Freeing disk space

If you have a small disk , for example an 128GB SSD, you will very quickly run out of space. In this simple post I will show what you can do to reclaim disk space.

  • Clean Recycle Bin, this is obvious
  • Disk Cleanup, this is obvious
    • Right click on a drive in Windows Explorer, next click on Properties menu item and then on Disk Cleanup button

Disk Cleanup

  • Clean up, system files, this is not so obvious
    • If you see on that Disk Cleanup window you will see the button Clean up system files.
    • If you had Windows 7 then you updated to Windows 8 and then to Windows 8.1 and then to Windows 10 you will have in your machine lots and lots of useless crap and lots and lots of less disk space.
    • This is also true for Windows Updates

Disk Cleanup System

  • Next, while you are on that window, click on the tab More Options
    • Here you will find two buttons Clean up in the following sections
      • Programs and features
        • Uninstall every program you don’t need.
      • System Restore and Shadow Copies
        • Remove every thing you don’t need it

Disk Cleanup System More Options

  • Disable Hibernation
    • Hibernation uses as much disk space as you have RAM. For example if you have 8GB of RAM you will have lost 8GB of disk space.
    • To disable hibernation open command prompt as Administrator and execute the following command “powercfg.exe /hibernate off”

Disable hibernation

  • Disable System Restore (advanced users)
    • Open Advanced System Settings and then click on the tab System Protected
    • If you don’t need System Restore, System Protected and all those fancy stuff that uses lots  of disk space, disable it.

System Properties

  • Virtual Memory (advanced users)
    • Open Advanced System Settings and then click on the tab Advanced and then button Settings… Next click on Advanced tab and on the Change… button in Virtual memory section.
    • Here you can control how your Virtual memory is managed. If don’t want to use automatic settings you can change it to manual and you can even choose the drive where you want to store your swap file.

Virtual Memory

  • Clean Temp files
    • Open Windows Explorer and type %TEMP% in the address bar and delete all files and folders, because they are temporary and that’s why the are stored in temp folder. Also you might want to check the C:\Windows\Temp

Temp Files

  • Clean Temporary ASP.NET Files (Advanced users)
    • If you are a .Net developer you probably want to check Temporary ASP.NET Files and clean this folder. These are the folders you might want to check
      • C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v4.0.30319\Temporary ASP.NET Files
      • C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727\Temporary ASP.NET Files
      • C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework64\v4.0.30319\Temporary ASP.NET Files
      • C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework64\v2.0.50727\Temporary ASP.NET Files
  • Clean browser cache
    • All browsers, IE, Chrome, Firefox, etc… they all store on your disk files like (images, css, javascript, html, etc…) these files are temporary and exists to “speed up” sites rendering. This way the browsers don’t need to fetch everything every time you visit a site.
    • Every browser have a Clean browsing data button in browser Settings.

Clear browsing data

  • Use WinDirStat or TreeSize or any similar tool
    • These tools let you know where are you loosing space and eventually you can reclaim some space


  • Compress Drive
    • If you use NTFS it’s possible to use drive compression and save some space. In Windows Explorer right click on a drive and choose the properties menu item

Compress drive

  • Compress Folder
    • If you don’t want to compress a drive and just want to compress a folder, right click on the folder you want to compress and click on properties. Here you have the Advanced… button. Next a window will open and you will have an option to compress folder content.

Compress folder

  • Use CCleaner  or any similar tool
    • Most of the manual steps that I’ve explained in this post are automatically done by some tools like CCleaner.

At this point you should have reclaim lots of disk space. If you know any other want to reclaim disk space just comment the post.

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