How to free up disk space on Windows is a common question asked by users of the operating system.
In the early 2000s, computers used to come with a maximum hard disk capacity of below 100 gigabytes.
However, in recent years, 1 terabyte of storage is a common feature on laptops and desktops.
Even with such a physically large storage space, filling them up isn’t impossible at all.
Nowadays, all the content that we store on our computers are huge in terms of storage sizes.
Whether it be movies, games, or other software, the storage requirements are quite high due to the advanced features and functionalities such programs come with.
Upgrading storage space isn’t an option for everybody.
So, most of us opt to free up hard disk space once its almost full.
Why Is It Important to Free Up Disk Space?
Why do you have to free up hard disk space?
Well, the answer is pretty obvious. To store more content.
However, that’s not the entire answer.
If the disk space on your computer is filled up to its maximum, then it can affect the performance of your system as well.
Talking about Windows, when the RAM memory utilization is at its maximum.
The operating system uses your primary disk as a virtual memory to complete tasks.
Thus, when there is no space available on your primary disk, Windows can no longer use it as a virtual memory, and thus it affects the overall performance of your computer.
Even though the affect of a filled up hard disk isn’t so dramatic always, it can really show when you’re multitasking with resource-intensive applications.
To ensure the ideal performance of Windows on your computer, it is recommended that you leave at least 10 – 15 percent of space free on your primary drive.
3 Easy Ways to Free Up Disk Space on Windows
Whether you’re trying to free up disk space to store more content or to boost your system performance, below are some of the easiest ways to free up disk space on Windows.
You can follow the methods listed below regardless of the Windows version you’re using.
The tips works on all Windows versions including Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10.
Method 1: Free Up Disk Space By Deleting Unwanted Software & Files
The No. 1 easiest way to free up disk space on your computer is by uninstalling software that you don’t use.
All of us download and install various software on our computer that we use only for a couple of times and then leave unnoticed.
Such applications consume the disk space on our computer for no reason.
So, the first thing you need to do while trying to free up disk space on your computer is to remove such software.
The same applies for unwanted files as well.
Make a thorough scan of your computer to find files that are no longer of any use to you.
In most cases, removing unwanted software and files will definitely free up a major chunk of your disk drive.
Method 2: Run the Disk Cleanup Wizard
Your computer operating system and the installed software stores temporary files on your computer to ensure smooth working.
There is an inbuilt disk cleanup tool within Windows that lets you easily delete temporary files that are stored on your computer as well as any other unimportant files as well.
To start the disk cleanup wizard, follow the below steps:
- Within your Windows start search in the taskbar, search for “disk cleanup”.
- From the results that appear, click on the “disk cleanup” wizard.
- A new disk cleanup wizard window will now launch.
- In the window that appears, select the drive that you wish to run the disk cleanup wizard on, and then click on “Ok”.
- The wizard will then calculate the amount of space it can free up on the selected disk.
- After the calculation, you will be given with a result of the amount of disk space that can be freed up along with the files that’ll be deleted. You can select/deselect the files to delete.
- If you wish to delete the temporary system files, click on the “Clean up system files” button in the bottom left corner of the window.
- Once you make the selection, click on the “Ok” button to proceed with the disk cleanup process.
Wait for the cleanup to complete. After its done, your disk space will be freed up.
Method 3: Use Windows Drive Compression Feature
Microsoft offers a disk compression feature within Windows to save up disk space.
Basically speaking, the compression of disk contents works the same way you compress any other file in Windows.
For the compression, the NTFS file format is used.
However, one advantage is that, there is no change in the way you access the files stored on the disk even after the compression.
Unlike compressing files/folders separately on Windows, if you utilize the disk compression feature, the actual compression is done in the backend only.
So, you can access all the files and folders in the normal way without having to perform any decompress tasks.
Below are the steps to follow to utilize the disk compression on Windows.
- First, navigate to the folder that you wish to compress.
- Right-click on the folder, and from the drop-down menu that appears click on “Properties”.
- In the new window that appears, click on “Advanced” button under the “General” tab.
- A new window will appear. In this window, tick the “Compress contents to save disk space” checkbox.
- Click on “Ok”.
And that is all. Now, all the contents within the folder you chose will be compressed to save disk space. However, the way you access the contents of the folder will not change.
We hope you found this article on the easiest ways to free up disk space on Windows as easy to understand and follow.
In case you have any questions or if you like to share more ways to free disk space on Windows OS, do leave a comment below.