Recovery drive is full on Windows 10/11 [Quick Fix]

by Milan Stanojevic
Milan Stanojevic
Milan Stanojevic
Windows & Software Expert
Milan has been enthusiastic about PCs ever since his childhood days, and this led him to take interest in all PC-related technologies. Before joining WindowsReport, he worked as... read more
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Recovery drive is full

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Users have reported encountering the error message Recovery drive is full on Windows 10. This should not be confused with the low disk space message.

The first error code deals with the specific recovery drive, and the second message relates to the general space availability on your PC’s hard drive.

The recovery drive is a separate partition stored on your PC that contains all the files needed in order for you to be able to fully restore your PC if your system becomes unstable for some reason.

In this article, we will explore the best methods to deal with this issue. Please follow these steps closely to avoid causing any other issues to your system.

How to free up space on recovery drive in Windows 10?

1. Manually move files from the recovery drive

  1. Press Win+X keys on your keyboard -> select System.
  2. Scroll down and select System info.System info - recovery drive is full
  3. Select System protection from the menu on the left side.System protection - recovery drive is full
  4. Inside the System protection window -> select the specific recovery drive -> select Configure.
  5. Select Disable system protection -> click Ok.
  6. Open File Explorer -> click the View tab -> select the Folder Options button.Folder options - recovery drive is full
  7. Select Show hidden files, folders, and drives.
  8. Remove the checkmark from Hide protected operating system files-> click Ok.Folder options hidden files - Recovery drive is full
  9. Double-click your Recovery drive to open it.
  10. Select the files you want to move -> copy them to another drive with free space.
  11. Delete all the other options by using the key combination Shift+Delete.
  12. This should have fixed your low disk space issue for your Recovery drive.

Note: Make sure not to delete files that are associated with system recovery. Here are some you should avoid deleting:$RECYCLE.BIN, boot, hp, EFI, Factory Update, preload, Recovery, RM_Reserve, system.sav, bootmgr, RMCStatus.bin, BT_HP.FLG, CSP.DAT, DeployRp, HP_WSD.dat, HPSF_Rep, language, or RPCONFIG.

2. Run Disk Cleanup

  1. Press Win+R keys on your keyboard -> type cleanmgr -> Click Ok.
  2. Select the Recovery partition -> select Ok. (for  this  example we’ll use the C: partition)disk cleanup - recovery drive is full
  3. Wait for Windows to calculate the amount of space you will be able to free up.disk cleanup loading - recovery drive is full
  4. Select the files you want to delete by clicking the respective boxes.Disk cleanup C selecting files - recovery drive is full
  5. Press OK and wait for the process to be completed.

Bonus: The Recovery drive is full but there are no files to delete

The first 2 solutions cover pretty much all possibilities, but there is also a third scenario that you might encounter and we dare say, it’s even more frustrating.

It happens when the recovery drive is said to be full, but you cannot find any files to delete or remove.

Here are some useful tips to consider:

  • Check for malware infection or signs of corruption (you can run a full system scan by using your antivirus and/or an SFC scan from Command Prompt)
  • While you’re at it, make sure you also type the following command in the CMD window: chkdsk [drive letter]: /f /r /x This will check for potential disk errors and repair the bad sectors.
  • Delete temporary files and any other superfluos elements (here’s how to remove stubbord temp files that simply won’t delete)
  • Finally, you can also try to hide the Recovery partition.

In this article, we explored some quick methods to make sure that you’ll never get the Recovery drive is full error ever again.

Make sure to follow the steps presented in this article closely to avoid deleting any useful backup files from your Recovery drive.

We would love to know if this guide helped you solve your issue. Please feel free to let us know by using the comment section found below.

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