15 ways to free up disk space in Windows 10

As you use Windows 10, the internal memory on your PC will gradually fill up over time. That’s not a big deal for high-capacity HDDs and SSDs. But you’ll run into space-related troubles on drives that don’t have a lot of breathing space to begin with.

You can rely on a number of methods to free up disk space in Windows 10. Some methods help you free up tens (if not hundreds) of gigabytes, while others only add a few extra gigabytes. MB.

1. Freeing the Trash

When you delete files on your computer, Windows 10 doesn’t delete them completely. Instead, it stores them in Garbage can. That allows you recover deleted files if you change your mind after. But you end up trading disk space for convenience.

If you don’t plan on recovering any deleted files, you can choose to empty the Recycle Bin. To do that, right click on Garbage can icon on the desktop and select Empty trash can. Alternatively, you can open the Recycle Bin and delete selected files inside it.

The file can also be deleted permanently without sending it to the Trash by pressing Change + Delete after selecting it.

2. Delete the Downloads Folder

The Downloads folder on your Windows 10 PC is a hotspot for junk files and program installers that you’ll rarely use again.

Open File Explorer and select This PC > Download on the sidebar. Then delete any files you don’t want. You can also switch folders to List view and filter files by Size to locate and remove the items that use the most space.

3. Remove unwanted apps

Removing unwanted apps and programs from your computer is another quick way to cut down on used memory space on your Windows 10 computer.

To do that, open Begin menu and go to Setting > Application > Apps & Features. Then, scroll through the list, select the apps you don’t use anymore, and select Uninstall to delete them.

4. Use Files On-Demand in OneDrive

OneDrive is built into Windows 10 and lets you back up documents and photos easily to the cloud. It also supports Files On-Demand functionality, allowing you to download backed up files to local storage only when needed.

To turn on Files On-Demand in OneDrive, select A disk icon on the taskbar and select Help & Settings > Setting. On the Microsoft OneDrive dialog box then displayed, switch to Setting navigation. Follow that by checking the box next to it Save space and download files as you use them.

With Files On-Demand active, you can directly offload backed up files and folders whenever you want by right-clicking and selecting Free up space. You will continue to see the placeholder icons of the items. Attempting to access a downloaded file prompts OneDrive to download it locally.

5. Use the Storage Pane in Settings

Windows 10’s Settings app comes with a Memory pane to help you identify the data types that use the most memory on your PC.

You can access it by going to Begin > Setting > System > Warehouse. Then you will see a list of categories like Apps & Features, Temporary profile, Pictures, Musicetc., all of which you can drill into and remove space consuming programs and files.

However, the most important thing of the lot is Temporary profile. Select it, and you’ll immediately come across a list of areas where temporary files are located, such as the Downloads folder, the Recycle Bin, and the Windows Update cache. Next, select what you want to delete and select Delete files.

6. Run or activate Storage Sense

The Storage pane above also comes with a feature called Storage Sense. Enable it and you give Windows 10 permission to automatically delete temporary files on your computer.

Go Begin > Setting > System > Warehouse > Configure Storage Sense or run it now to access your Storage Sense settings.

Then turn on the switch below Be aware of storage to enable the feature. Follow that by adjusting the settings to determine how you want Storage Sense to run on your computer. For example, you can specify when it should run (e.g. when it’s running low on disk space), how often it should delete the contents of your Recycle Bin and Downloads folders, etc.

You can also choose to run Storage Sense manually whenever you want. Just scroll to the bottom of the screen and select Clean now.

7. Use Disk Cleanup

If you prefer a more compact view than the Storage screen in the Settings app, you can choose legacy drive cleanup utility instead of. It provides similar functionality and allows you to delete loads of temporary files quickly. You can bring it up by searching Disk Cleanup on the Start menu.

Follow along by checking the boxes next to the type of data you want to delete — for example: Windows Update Cleanup, Temporary Internet files, Memory dump file system erroretc Then select ALRIGHT.

You can also choose Clean up system files option to view additional temporary file types.

8. Delete other temporary files

Windows 10 also contains a large amount of other temporary files that you can safely delete. For a complete step-by-step guide, we recommend you check out this guide on delete temporary files in Windows 10. But here is the brief process.

Start by pressing Windows + CHEAP to open the Run box. Then type %temperature% and choose ALRIGHT.

Follow by deleting all files and folders in the visible folder. Next, type temperature in the other Run box, select ALRIGHTand delete all files inside that folder. Finally, finish by restarting your computer.

9. Clear browser cache

As you surf the internet, your browser caches data to make subsequent website visits faster. But if you’re stressed for storage, you can quickly free up about 500 megabytes to a gigabyte of space by clearing your browser’s cache.

Google Chrome

Open Chrome browser menu and select Setting > Privacy and security > Clear access data.

On the Clear Browsing Data dialog box then displayed, set Time range arrive Anytime and check the box next to it Cached images and files. Finally, choose Delete data.

Mozilla Firefox

Open Firefox menu and go to Option > Privacy and security > Delete data (Under Cookies and site data section). Then check the box next to Cached web content and choose Strange.

Microsoft Edge

Open edge menu and select Setting. Then switch to Privacy, Search and Services on the sidebar and select Choose what to delete Below Clear access data.

Next, put Time range arrive Anytimecheck the box next to it Cached images and filesand choose Delete data.

10. Find large files with WinDirStat

WinDirStat is a free and open source application that allows you to locate large files and folders on your computer in an intuitive format. After installing and opening the program, select the storage drive or partition you want to scan. You’ll then see a list of the folders that take up the most storage space, including as a percentage of the drive size.

When WinDirStat finishes scanning the drive, you will also see multiple colored blocks representing the files (by format) on the selected drive. The larger the size, the more space they take up. You can right click on an item and select Explore here to view (and delete) it in File Explorer.

11. Delete hibernate file

Windows 10’s Hibernate mode lets you restore files and programs even when you’ve powered off your computer. But files that support functionality by saving the state of programs and operating systems can take up a lot of disk space. So if you don’t mind skipping Hibernate usage, you can choose to disable it and reclaim the memory.

To do that, right click on Begin button and select Windows PowerShell (Admin). Then run the command below:

powercfg -h off

Follow that by opening File Explorer. Then choose File > Change folder and search options.

On the Folder Options dialog box that then displays, switch to View tab and select Show hidden files, folders and drives. Finally, open the Windows 10 installation drive—Local Disk (C:)—And delete the file labeled hiberfil.sys.

For complete step-by-step instructions, check out this guide to Disable Hibernation in Windows 10.

12. Delete old user accounts

If your computer has multiple Windows 10 user accounts, you may want to remove any entries that no longer serve a purpose. Just keep in mind that you will permanently lose all data associated with the accounts that you delete.

Start by opening Begin menu on your computer. Then go to Setting > Account > Family and other userschoose an account from Other users and choose Eliminate.

13. Turn off System Restore

System Restore is a handy backup function that helps you restore your computer to an earlier state if something goes wrong. But it also uses a large amount of storage space. So if you’re still running low on memory, you can choose to delete all but the last System Restore point.

To do that, open Disk Cleanup utility, select Clean up system filesswitch to Another choice and choose Clean up > Delete.

If you do not mind disable System Restore completely, open the Run box, type sysdm.cpland choose ALRIGHT. On the System Properties dialog box that appears, select Configure Below Protection settings and select the radio button next to Turn off system protection.

14. Reduce the size of Windows 10

You can reduce the size of Windows 10 itself to free up disk space by activating a feature called CompactOS. It compresses the operating system a bit and is well worth activating on computers with very little remaining storage space.

Start by right clicking Begin button. Then choose Windows PowerShell (Admin) and run the following command:

Compact.exe / CompactOS: query

If you find that CompactOS isn’t working on your system yet, run the following command to enable it:

Compact.exe / CompactOS: always

15. Disable reserved memory

Windows 10 uses a feature called Reserved Storage to make sure it has enough space to download and install future operating system updates. But that also leads to many gigabytes of lost space. So you can choose disable Reserved Memory with an edit to the system registry if you will.

Start by pressing Windows + CHEAP to open the Run box. Then type regedit and choose ALRIGHT. On the Registry Editor window that appears, enter the following path in the address bar and press enter:


Follow that by double clicking ShippedWithReserves Key. Then choose Value data arrive 0option ALRIGHTand exit Registry Editor. You must restart your computer for the changes to take effect.

Free up a lot of space

The suggestions above have definitely helped you free up disk space in Windows 10. Taking the time to set up Storage Sense by yourself is a great way to prevent yourself from doing frequent manual cleaning sessions. But whenever you want more space, browsing the list again can help you reclaim a large amount of used up space on your PC.

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