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How to Fix C Drive is Full issue in Windows 11/10

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Jan 15, 2024 • Filed to: Windows Computer Solutions • Proven solutions

Is your C drive full and you've been looking for a way to fix it? Look no further as the information in this piece has all the tips you will ever need to fix a full C drive issue in Windows 10.

Overview of C drive full Issue

A full C drive means that the internal storage on your hard disk can no longer take in any more data or it can only take limited data. When C drive is full, a window will pop up to show a low disk space alert. Different computer OS alert users differently but the problem remains the same. For Windows 7,10 and XP, an alert pop will appear as

C drive is full

8 Tips to Fix C Drive is Full on Windows

Here are 8 ways to fix a full C drive space on Windows 11/10

Tip 1. Delete Junk Files with Storage sense

Storage sense provides Windows 11 users a stress-free way to erase unwanted files from their internal and secondary files. To rid your drives of unwanted files

  1. Open system settings
  2. Select systems
  3. Click Storage
  4. Click "Change mode to free up data" under storage sense

use storage sense delete junk files

  1. Check "Delete temporary files applications are not using"
  2. Use Recycle Bin menu to modify how files should be cleared
  3. Use the Download menu to clear files downloaded online
  4. Under "Locally available cloud section content" specify how long your device should be synced with One drive

delete temporary files

  1. In the Free up disk space now category, download the previous Windows version if it applies. If yes, free up as much space as you can

delete previous version of windows file

  1. Click on Clean Now to clean

This will clean unwanted files from your drive

Click here to check the full guide on how to free up space on C drive. If you accidentally erase any important files, don't worry, as there are multiple methods available to recover deleted files from C drive.

Tip 2. Remove temporary files with Disk Cleanup

Storage Sense happens to be an upgraded version of Disk Cleanup but Disk Cleanup still works well in maintaining the health of your disk space. To remove temporary files with Disk Cleanup, follow the tips below

  1. Open Startup menu
  2. Search to open Disk Cleanup. Select the icon to open
  3. Use Drives drop the key to select your device' C: drive
  4. Tap OK
  5. Click Cleanup files

clean up system files

  1. Use Drives menu to select device' C: drive
  2. Tap Ok
  3. Check for contents you wish to remove which may include (Temporary online files, downloads, Windows defender anti-virus system Windows, X Shader cache) and any other irrelevant item
  4. Use the "Drives" menu to select the device' (C:) drive.
  5. Tap OK

clean up previous windows installation

  1. Click on "Delete Files" to delete

More Related:
10 Ways to Free Up Disk Space
Top 5 Hard Drive Disk Formatters for Mac

Tip 3. Uninstall Games and Apps you don't need

Uninstalling apps and games that you no longer have any need for is another method you can adopt to free up drive C. To execute this action

  1. Open System Settings
  2. Select Apps
  3. Click Apps and Features
  4. Use filter sorting to select the Size. This will aid a quick view of all games and apps on your hard drive
  5. Select all items you want to uninstall
  6. Click Uninstall button to remove them

uninstall games and apps

  1. Click Uninstall icon again

This process will clear out your C drive of games and apps you no longer need.

Click the Uninstall button again.

  1. Continue with screen directions (when necessary)

After completing the steps, repeat the instructions to remove additional games and apps from your device.

Tip 4. Migrate file, games, and apps to an external drive

If you still have limited disk space, connect and save files such as games, apps, and documents to external drives like a USB flash drive. Shoold you need any of them in the future you can always connect your drive to your PC to access them

Here are the steps

  1. Open your File Explorer
  2. Identify the items you wish to migrate
  3. Click Home section
  4. Click move button

migrate files

  1. Choose location
  2. Pick a new location
  3. Select "Move"

move files to other drive

  1. These steps will have to be repeated for all files you wish to move to a new location. From an external drive, you can always launch your apps and games when you need to
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Tip 5. Disable Hibernation on Windows 10

Windows Hibernation is the feature that allows you to perform the device shut down without losing current data. Whenever you restart the system you can continue where you stopped. Although this feature is cool, it tends to take up a lot of space in system memory. Disabling hibernation will create space for storing vital files. Here is how it is done

  1. Open Start
  2. Navigate to Command Prompt and right-click on the result at the top. Choose Run as system' admin.
  3. Input this code "powercfg / hibernate off"

disable hibernation

After this command, your device will no longer hibernate. You can enable this feature by undoing the command whenever you please by inputting "powercfg /hibernate on"

Tip 6. Compress Windows Installation to free up space

Compact OS is a compression tool used to reduce application and Installation footprints in Windows 10. This feature is often reserved for systems with low storage but it can be used to free up space on your hard drive. Note that an incorrect modification may cause terrible damages so be very careful when using this option. Consider backing up your files first before you commence.

To compress Windows Installation,

  1. Open start
  2. Open command prompt and right click top results to pick Run as admin
  3. Input this command and tap enter afterward

    Compact.exe /compactOS: always

compress windows installation

This process will release about 2GB of space.

  1. If you don't want this feature anymore revert changes with the same steps but enter this code "compactOS:never " instead.

Tip 7. Free up space storing files in the cloud

Do you know that you can store your files in the cloud just like you can with an external drive? The fear of losing your vital files shouldn't scare you since you can always access them whenever you want. One way to save files online is to enable OneDrive files on-demand with the steps listed below

  1. Click OneDrive icon at the bottom of the Taskbar
  2. Click More option
  3. Click Settings Option

go to one drive

  1. Click the Setting tab
  2. Check Save space under File on-demand category and download files option

save space and download files

  1. Click OK button

These steps will enable you to move files to the OneDrive folder using Files on Demand. The more files you save on the cloud in place of your hard drive  the more space that will free upon your disc

Bonus Top: Understanding what's taking space on a hard drive

As a tip, we preview some of the things that may be taking up space on your hard drive. Knowing these items will help you manage your hard disk space better. To view them, follow the steps below

  1. Open System settings
  2. Select System
  3. Click Storage
  4. Under the local storage category, choose the "drive low on space". For the latest Windows 10 update click Show more section

go to storage

  1. View storage to see what is taking up space

check storage

  1. Tick all the categories to view details and take appropriate action as you deem fit

All the steps noted so far are smart ways to decongest drive C: but do make sure that you use the step that guarantees you the best results. A combination of more than one step may be necessary to create space in your drive.

Recoverit author

Theo Lucia

chief Editor

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