How to Free up Hard Drive Space on Windows 10

How to Free up Hard Drive Space in Windows 10

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Sep 08, 2020 • Filed to: Answer Hard Drive Problems • Proven solutions


Having large sized hard disk drives in Windows 10 computers is the demand of the time but what matters most is the amount of free space you have on your hard drive. Today you are going to learn some of the easiest ways to free up hard drive space on Windows 10.


Sometimes because of too many software programs and sometimes because of bigger Windows 10 updates, you feel that your large-sized hard disk is quite small. When your hard disk goes low on space, the performance of your computer also decreases, it becomes slow and that’s the most irritating thing. Below are some problems linked with your hard drive. If your hard drive is low on space, you might be experiencing one, more than one or all of them:

1. Without any reason, the hard disk drive gets full.

2. The hard drive doesn’t respond and becomes inaccessible.

3. When you try to open the hard drive, the computer doesn’t respond.

4. When a hard drive is full, the Windows system slows down significantly.

If someone is dealing with any of the above-mentioned issues, it’s time he/she should find out what is eating space on their Windows 10 hard drive. Then, address that issue and free up the hard drive space.

How to find out which files are taking up space on your hard drive?

To find out which files are taking up space on your Windows 10 hard drive, take the help of Storage sense by following these steps:

Step 1: Open Settings.

Step 2: Click System.

Step 3: Click Storage.

Step 4: Under the “Local storage” section, click on the drive to find out the amount of space used.

Step 5: Now, “Storage usage” will open where you will see what is consuming space on your hard disk. You can click on any item to get further details and take relevant actions.

For example, if you find that the Apps & games section is consuming more space, click on it, and uninstall the unnecessary applications and games from your computer. The ones you see are consuming a lot of space and not required anymore.

The biggest advantage of Storage usage is that it is possible to virtually see everything stored on your hard drives such as system files, games, apps, temporary files, and others.

How to Free Disk Space?

There are different ways you can look forward to freeing up hard drive space on Windows 10. All of them are described in this article:

1. Delete junk files using Storage Sense

Storage sense is a very useful feature in Windows 10 as it allows you to remove unnecessary files manually as well as automatically. For deleting junk files using Storage sense, follow these steps:

Step 1: Press Win + S.

Step 2: Search box will open, type “storage” in it.

Step 3: From the search results, select Storage.

Step 4: Storage page in Settings will open. Here, make sure that Storage sense is turned on because then only you can delete junk files using Storage Sense.

Step 5: Now, you should click on C drive, a new page containing all storage details will open.

Step 6: Here, Click on Temporary files. A new window asking you to Remove temporary files will open.

Step 7: Now, check the box before the Empty recycle bin, Downloaded Program Files, Temporary files, and other items (if required).

Step 8: Finally, click on Remove files to get rid of junk files with the help of Storage Sense.

2. Remove temporary files using Disk Cleanup

Temporary files are used for a short period and after that, they are of no use. Deleting them will free a significant amount of space on your hard drive. These steps need to be followed:

Step 1: Click on the Windows button on the left corner of your Desktop.

Step 2: Go to All Apps > Windows Administrative Tools > Disk Cleanup.

Step 3: Now, select which drive you want to clean. Then click on OK.

Step 4: Within a short interval, you will learn how much space you can free.

Step 5: Now, click on the checkbox before Temporary Files and also before Temporary Internet Files.

Step 6: Finally, click on OK. This way you will be able to remove temporary files using Disk Cleanup.

3. Uninstall apps and games you don't need

In most computers, there are certain apps, games, and programs which are not utilized by the user. You might also have some. So, it’s better to uninstall all the unnecessary apps and games by following these steps:

Step 1: Open Settings.

Step 2: Click on System, then on Apps & features.

Step 3: Under Apps & features, select Sort by size.

Now, you will see Apps and Games listed in the decreasing order of size.

Step 4: Select the app or game you find useless and then click on the Uninstall tab.

Repeat these steps until you get success in uninstalling all apps and games not required anymore.

4. Free up space by storing files in the cloud

It’s time to be thankful to cloud services as you can store many of your files on the cloud and free up space on your Windows 10 hard drive. There are many cloud storage services but the most common amongst Windows 10 users is OneDrive. You can store up to 5GB data in your OneDrive. People usually enjoy cloud services but the point they often miss is that their files, photos, and other documents are double-stored. Well, this is not required because all cloud services ask you which folders to keep on your computer and the drive as well. These are the steps to follow:

Step 1: Hover your mouse to the OneDrive icon in the System Tray and right-click on it.

Step 2: Select Settings.

Step 3: Now, under the Account tab, click on “Choose folders”.

Step 4: Here, choose folders you wish to be synced to your computer, and deselect the ones you don't want to be synced.

Step 5: When you are done, click OK.

This way the folders you chose not to be synced will be removed from your PC’s hard drive, freeing up a significant amount of space. However, all the removed folders and files can be accessed from OneDrive through a web browser.

5. Disable Hibernation on Windows 10

Hibernate is a feature in Windows 10 that doesn’t shut down your PC completely and allows Windows 10 to start quickly. A computer in the hibernation state consumes a lot of space on your hard drive and RAM (the file hiberfil.sys consumes around 75% of your PC’s RAM). These are the steps you can follow to disable hibernation in Windows 10:

Step 1: Right-click on the Start button. A pop-up menu will appear, select Command Prompt (Admin). If asked by UAC to allow this program to make changes to your PC, click Yes.

Step 2: The Command Prompt window will open. Now, write powercfg.exe/hibernate off and hit Enter.

Step 3: Finally, Exit Command Prompt.

6. Compress Windows 10 installation to free up space

With compressed Windows 10 installation files, you can easily free up some space in your hard drive. Typically, this feature is reserved for computers with a limited amount of storage but everyone is free to use it. Remember that it won’t make any noticeable impact on your PC’s performance and you can anytime reverse the changes. Follow these steps:

Step 1: In the Search Box, type cmd.

Step 2: From the list of results, right-click on Command Prompt and choose Run as administrator.

Step 3: When the Command Prompt window opens, type “compact.exe /compactOS:always” and hit Enter.

As soon as you press the Enter button, the Windows 10 built-in apps and installation files compress and free up around 2GB of space. Note that it takes around 10-20 minutes for the whole process to complete and you don’t even need to reboot your PC.

7. Migrate files, apps, games to an external hard drive

If all the above-discussed methods fail to free up enough space, it’s time you should get an external hard drive and transfer your large files to it so that it can be used in the future. You can also set Windows 10 to shift Microsoft Store games and apps in a new drive. Here are the steps you can follow to move existing files to another location:

Step 1: Open the File Explorer window.

Step 2: Identify the files and folders you want to relocate.

Step 3: Select them.

Step 4: You will find the “Move to” button under the “Home” tab.

Step 5: Click on the option “Choose location”.

Step 6: Select your new drive and click on Move.

This way you can free any amount of space in your PC. If you have to transfer other folders and files to a new location, repeat the above steps.


Freeing up hard drive space on Windows 10 is an easy task. You just need to follow different methods mentioned in this article and get a lot of free space on your computer.

Recoverit author

Theo Lucia

chief Editor

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