Disk space full on Windows 10: Here’s what to do

Do you have a disk space full on Windows 10, 8.1, 8 and 7? In this article, we are walking you through a couple of features with step by step instructions for freeing up useful space.

Be it either slow performance or low storage; it is said that red bar drives are not suitable for your computer’s health. Although additional storage is the easy way out, thorough clean-ups boost the overall performance of your systems without spending any money.

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Disk Cleanup

What cleans Windows best? Disk Cleanup; The best free Windows cleanup utility. For freeing up disk space on Windows 7 and all its successor versions, this built-in tool is a quick and reliable source. This feature removes all unwanted files from any drive of your choice and thus, generates more space.

How to run the Disk Cleanup utility in Windows 7/8/8.1/10?

  • Go to “This PC”;
  • Your computer will list all the volumes in your hard drive along with any additional storage media that is available in your computer;
  • In this particular screen, you will be able to see how much free space you have left in your drives;
  • To get more space in any drive; for example, “Drive C:”, hover your mouse pointer over to the volume and right-click on it;
  • You will see a new dialogue box with some options;
  • Go to “Properties”, which is the last option in the list and left-click on it;
  • A new dialogue box will open with a lot of different options;
  • Go to the lower right end area where you will see a button titled “Disk Cleanup”;
  • Left-click on the button and a new menu will appear before you;
  • You will observe a lot of unchecked items. Windows will also show you the amount of space each item is currently occupying in your computer;
  • You can check the items that you want to remove from your computer permanently. To get more space
    Click the “Ok” button now;
  • A prompt will appear on the screen with the question, “Are you sure you want to permanently delete these files?”
    Click “Delete Files”;
  • Windows will start deleting the files from your computer, and you will notice that there is more free space in your drive volume now;

Be it either Disk Cleanup Windows 7 or Disk Cleanup Windows 8, the aforementioned process is the same for all Windows versions.

The Storage Sense

To free up disk space Windows 10, Microsoft has launched this savior feature. The storage sense feature actively monitors your Windows for unused and old files and regularly removes them. You may say that this feature has automatized the disk cleanup Windows 10 feature.

To enable the storage sense:

  • Click Settings>System>Storage;
  • Turn on Storage Sense;

How to Cleanup Windows Update Files

Another brilliant feature of disk cleanup is to cleanup Windows update files. By the time Windows Vista was launched, Microsoft had introduced a new technology called componentization. This technology uses a folder named WINSxS; located in your Windows folder.

This folder allows the operating system to store all types of operating system files with the same name but different versions. The folder also stores Windows component files that support functions to customize and update Windows. This feature allows Windows to reset to its former settings if it encounters problems or bugs with a new update.

The reason behind explaining all this information is that with regular updates, WINSxS folder makes up a significant amount of our storage space. Through the channel of disk cleanup, Microsoft allows us to cleanup Windows Installer Folder and free up space on windows.

To cleanup Windows updates:

  • Right-click on drive C, select Properties and then “Disk Cleanup”;
  • Click Clean Up System Files in the disk cleanup dialogue box;
  • Windows will take some time to collect information about the storage space the Windows Installer Folder is currently occupying in your computer;
  • A new dialogue box opens with a list of files to select;
  • You will observe a lot of unchecked items. Windows will also show you the amount of space each item is currently occupying in your computer;
  • You can check the item “Windows Update Files”;
  • Once you are done selecting, click “Ok” located at the bottom;
  • The same prompt as earlier will appear on the screen with the question, “Are you sure you want to permanently delete these files?”
  • Click “Delete Files”. Windows will start the deletion process, and once it is complete, you will find that you have a lot more free space in your drive.

OR

  • Click More Options tab next to Disk Cleanup tab in dialogue box;
  • Click Cleanup under System Security and Shadow Options;
  • Click Ok;

Cleanup Temporary Files

“Hold on! I just ticked temporary files in the disk cleanup dialogue box. Why do I need it again?”

Your question is wholly justified, and we are happy to answer. Disk cleanup utilities only cleanup Windows temp files containing webpages stored on your drives.

These temporary files do not include files saved by other apps, for example, Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome. These files often happen to make gigabytes of data, including cookies, cache, and history.

To clean up temporary files in Google Chrome:

  • Click on Three Dots parallel to address bar > More Tools > Clear Browsing Data;
  • A dialogue appears with a list of items;
  • Select items you wish to delete;
  • Click Clear data;

You may also clean up temporary files of Mozilla Firefox by deleting the browsing history from its settings.

Cleanup Windows Registry

Another useful hack for freeing up space on Windows 7 and all its successor versions is the cleanup Windows registry. The Windows registry is a central location in which all data is stored and managed. So, you may say that everything you do on your computer gets saved in the Windows registry.

To manage and cleanup Windows Registry manually can be a tedious and challenging task to do with so much data and little knowledge of what is essential and what is redundant. Cleaning up the registry is usually done through third-party software utilities. For example, to cleanup registry Windows 10, CCleaner is the most popular tool.

Permanently Remove Trash Items

We all know the purpose of the recycle bin; to let us restore deleted data. This ability to not completely throw away trash also takes up valuable space from our hard disk.

To clean up trash items and free up memory in Windows:

  • Right-click on Recycle Bin;
  • You will see a few options; left-click on “Empty Recycle Bin”;
  • A dialogue box will prompt you by asking: “Are you sure you want to permanently delete these items?”;
  • Click “Yes”;

Remove Unused Applications

To free up memory in Windows 7 and all its successors, another clever hack is to uninstall all unused apps. We all tend to have some applications that we have installed in our Windows, but do not use them. Microsoft Windows allows us to uninstall these unused apps and free up some extra gigabytes on our computer.

To clean up unused applications:

  • Go to Control Panel;
  • Select Programs and Features;
  • A dialogue box opens with a list of applications;
  • Click the program you wish to select;
  • Select the Uninstall/Change option available on the top of the programs list;
  • A dialogue box opens to reconfirm your action.

The procedure to clean up unused applications is the same to free up memory in Windows 7 and all its successor versions.

Disable the Hibernation Feature

Microsoft has introduced the fantastic feature of hibernation in Windows 7 and all its successor versions. The feature allows you to shut down your computer by storing the ongoing session temporarily on hard drives. This way, you may resume your work from where you left.

While this utility saves you lots of effort and time, it may take up a lot from your storage.

To turn off hibernation:

  • Click Start;
  • Search Command Prompt in the search bar;
  • Right-click Command Prompt and select Run as administrator;
  • Type the command powercfg /hibernate off;
  • Press the Enter key.

The procedure to disable the hibernation feature is the same for freeing up disk space on Windows 7 and all its successor versions.

Wrap Up

If your computer is running out of disk space, then using these ways to delete junk files to free up storage space on Windows 10/8.1/8 and 7 is the way to go. As a bonus, you’ll get a more usable computer and you’ll also get better performance.

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