5+ best methods to free up hard disk space on Windows 10/11

by Ivan Jenic
Ivan Jenic
Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
Passionate about all elements related to Windows and combined with his innate curiosity, Ivan has delved deep into understanding this operating system, with a specialization in drivers and... read more
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  • There are a few easy-to-try ways to free up hard drive space that you can use every once in while.
  • Freeing up disk space is a procedure that will ensure a healthier operating system.
  • Uninstalling unnecessary apps or temporary files are among the most common steps to gain more system space.
  • Windows 10 includes a system option that automatically removed unused items periodically. 
best methods free hard disk space

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A little extra storage space is always useful, but we often struggle to keep it on the optimal level, because it somehow always gets full.

In this article, we’ll show you a few tips on how to save and clear some disk space on your Windows 10 computer.

How do I free up space on my hard drive Windows 10?

  1. Perform a disk cleanup
  2. Uninstall unnecessary apps
  3. Run disk analysis and defragment
  4. Find Duplicate Files
  5. Disable Hibernation And System Restore
  6. Use Storage Sense

1. Perform a disk cleanup

  1. Go to Computer, right click on the drive you want to clean up and choose Properties.
  2. Click on Disk Cleanup under Properties window.
  3. Wait for it to calculate how much space you’ll be able to free.disk cleanup
  4. Select the types of files you want to delete and click OK (you can delete temporary files, log files, files in your recycle bin, etc.).
  5. Click on Clean Up System Files and wait until the cleaner calculates everything. It will give you even more free space by cleaning some unnecessary system files.
  6. Go to More Options and delete system restore data under System Restore, Shadow Copies (This command deletes all previous system restore points, except the most recent one.).

Please note that this inbuilt utility may not always completely delete all temporary files from third-party apps such as web browsers.

For a perfect cleanup, we recommend you use a dedicated tool such as CCleaner. It’s a light and simple utility that can clean all Windows and third-party apps, remove junk files, and duplicates and fix your registry.

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2. Uninstall unnecessary apps

All of us probably have some programs on our computers that we’re not using. These programs could take a serious amount of disk space, and uninstalling them will definitely provide you with an extra storage expanse.

To get rid of unused programs, go to Programs and Features in Control Panel and see what programs or apps you don’t use often, or at all. Uninstall unnecessary software and check your free space again.

There’s a column in Programs and Features that shows you how much space each program is using, so you can easily calculate how much space you’ll get once you uninstall these programs.

If you don’t see this column, click the options button in the top right corner and select Details view.

3. Run disk analysis and defragment

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To figure out what exactly is using space on your hard drive, you can analyze your hard disk with some of the hard disk analysis programs.

Hard disk analyzers scan your hard drive and display all information about it, among other things, what is using space of your hard disk.

After you scan your system with a disk analyzer, it will show you exactly which folders or files are using the most space. Delete unnecessary files or folders and your free disk space will increase (but be careful, don’t delete any important system or personal files).

After performing this task, it is recommended to defragment your hard drive, and you can check our list of best defrag tools for Windows, in case you didn’t make your choice of defragmenting software yet.

4. Find duplicate files

Duplicate files could also use some space on your hard disk. Luckily, there are a few programs that can find and delete all the duplicate files, and free up some storage space for you.

You can use Easy Duplicate Finder to scan your hard drive for duplicate files and photos and delete them.

5. Disable hibernation and System Restore

These tricks will definitely save you some space, but they will disable some important Windows features. So we don’t recommend performing these operations.

You should use it only if you desperately need more space, but use it on your own because they might be risky:

  • Disable Hibernation – When your computer enters hibernation, it saves the content of RAM memory on your hard drive. This allows your computer to save system state without any usage of power, so it could bring you right where you left off when you boot your computer next time. Windows saves the content of RAM memory in C:hiberfil.sys file, and when you completely disable hibernation, this file will be deleted.
  • Disable System Restore –You can also completely disable System Restore in order to save more disk space. But it will delete all restore points and your backup data, and if something goes wrong with your computer you won’t be able to use System Restore to bring it back to normal.

6. Use Storage Sense

  1. Open Start, and go to Settings > System > Storage.
  2. Turn on Storage Sense.storage sense windows 10
  3. Click on Change how we free up space automatically option.
  4. Select or deselect the checkboxes for options under Temporary Files, Locally available cloud content, and Free up space now.

Storage Sense automatically deletes temporary files. It keeps an eye on your old and unused files and removes them regularly. For example, it’ll delete files that have been in the recycle bin for more than 30 days.

That’s particularly all you need to know about saving and freeing up your hard disk space, but if you have some other tips of how to increase the hard disk space, please share them with us in the comments.

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