your hard drive, how much space has been consumed across various categories, and how much space is still available on your hard drive. Storage Sense may be used to automatically eliminate temporary files and other objects that are no longer required. Click on the buttons on the right-hand side of the Storage settings page to learn more about disk management and running out of available disk space.

Configure and Run Storage Sense

If you wish to better customize the Storage Sense function, you may do so by clicking theConfigure Storage Sense or Run It Now link. The frequency with which the utility will run and the time at which temporary files and downloads will be automatically cleared are also customizable. Open theRun Storage Sensedrop-down box to specify how often the function should be activated: every day, every week, every month, or only when there is insufficient free disk space. Unless you’re continuously running out of storage space, scheduling it once a month should be a smart spot to begin your optimization process.

Also available is the option to have Storage Sense automatically delete files from the Recycle Bin and Downloads folders on a daily basis, every 14, 30, or 60 days, or never.

If, on the other hand, you’re running out of room, you may act immediately. To have Windows check for superfluous files that can be eliminated, selectClean now from the File menu. After the task is completed, Windows will inform you of the amount of space that has been released.

Review OneDrive Files

In the event that you do not choose to automate the process, Windows nevertheless provides you with sufficient information to allow you to make decisions for yourself. Because Windows organizes your data into distinct categories on the Storage options page, you can quickly see which sorts of files are consuming the most space on your hard drive and manually free up space by deleting them. In the case of OneDrive, for example, if you want to save and sync files on your computer, click on the OneDrive icon and then on View OneDrive in the menu bar.

Uninstall Apps

You may do the same thing with the programs that have been downloaded to your computer as well. You may access a list of installed applications underSettingsAppsAppsfeatures, which you can check and delete if you decide you no longer want them. You may use this section to organize the list by name, date, or size. To uninstall an application, pick it and then click the Uninstall button.

Manage Photos

If you want to save photographs and other images on your computer, go to the Storage options page and select the Pictures option. By selectingView Pictures, you will be sent to the default Pictures directory, where you may search for photographs to remove.

Remove Temporary Files

Temporary files is another area that you’ll want to look at. Windows has a nasty tendency of accumulating temporary installation files, transient internet files, and other objects that you don’t generally require to work properly. On the Storage options screen, select Temporary Files from the drop-down menu. Depending on your operating system, Windows may propose several sorts of files you can delete. These include Recycle Bin files, Windows Update cleanup files, upgrade log files, device driver packages, transient internet files, and temporary files.

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Recommended by Our Editors

Some content kinds are unchecked by default, whereas others are checked. The Recycle Bin may be unchecked in order to allow you to restore any deleted files you may still require, and the Downloads folder may also be unchecked on the premise that you may still require data saved in that folder. Review the checked and unchecked categories to see if any adjustments need to be made, then clickRemove files to completely delete all of the stuff that has been checked.

Check External Storage

You may also check the amount of available space on any USB-connected storage device with Windows 10. Continue to More storage options and click the View storage utilization on other drives link while your external drive is connected in. Windows displays both your primary hard disk and your external hard drive. Click on the external drive to see how much data is being used by each category and to delete files from it.

Change File Destination

If your computer has more than one hard drive, you may change where new material is saved by selectingChange where new content is savedat the bottom of the Storage options page. Then, for apps, documents, music, photographs and videos, movies and television shows, and offline maps, move the position from one disk to another by dragging and dropping them. After selecting an item from the drop-down menu, modify the drive entry to a different drive, and then clicking Apply You have the option of using a different fixed hard disk or an external device.

Choose a detachable drive, but keep in mind that you’ll have to remember to connect it if you want to view the data that are saved on it.

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10 Ways to Free up Disk Space in Windows 10/11 [Guide 2022]

Are you seeing the error message “There is insufficient free space on partition (C:)”? Is your C drive always filling up? We demonstrate basic disk space optimization techniques, as well as how to utilize a free partition manager to upgrade your hard drive in Windows 10.

What Is Taking up Space on My Hard Drive

You may notice that your hard drive space is shrinking as you go about your everyday computer activities and ask, “what is eating up space on my hard drive?” Indeed, merely glancing at installed applications and saved files in Windows Explorer does not provide a clear picture of what is eating up disk space. Fortunately, Windows will assist you in getting out. Navigate toSettings – System – Storage, and you will get a list of all available disks. You may look at the contents of a disk to see what is using up space.

You will be able to check, for example, how much disk space an application or game consumes.

Fix1: Delete Unnecessary Files

Here are two techniques that you may use to do this. The first step is to manually choose and remove those files that you no longer need to have on your computer. Another option is to take use of Storage Sense. It was first introduced in Windows 10 version 1703 to help you get rid of temporary files and other junk that accumulates in your Recycle Bin. If you have Storage Sense on in the Settings menu, Windows will automatically free up disk space by deleting items that are no longer required.

Step 1.

Toggle the option ” Storage Sense ” on and then choose ” Change how we free up space ” from the drop-down menu.

You may also choose ” Clean now ” to clear up disk space on your Windows 10 computer right now.

Fix2: Uninstall Apps You No Longer Need

In the event that you have any apps installed for problem-solving purposes that are no longer required, you can remove them to save room on your computer’s hard drive. For this, right-click the Windows Start menu and select ” Programs and Features ” from the menu that appears. Then, using the right click on the software you no longer require, select “Uninstall.” Repeat this procedure to get rid of the remaining unused applications.

Fix3: Run Disk Cleanup

Disk Cleanup is a built-in utility that removes temporary and unnecessary data from your computer’s hard drive. When your hard drive, such as your C drive, begins to fill up with data, you may run Disk Cleanup to clear up some space on your computer. The following is a straightforward guide: The first step is to open Explorer and browse to “This PC.” Then, right-click on the drive you wish to clean up and select ” Disk Cleanup ” from the list of options that appear on the right. Step number two.

At this point, choose the ones you don’t want and click OK to close the window. Consider reading Disk Cleanup Windows 10 if you’re trying to clear up space on your C drive by removing additional system files like as those associated with System Restore and Shadow Copies.

Fix4: Disable Hibernation Mode

In computers, hibernation is the process of turning off a computer while keeping its state intact. If you have enabled Hibernation Mode in Windows by changing the Folder Options to ” Show hidden files, folders, and drives ” and unchecking ” Hide protected operating system files (Recommended) “, you will notice a file named ” hiberfil.sys ” on the C drive that takes up several gigabytes of storage space. If you have enabled Hibernation Mode in Windows by changing the Folder Options to ” Show hidden files, folders, and drives ” and unchecking ” Hi You may open CMD and enter the following command to free up the disk space sucked up by this file: Powercfg /hibernate off is a command-line option.

Fix5: Enable Compact OS

Windows 10 introduces a new operating system called Compact OS. It reduces the size of the operating system by employing a combination of compression techniques and software trickery. It also helps to lower the footprint of Windows applications, which helps to free up disk space and is useful in the Windows disk cleanup process. Enabling Compact OS is a simple process. However, because you will be working with the operating system, it is critical that you build a system image backup before you begin your work.

Locate and launch the Command Prompt application as an administrator.

This procedure will take around 20 minutes to complete.

Alternatively, if you ever wish to go back in time, you may use the opposite command to do so: The command compact.exe /CompactOS:never is executed.

Fix6: Reduce the Size of WinSxS Folder

If your C drive is continually filling up, you may navigate to C:Windows and locate a folder titled “WinSxS.” When you look at its characteristics, you will notice that it consumes a significant amount of disk space (image attached). The WinSXS folder includes all of the Windows system components and continues to expand in size as time goes on after Windows is first installed on a computer. Over time, it also accumulates unneeded data, such as obsolete versions of system components, on your computer.

It is important to note that deleting the whole WinSxS folder or even a few files from it might do serious harm to your system, making it hard to restart or upgrade your computer once you do so.

Step 1: Navigate to the Control Panel.

Step 3: Select ” Schedule tasks ” from the Administrative Tools drop-down menu.

“StartComponentCleanup” in the center panel may be accessed by selecting it from the context menu and selecting “Run.” If your hard disk space continues to evaporate despite your best efforts, you may want to examine the remaining solutions.

Fix7: Turn on OneDrive Files On-Demand

The OneDrive Files On-Demand feature of Windows 10 Fall Creators Update and higher versions may be used to save up disk space on your computer if it is running those versions. If you enable this function, you will be able to access your OneDrive files from your PC without having to download them all, which will spare up a significant amount of storage space. In the taskbar, choose the OneDrive icon and log into your account. Step 1. Step 2.Right-click the OneDrive icon and select ” Settings ” from the context menu.

Step 3.

Then right-click on the folder and select “Clear space.” All files are stored on the cloud in this manner, allowing Windows to free up disk space.

However, keep in mind that by doing so, you will only be able to view these files when there is a network connection available.

Fix8: Move Files to another Location

In order to free up disk space, consider transferring huge data such as images, audios, films, and other large files from your computer to another location, such as an external hard drive, rather than keeping them on your computer. Step 1. Launch File Explorer and navigate through each partition, selecting the ones you wish to relocate. To proceed, click on the Home tab on the ribbon, then selectMove to and then Choose location. Step 3.Select your external hard disk from the list of available locations, and then clickMove to proceed.

Fix9: Save New Files to another Location

In order to free up disk space, you should store some of your new files to a separate location rather than storing them all to the same area. Step 1. Go to the Start menu and select Settings – System – Storage from the drop-down menu. Step 2.Under More storage options, choose “Change where new material is saved” from the drop-down menu. Step 3.From the drop-down option for each content category, pick a disk to which new files should be saved. We hope that by the time you finish reading this, you have remedied the Windows disk cleanup issue.

Fix10: Get a Larger Hard Drive

The most effective method of removing the “low disk space alert” is to update your hard drive. If you have the financial means to acquire a larger hard drive, you may use one of the following techniques to expand your storage capacity. And, fortunately, MiniTool Partition Wizard can assist you with all of your needs. Before you begin, make sure you have downloaded and installed this free partition manager onto your computer. Download it for free. Option A: Make a copy of the disk This method will duplicate the source disk in its entirety to the bigger drive, allowing you to increase the size of each partition at the same time.

  1. Select the disk that has to be duplicated and then select ” Copy Disk ” from the action bar.
  2. It should be noted that the entire target disk will be cleaned.
  3. Choices for copying are made based on personal choice.
  4. In addition, regardless of whether you pick ” Fit partitions to full disk ” or ” Copy Partitions without resize “, you may resize each partition by sliding the slider on the lowest portion of the window.
  5. It is, however, available in the Pro and more sophisticated editions of the program.
  6. Step 4.You will be instructed on how to boot from the destination disk in this step.
  7. Step 5.Finally, click on the “Apply” button to save the modifications.

Option B: Only migrate the operating system If you merely wish to migrate the operating system to a second disk, choose ” Migrate OS to SSD/HD ” from the drop-down menu.

Set up your hard drive by connecting it to your computer and then running MiniTool Partition Wizard to access the primary interface.

“I would want to relocate my operating system to a different hard disk,” you will see in the pop-up box.

Step 3: Select the destination disk.

Optionally, you may change the size of the partition by selecting the copy choices.

Step 6.After the operating system has been transferred, restart your computer from the larger hard drive and erase the operating system from the old hard disk.

Option C: Copy a few partitions from the original You may also opt to migrate some data partitions to another hard drive, which will allow you to free up the most amount of disk space possible.

Choosing a place for the target partition’s copy is the second step in the process.

To proceed, click on the ” Next ” button.

To resize a partition, move the slider bar to the right or left to decrease or expand the partition.

Then click on the “Finish” button.

To save space, you should remove any previously cloned partitions from the original disk and then utilize the remaining unallocated space to expand the remaining partitions, as shown in the following example:” What is the best way to free up disk space?

Using one of these ten options, you may clean up your Windows hard drive quickly and efficiently.” To send a tweet, simply click here.

Now, It’s Your Turn

In this piece, we’ll show you 10 ways to free up disk space, with the intention that you’ll avoid the last, most expensive option. Other solutions may be discovered; please indicate the troubleshooting procedures you used in the comment area below. Contact us by sending an email to if you have any queries about the MiniTool program or about using it.

How to Free Up Disk Space on Windows 10: 6 Tips and Tricks

It’s way too simple to run out of disk space on modern computers. A person who has thousands of high-resolution images, hundreds of HD-quality videos, and tens of thousands of music may find themselves nearing the end of their memory capacity in a very short period of time. On older devices, the issue is exacerbated even more. A large number of users are using Windows 10 on machines that don’t have the same amount of storage space as more contemporary models, thanks to Microsoft’s aggressive update policy and the operating system’s minimal system requirements.

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Here are six suggestions for maximizing disk space on Windows 10 computers.

1. Delete Old Versions of Windows

When you update from an earlier version of Windows to a newer one, Windows automatically preserves the data from the older version. If necessary, you can revert to prior versions using this feature. The old data, on the other hand, takes up a lot of space. Even if you were already aware of this, it is possible that you were unaware that installing the most recent minor updates will also leave behind such files. Fortunately, getting rid of them is simple. Open the Settings app, scroll to SystemStorage, and choose your main disk from the drop-down menu.

Scroll down until you come across Temporary Files, and then click on it to open it.

Naturally, you may still utilize the classic Disk Clean-up approach if that is what you like to do.

2. Clear the Update Cache

Another method of freeing up storage space that has been unduly used up by Windows is to clear the update cache. The update cache is a collection of copies of the update installation files that are kept on hand. If you are ever required to reapply an update, the operating system will make use of them to spare you the trouble of downloading them again. Despite the fact that they are a brilliant idea, they take up a lot of room. Unless you have an extremely sluggish internet connection or are severely restricted by your ISP’s data limitations, you should be able to securely delete them from your computer.

The first step is to turn off the Windows Update service on your computer.

Afterwards, scroll down the list of entries until you reach the entry for Windows Update.

You’ll need to remove the files at this point.

To launch the run box, use the Windows key + R together, then typeC:WindowsSoftwareDistributionDownloadand press Enter. You have the option of deleting anything contained within the Downloads folder. Last but not least, you’ll need to return to the services menu and re-enable Windows Update.

3. Delete Hibernation Data

When you’re not using your Windows computer, you may conserve power by putting it into hibernation or sleep mode. There is one significant difference between the two modes: sleep mode saves all of your open documents and running programs to your device’s RAM, whereas hibernate saves everything to your hard disk. Sleep is analogous to placing a television on standby, but Hibernate allows your computer to totally shut down and reboot. If you do not intend to utilize hibernation mode, you can turn it off.

If, on the other hand, you find yourself making frequent use of the function, you should avoid doing so.

  1. Enter command prompt in the Start menu search bar, right-click it, and select Open as Administrator
  2. Type powercfg.exe -h off in the command prompt and hit Enter. That’s all there is to it. You will not receive any kind of notification or confirmation.

If you change your mind, repeat the preceding instructions, but this time use powercfg.exe -h on instead of powercfg.exe.

4. Delete Delivery Optimization Files

With the introduction of Windows 10, a new update tool known as “Delivery Optimization” was introduced, which allows your computer to fetch updates from other devices in the vicinity. However, in actuality, many individuals have complained about increased bandwidth demand as well as increased memory utilization. The reasoning behind this is that updates would be provided faster. It’s simple to erase the files, but first you’ll need to disable the function, else the files will just start piling up all over the place.

  • Optimization of the delivery process.
  • Now go to your app store and search forDisk Clean-up.
  • To discover Delivery Optimization Files, go to the bottom of the page and scroll down until you see it.
  • The remainder will be taken care of by Windows.

5. Delete the OEM Recovery Partition

The majority of PCs come pre-installed with an OEM recovery partition. They have become mainly useless as a result of Windows 10 and may be safely uninstalled. It is unfortunate that the only method to accomplish this is through the creation of a recovery drive. A USB stick is typically used for this purpose.Windows includes a simple tool for creating a recovery drive, which can be found by searching for Create a Recovery Drivefrom the Taskbar.Follow the on-screen instructions, and insert a USB stick when prompted.Windows will automatically detect the drive and create it for you.

To proceed, click the link and select Delete from the drop-down menu.

6. Delete the Windows 10 Recovery Partition

Not to be used until absolutely necessary since you will lose the ability to use any of Windows 10’s recovery options and will not be able to boot into the recovery environment to troubleshoot other areas of the operating system if you choose this option.

It is highly recommended that you make thorough backups of your data and build a USB recovery device before proceeding with this procedure.

  1. To begin, log onto Windows as an administrator and launch Command Prompt. Diskpart and press Enter, then List disk and press Enter once again
  2. Following that, typeSelect disk X. (replace theXwith the number of the disk where your recovery partition is saved). You’ll be presented with a list of all of the volumes on your drive, which will include your recovery partition, if you put in List volume. Input Volume 3 in the text box (change X with the right number
  3. On my system, this is Volume 3, the unlabeled volume)
  4. Last but not least, write Delete volume and press Enter

If you discover that your recovery partition does not have a label (as seen in the image above), hit the Windows key + X and selectDisk Management from the drop-down menu. Select the precise disk that you wish to use, and then compare the recovery drive size to the information in Disk Part before starting the recovery process.

Practice Good Computer Housekeeping

The ten actions we’ve outlined will undoubtedly assist you in reclaiming some of the space on your hard disk that has been lost for a long time. The problem will, unavoidably, resurface over time and begin to accumulate again. That implies that if you want to have the most amount of storage space accessible to you at all times, you must make storage cleanliness a regular part of your schedule. Also, keep in mind that you should avoid installing applications that aren’t absolutely necessary, and that you should frequently uninstall programs that are no longer in use.

  1. 5 Ways to Make More Disk Space Available on Your Computer In the event that you have ran out of disk space on Windows 10, what is the best course of action?
  2. Continue reading this article Dan Price is the author of this book (1609 Articles Published) Dan became a member of the MakeUseOf team in 2014 and has served as the company’s Partnerships Director since July 2020.
  3. You can also enquire about promotions and other types of cooperation.
  4. If you happen to be there, say hello.
  5. Dan Price has more to say.

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How to free up space in Windows 10

(Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.) Having knowledge on how to free up space in Windows 10 is beneficial information to have, especially now that the operating system is approaching its sixth year of service. And, let’s face it, for those who have been using Windows 10 since the beginning, accessible hard drive space may be running low. We’ve all been in the scenario when you’re ready to download an application, video game, or update when you receive a notice that your computer’s storage capacity has been reached.

No need to be concerned if you’ve landed yourself on this page in search of assistance; we’ve got you covered.

  • These are the most effective 2-in-1 laptops available right now
  • How to use a laptop computer as an additional display is demonstrated here. How to check the health of your laptop battery in Windows 10
  • Instructions on how to convert a PDF file to Word format for free

1.Go to the left-hand end of your taskbar (which is located at the bottom of your screen) and hit the ‘Start’ button. Alternately, you may press the Windows key to bring up the primary menu. Choose the settings icon on the left-hand side of the menu, which should bring up the settings window. 2. (Photo courtesy of Microsoft) 3.Select the ‘System’ option from the drop-down menu in the upper left corner of the screen. (Photo courtesy of Microsoft) 4.Go ahead and pick the ‘Storage’ option from the left-hand menu, which should be the first choice you see.

  1. Take a look at the different categories and determine how much space you’ll need for a new download or installation.
  2. (Photo courtesy of Microsoft) 6.Hover over the’sort by’ option and pick ‘Size’ from the drop-down box that appears.
  3. (Photo courtesy of Microsoft) Have a look over the list and try to identify any software or video games that you don’t use very often or at all.
  4. (Photo courtesy of Microsoft) 9.While you’re almost finished, go back into the ‘Storage’ menu and click on the ‘Temporary Files’ option to complete the decluttering of your device completely.
  5. But why would you need to do so in the first place?

All you have to do is choose the files you wish to delete and then click on the ‘Remove files’ button. (Photo courtesy of Microsoft)

  • More information:How to take a snapshot in Windows 10
  • What is the best way to remove a page in Microsoft Word? How to check the specifications of your computer in Windows 10

Denise is a news writer for Tom’s Guide, where she writes on technology, gaming software and hardware, streaming, and other topics. She creates short-form news items on a regular basis, as well as long-form content such as reviews and purchasing tips, as well as how-tos and feature articles. Instead of playing horror games on Twitch, she may be spotted roaming East London while playing the Pokemon Go mobile app. She’s also a part-time piano aficionado who enjoys experimenting in the kitchen on a regular basis.

7 Hacks to Free Up Space on Your Hard Drive

In the event that you have an excessive amount of junk stored on your desktop or laptop computer, you may encounter major performance concerns. If you’re experiencing slowdown, stopping applications, or difficulties finding crucial documents, it’s possible that your computer’s hard disk needs to be cleaned thoroughly. If you’ve never done it before, here’s how to free up hard disk space on your desktop or laptop computer.

1. Uninstall unnecessary apps and programs

The mere fact that you aren’t actively utilizing an obsolete program doesn’t rule out the possibility that it is still around. Take back control of your storage space by uninstalling programs that are no longer in use and taking up space.

To do this successfully:

  • From your desktop, click on the “Start” button to begin. After that, pick “Apps and Features.” After that, select “Apps and Features.” Check out the applications that take up the most space by sorting them by size. Remove any programs you aren’t currently using by choosing them and clicking “Uninstall.”

2. Clean your desktop

Despite the fact that many of us keep everything on our desktop by default, there is an easier option. Having a large amount of desktop clutter might cause your computer to run slower since these files eat up operational memory in order to be shown continuously. You should consider eliminating any files that you don’t require and reorganizing the rest into the Documents, Video, and Photos directories. When you remove them, you’ll free up a little amount of space on your hard disk, and those that you keep will no longer cause your computer to run more slowly.

3. Get rid of monster files

Most computers are quite efficient when it comes to data storage, but some file formats might consume storage space that you don’t have available.

To see which files are the largest:

  • Open the Windows Explorer (File Explorer) by pressing the Windows key + E. Select “This PC.” from the drop-down menu. Enter the word “size” into the search box in the upper-right-hand corner of the page. You’ll be able to choose from several different file size categories, ranging from “Empty” to “Gigantic.” The first thing to do is go through the largest files and see if there is anything you require
  • If not, take your garbage can to them and relieve your PC of the load
  • Otherwise, Continue to do so with all of the higher file sizes until your hard-drive capacity has been reduced to a manageable amount.

4. Use the Disk Cleanup Tool

This useful program is pre-installed on every Windows 10 computer. sand is a one-click solution for removing unused operating system files from your computer. If you have any of them, Windows can identify them for you and delete the ones that are no longer required.

  • By asking Cortana or typing “disk cleanup” into your search box, you may start the cleanup process. If this is your first time, select “Drive: C” to finish the process, which will take several minutes to complete.

It is important to note that the Disk Cleanup Tool is not the same as the Disk Defragment Tool. While both are required for optimal performance, the second tool is particularly useful for managing crucial data without taking up additional space on your hard disk. Make careful to arrange both chores to ensure the greatest possible outcome.

5. Discard temporary files

Every time you visit a website, a trail of data is left behind, including cookies, pictures, and text files, which help your next visit to the same site run more quickly the next time you visit. If you are concerned about your privacy or if you require additional hard drive space, there is no reason to keep these data on your computer. If you want to get the best results, see the documentation for your browser to learn how to clear these files.

Additionally, you may utilize the Windows utility to deal with temporary files. Take advantage of this chance to erase cookies, delete temporary files, and clear your cache, all of which will have an immediate favorable impact on your surfing experience as a result.

6. Deal with downloads

Anyone interested in learning how to free up space on a laptop hard drive will find that one of the most straightforward methods is to go through the long list of downloads that you are almost certain to have on your device. Untold numbers of us have downloaded video and audio files, as well as images and PDF papers that we may or may not ever use again. Some downloads, on the other hand, are critical, so take the time to go through your download folder and move any crucial items to the proper permanent directories as soon as possible.

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7. Save to the cloud

Finally, there may come a moment when you will be unable to save all of your information on your desktop or laptop computer. The fact that you should frequently backup essential information to your preferred cloud storage provider is one of the reasons why professionals encourage doing so. Not only will it free up valuable space on your hard drive, but it will also keep your data safe in the event that your hard drive fails, your device is lost, or some other type of harm occurs that puts your data at danger.

  1. It is possible that not doing so on a consistent basis will put your data at danger and result in massive volumes of data being shared at the same time.
  2. This will prevent you from falling behind on your backups and causing a data loss.
  3. Double-check your settings to confirm that this occurs at least once a week, if not every night, is scheduled to occur.
  4. These are a safe, economical, and simple plug-and-play option for ensuring that crucial files are always accessible when you require them.

Maintenance is vital

It might take some time to free up space on your hard drive, but it is an important element of a regular PC maintenance strategy for both desktop and laptop PCs. In fact, the more frequently you can complete these actions, the less time each will require – and the better the performance of your device. It may be necessary to perform certain extra chores, such as eliminating hazy or duplicate photographs on a regular basis. Don’t forget to completely remove all of the data and applications that you’ve erased from your computer’s hard disk.

About the Author

A contributing writer for HP® Tech Takes, Dwight Pavlovic has written for a variety of publications. Dwight is a journalist residing in West Virginia who specializes in music and technology.

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With Windows 10, the internal storage space on your computer progressively fills up over time as you use it. On high-capacity hard drives and solid-state drives (SSDs), this is not a significant issue. In contrast, you will encounter space-related difficulties with disks that do not initially provide much breathing room.

When it comes to freeing up disk space in Windows 10, you may choose from a variety of options. The difference between one and the other is that some of them help you free up tens (if not hundreds) of gigabytes, while others simply net you a few additional megabytes.

1. Free Up Recycle Bin

Even when you erase files from your computer, Windows 10 does not completely eliminate them from your computer’s memory. The Recycle Bin is where they are stored instead of being thrown away. If you change your mind later, you will be able to recover the data you erased. However, you wind up sacrificing disk space for the sake of convenience. In the event that you do not intend to recover any deleted data, you may select to empty the Recycle Bin. To do so, right-click on theRecycle Binicon on the desktop and selectEmpty Recycle Bin from the context menu that appears.

When a file is selected, you may delete it permanently without sending it to the Recycle Bin by hitting the Shift+Delete key combination after choosing it.

2. Clear the Downloads Folder

The Downloads folder on your Windows 10 computer is a haven for garbage files and application installers that you’ll only sometimes need to utilize again and again. Open File Explorer and click onThis PCDownloadin the sidebar to begin downloading files. After that, you can remove any files that you no longer require. You may also change the view of the folder to Listview and filter files by size to find and eliminate objects that are using up the most space.

3. Delete Unwanted Apps

Another easy technique to reduce the amount of storage space utilized on your Windows 10 computer is to remove unused applications and programs from your computer. To do so, enter the Startmenu and selectSettingsAppsAppsFeatures from the list of options. Then, navigate down the list and choose the programs that you no longer need by selectingUninstall from the drop-down menu.

4. Use Files On-Demand in OneDrive

OneDrive is a cloud-based storage service that is incorporated into Windows 10 and allows you to effortlessly back up documents and photographs. Files On-Demand capability is also supported by the software, enabling you to download backed-up files to local storage just when they are required. For OneDrive, choose theOneDriveicon on the taskbar and then HelpSettingsSettings to activate Files-on-Demand. When the Microsoft OneDrive dialog box appears, select theSettingstab option from the drop-down menu.

Whenever you choose, you may immediately unload backed-up files and folders by right-clicking on them and selectingFree up space from the context menu.

When you attempt to access an offloaded file, OneDrive will urge you to download it to your computer.

5. Use Storage Pane in Settings

The Storage pane in the Windows 10 Settings app is designed to assist you in identifying the data kinds that consume the most storage space on your computer. It may be accessed by selecting StartSettingsSystemStorage from the Start menu. After that, you’ll see a list of categories such as AppsFeatures, Temporary Files, Pictures, Music, and so on, all of which you can delve into and eliminate space-consuming applications and files from. Temporary files, on the other hand, are the most crucial of the bunch.

Select it, and you’ll be presented with a list of locations where temporary files may be found, including the Downloads folder, the Recycle Bin, and the Windows Update cache, among others. After that, choose the files you wish to remove and click on the Remove files button.

6. Run or Activate Storage Sense

Storage Sense is a feature that is included in the Storage pane that you can see above. As soon as you activate it, you are granting Windows 10 permission to erase temporary files from your computer on an ongoing basis. To access your Storage Sense settings, navigate to StartSettingsSystemStorageConfigure Storage Sense or just launch the program. Then, to activate the function, turn on the switch located under Storage Sense. After that, you can play around with the settings to figure out how you want Storage Sense to behave on your computer.

You may also opt to run Storage Sense on a manual basis anytime you like.

7. Use Disk Cleanup

When compared to the Storage screen in the Settings app, thelegacy Disk Cleanup application provides a more concise view of your hard drive’s contents. It provides comparable functionality and allows you to erase large amounts of temporary files in a short period of time. Start by searching forDisk Cleanupin the Start menu, and then clicking on it. After that, choose the data categories you wish to remove by selecting the boxes next to them (for example, Windows Update Cleanup, Temporary Internet Files, System error memory dump files, and so on).

The option to Clean up system files can also be selected if you want to see other temporary file kinds.

8. Delete More Temporary Files

Besides these temporary files, Windows 10 has a significant number of other temporary files that you can safely remove. We recommend that you read this article on deleting temporary files in Windows 10 for a step-by-step description of the process. However, here’s a quick rundown of the procedure. To begin, hit Windows+R at the same time to bring up the Run box. Select OK after you have typed in percent temp percent. After that, delete all of the files and folders included within the directory that appears.

Finally, restart your computer to complete the process.

9. Clear Browser Cache

When you browse the internet, your browser ends up storing information in order to make subsequent website visits more responsive. However, if you’re short on storage space, deleting the browser cache may quickly free up anywhere from 500 megabytes to one gigabyte of space on your computer.

Google Chrome

Open theChromemenu and chooseSettingsPrivacy and securityClear browsing data from the drop-down menu. When the Clear browsing data dialog box appears, select All time as the time range and check the box next to Cache pictures and files in the Cache images and files section. Finally, selectClear data from the menu.

Mozilla Firefox

Open theFirefoxmenu and selectOptionsPrivacy and securityClear Data from the drop-down menu (under theCookies and Site Datasection).

Then selectClear after selecting the checkbox next toCache Web Content.

Microsoft Edge

Open theEdgemenu and selectSettings from the drop-down menu. Choose what to clear underClear browsing data by selectingChoose what to clear from the Privacy, search, and servicestab on the sidebar. Then, close the window. After that, selectClear data and change the Time range to All time, check the box next toCached images and files, and click OK.

10. Find Large Files WithWinDirStat

WinDirStat is a free and open-source application that helps you identify huge files and directories on your computer by displaying them in a graphical interface. After installing and launching the software, navigate to the storage disk or partition that you wish to scan and choose it. After that, you should see a list of folders that take up the greatest storage space, shown in percentage terms compared to the size of the disk. When WinDirStat has finished scanning the disk, you should see a plethora of colored blocks indicating the locations of files (grouped by format) on the selected drive.

You may see (and remove) an item in File Explorer by right-clicking it and selectingExplorer Here from the context menu.

11. Delete Hibernation File

Windows 10’s Hibernate mode allows you to recover data and applications even after you’ve turned down your computer. However, the file that facilitates functionality by storing the state of the programs and operating system can take up a significant amount of disk space if used frequently. So if you don’t mind losing out on utilizing Hibernate, you may opt to disable it and recover the storage. To do so, right-click the Startbutton and select Windows PowerShell from the context menu (Admin). Then, execute the command below: powercfg -h off Follow that by opening File Explorer.

On the Folder Options dialog box that then shows up, switch to theViewtab and selectShow hidden files, folder, and drives.

For comprehensive step-by-step steps, check out this guide todisabling Hibernation in Windows 10.

12. Delete Old User Accounts

If you have many Windows 10 user accounts on your computer, you may wish to remove those that are no longer necessary. Please keep in mind that you will lose any data associated with the accounts you delete once they are removed. To begin, go to your computer’s Startmenu and choose “Run.” Then navigate toSettingsAccountsFamilyother users, choose an account from theOther userssection, and clickRemove from the drop-down menu that appears.

13. Disable System Restore

System Restore is a convenient backup feature that allows you to restore your computer to a previous state in the event that something goes wrong. However, it necessitates the utilization of a significant amount of storage space. Consequently, if you’re still running out of storage space, you may select to remove everything but the most recent System Restore point. This may be accomplished by using theDisk Cleanuputility, selectingClean up system files, then switching to theMore Optionstab and selectingClean up deletion.

If you don’t mind entirely removing System Restore, open the Run box and type in sysdm.cpl, followed by the OK button. Pick ConfigureunderProtection Settingsfrom the System Properties dialog box that appears, and then select the radio button next to Disable system protection from the drop-down menu.

14. Reduce the Size of Windows 10

Utilizing a technology known as CompactOS, you may reduce the size of Windows 10 itself, allowing you to save up valuable disk space. It has a little compression effect on the operating system and is well worth enabling for systems with limited available storage space to make the most of it. To begin, right-click on theStartbutton and select “Run as administrator.” Afterwards, choose Windows PowerShell (Administrator) and execute the following command: Compact.exe /CompactOS:query Compact.exe /CompactOS:query If you see that CompactOS is not currently running on your machine, you may activate it by running the following command: Compact.exe /CompactOS:always /CompactOS:always

15. Disable Reserved Storage

Windows 10 makes use of a feature known as Reserved Storage to guarantee that it has enough capacity to download and install future operating system upgrades as they become available. However, this leads to a loss of many gigabytes of storage space. Consequently, you may opt to disable Reserved Storage by making a change to the system registry if you so want. To begin, hit Windows+R at the same time to bring up the Run box. Then, typeregeditand press the Enter key. Using your keyboard, enter the following path into the address bar of the Registry Editor window, which will appear in a few moments: HKEY LOCAL MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionReserveManager After that, double-click theShippedWithReserveskey to complete the process.

It is necessary to restart your computer in order for the modifications to take effect.

Lots of Space Freed Up

The tips provided above should have been quite beneficial in helping you free up disk space in Windows 10. By itself, investing the effort to configure Storage Sense is a fantastic approach to avoid having to perform manual cleaning sessions on a frequent basis. However, if you ever need extra storage space, going through the list again might help you regain a significant amount of previously utilized space on your computer.

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