How To Free Up Space On Windows 11, 10, 8 & 7 PC
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
It’s easy to find yourself with a full hard drive, especially if you like installing games and other very cumbersome applications, or if you are a video editing lover. Even today storage drives can hold more than one terabyte of data (1000 GB), making the need for more drives less and less urgent, in parallel with this positive evolution, we are seeing an exponential increase in the number and size of files required to run the most popular programs. Not to mention the constant need to download data from the Internet, even to back up our mobile devices. Thus, freeing up space in Windows 10 it is necessary not only to work with our PC, using the latest versions of the operating system and our favorite programs, but also for the correct management of our data, their competent distribution.
However, having a “clogged” computer is not only a problem for “sequential content drives” (who does not clog?). Windows systems have always tended to exacerbate the situation in two ways: the continuous creation of temporary files and the problems associated with data fragmentation on disk. Then let’s see how to solve this.
How to free up space on Windows 10
Regarding the creation of temporary files , it should be borne in mind that almost every operation you perform on the system, from creating a Word document to visiting a web page, certainly includes the automatic (or at the choice of programmers) saving data useful for improving the performance of applications. or to provide you with additional services.
The fact is that these files, wherever they are (and often you cannot see them, because they are hidden), should be periodically deleted by the same programs or system services that generated them. However, for a number of reasons, this may not happen as planned.
However, as these files accumulate, they will saturate the disk and, if not removed methodically, can significantly slow down your PC’s performance in the long run. In fact, an accidental deletion would leave a lot of small free space on the disk, which, not being fully occupied by new large files, would cause the system to fragment data into smaller “chunks” that will be rebuilt each time. Hence the additional need for defragmentation .
READ MORE: How To Delete A TikTok Account
In this guide, you will learn how to manage redundant data in the operating system to intelligently reclaim space in Windows 10. I will not go into defragmentation, which, while useful, requires a different approach. The last explanation, however, should have helped to understand how data is “stored” in the operating system.
Since we will act directly on your data, remember to always be careful . Do not risk deleting the only copies of the files you have, so proceed at your own risk , taking the necessary care about the importance of the information you store on your computer.
It is very important that you never start bulk hard drive work without protecting your most important data . This will free up space on Windows 10 with a lot more peace of mind. The best way to make the right backup is to manually select documents to save elsewhere, but this can be long and frustrating.
A good trick is to always use the same folder to save important data (it could be the automatic Documents folder or another), and also get help, if anything, from online storage services (so in the “cloud”, see . below).
In any case, keep in mind that no backup application can independently retrieve the information that your applications save in the registry or in files defined by the programmer (for example, passwords, bookmarks, settings, etc.). To save them too, read our guide to complete backups on Windows 10.
How to increase space on Windows 10
In the following sections of this guide, I will show you what to do to free up storage space on the main hard drive where Windows 10 is installed. In addition, I will tell you which additional hard drives to install so that they are compatible and fast enough. according to your needs. Sit back and move on to the next item.
Most users often forget that sending something to the Windows Recycle Bin is not the same as deleting it, but only temporarily invisible. In fact, files and links moved there, including software installation packages, take up space.
To delete these files permanently and restore space on W10, you need to run the “Empty Trash” command . This can be done by right-clicking the Trash icon and selecting the appropriate option.
Using the trash can options , available when you right-click the trash can icon and select Properties, you can force Windows to delete files immediately . But pay attention to this option, as it carries the risk of losing even accidentally deleted files completely.
USING CLOUD STORAGE
We have already mentioned the possibility of using cloud storage to back up your data. However, this technology, with due care, is very well suited to serve as ongoing support for our storage space needs on Windows 10 PCs.
In fact, it is possible to configure cloud-related applications to periodically “scuffle” the folders that we configure to copy each changed file, with great efficiency and versatility, allowing us to no longer be tied to the copies on our hard drive.
Of course, the most common realities of the computer cloud currently popular with Windows are as follows. Google Drive e OneDrive The latter is made by Microsoft, whose operation is quite similar and intuitive. On the other hand, the amount of free storage varies, which, in particular in the case of OneDrive, can be significantly increased when paying for a subscription. To learn more about these and many other services, read the best cloud storage guide I’ve already written.
ACTIVATE MEMORY SENSOR
Windows 10 has tried to implement a service that in itself promises to solve the problem of useless files (temporary and recyclable junk) that we faced earlier. However, Microsoft for some reason did not consider the possibility of making its work automatic, which must be manually activated by the user.
Then go to Windows Settings (which is represented by a gear icon in the Start menu) and from there to System . In the window that appears, find the Storage tab and select it from the left sidebar.
A second window will appear summarizing a rough picture of the (potentially) useless files on your computer, along with items to enable and configure the Memory Sensor .
This “Memory Sensor”, despite its name, is actually a simple mechanism that is activated automatically when certain events occur, which you can decide to set according to your preference (for example, reach a given level of disk saturation or spend a certain amount of time, e.g. week or month). When this event occurs, the “sensor” will work by deleting temporary files and the trash can (unless otherwise provided). You will be able to constantly free up space in Windows 10.
You can also set the Download folder to empty automatically , but there is also a risk of losing important data downloaded from the Internet. Last but not least, the ability to delete data from older versions of Windows left on the PC.
The Disk Cleanup feature , available on the first Properties tab of each hard drive , is Microsoft’s oldest answer to the Windows temp file problem and has not been replaced by the mentioned “gauge” (see sample image).
This option is by far more useful on the primary disk , which accumulates the most temporary files. In the corresponding window, you can select the data you want to delete, all with a short description, with one-time intervention.
If you want a batch operation to be performed instead , we have to use, as already said, a new memory sensor .
REMOVING UNUSED APPLICATIONS
By clicking on the “Clean up system files” button in the above window, you can access a new window with additional options. An additional button appears on the second tab inviting us to remove unused applications .
In fact, by following this step, you are simply linking to an entry in the Control Panel, from which you can essentially uninstall any application on your computer. It’s also a good way to free up space on Windows 10.
However, the choice is yours, depending on how you use your PC and the software installed on it.
SAVE FILES TO EXTERNAL DRIVE
Assessing the usability of an external drive on closer inspection is not comparable to a real cleanup, because you just carry over the problem . External drives currently on sale have a higher quality of technology than in the past (even more recently), in which the device was often just a “metal cage” containing a regular hard drive that always needed a separate power supply. If the external drive is not in a solid state (SSD) and therefore acts like a traditional hard drive, then the main problem with this solution, however, remains the fragility of the medium .
Hard drive technology is actually designed for static situations, not subject to head movement, and the slightest bumps are frequent enough to dramatically shorten the lifespan, causing sudden and irreparable breakdowns.
Therefore, if you are using traditional discs, handle the device with extreme care, keep it as horizontal as possible, and do not touch it during operation. Also remember that depending on the type of disk, how it is stored, and the type of stress it is subjected to, data loss may occur in some cases, especially when the disk is “stored” for a long time before being reused.
From personal experience, I can recommend SanDisk SSDs, portable and with write capacities up to 550MB / s. Below I suggest the 1TB model, but other memory cuts are available.
INSTALL ADDITIONAL HDD OR SSD
To overcome these problems, it is undoubtedly best to buy an additional drive and place it directly inside the case. In this case, you must first check what technology is available on the motherboard and then purchase a compatible hard drive.
Newer personal computers, in any case, are equipped with only a SATA connection , or – in extreme cases – offer an additional PATA connection, allowing older parallel equipment to be connected. There are also faster solid state solutions like NVMe M.2 (more expensive). Anyway, if you don’t rely on an SSD (which I recommend), at least go for a 7200 RPM secondary hard drive . Here are some examples.
In addition to properly connecting the additional ground memory (SATA cables should not present any recognition problems as they have forced inputs), always make sure the drive is securely fastened to the chassis with the appropriate screws. Also, remember that any work you do on the hardware is risky and may require specialist assistance.
Thus, you indirectly free up space on the W10, because you transfer files to a new hard disk or install heavier programs on it. Keep in mind, however, that with regard to software installed on a secondary drive, you may notice a performance slowdown (especially if it is not an SSD).
REMOVING TEMPORARY FILES
As we have already seen, Windows 10 contains many features that allow you to directly delete temporary files . However, it should be noted that this cannot do anything against applications that save temporary files from system folders.
To solve this problem, you can refer to some third party free software, such as CCleaner , which also allows you to identify the “virtual junk” produced by the major applications you use (eg web browsers).
DELETE DOWNLOADED FILES
In the “Memory Sensor” settings screen, as we have seen, you can delete all files in the Download folder , but you may lose downloaded documents that might interest you.
Therefore, I advise you to manually delete unnecessary files . This can be done from software installation packages downloaded from the Internet, usually of the EXE type . Then you should delete folders and other obsolete file types.
Then you have to reclaim several gigabytes of space on Windows 10 that was unnecessarily occupied.
DISABLE WINDOWS HIBERNATION
In order to allow you to put the system into hibernation , Windows uses the function of saving large amounts of data to disk. You can disable the feature (very carefully) by entering the console located in the path Start Menu> Windows System> Command Prompt. Maybe run a command prompt in admin mode.
In the command line interface, enter the following and press Enter :
turn off the power
From now on, the PC will no longer be able to hibernate, but you will get a seat. However, to restore the function, keep in mind that you just need to execute the same command with the included word, not off.
REMOVE OLD WINDOWS USERS
You can also free up space on Windows 10 by eliminating PC users who no longer use it . You can do this very easily by following the wizard that appears in the section Settings> Accounts> Family and other users.
This way, you can reclaim a significant amount of space in Windows 10 (depending on the case, of course). But be careful : you may lose information and especially settings related to deleted accounts, which you may regret.
Temporary folder error is full
Microsoft has announced that it has found a small error related to the accumulation of Microsoft Store files in the temporary folder of system files, resulting in a curious error message .
For now, the only way to fix this problem is to run the Store troubleshooting tool available from the menu Start> Settings> Update & Security> Troubleshooting. The procedure is automatic.
With the suggestions I just gave you, you can certainly address the underlying space issues of your Windows 10 system. However, remember that the best way not to get “water under the bridge” is to always service your disk periodically and rationally. eliminate old installations or old documents that are no longer needed, as you understand their uselessness.