How to Free up Hard Drive Space on Windows 10?

If you are looking for a way to release your hard disk storage and operation space, here is the right article to teach you how to free up hard drive space on Windows 10.

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Aug 10, 2022 • Filed to: Answer Hard Drive Problems • Proven solutions

There is a time when your Windows 10 computer becomes an old man. It runs so slow that your work is badly affected. But it is not a good idea to change a new computer which may cost hundreds or thousands of USD dollars. In this case, the first priority should be a hard drive space release. In the post, we have prepared seven useful tips to free up your hard disk space from Windows 10.

free up hard drive space on windows 10


Sometimes because of too many software programs and big Windows 10 updates, you feel that your large-sized hard disk is quite small and does not have any storage space. When your hard disk is running out of space, the computer performance will decrease, it will become slow and that's the most irritating thing. Below are some problems linked with your Windows 10 hard disk. 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 and 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.

7 Tips | How to Free up Hard Disk Space on Windows 10 Computer?

There are different ways you can look forward to freeing up hard disk space on Windows 10. Here come 7 important tips on how to clean the hard drive and release the disk space on your Windows PC.

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: The 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.

automatically free up space in windows

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.

remove temporary files through storage sense

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.

remove unwanted files

Recover Accidentally Deleted Hard Disk Files from Windows 10

It will be even more perplexed if you delete the important files from your hard disk. In an emergent situation, you can use a hard drive recovery software - Wondershare Recoverit data recovery software. to get back data from your Windows 10 hard drive. You can easily get back files in three simple steps: select-scan-recover.

recoverit feature list

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.

remove temporary files through disk cleanup on windows

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.

uninstall windows10 apps

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 disk 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.

store files to cloud

Step 2: Select Settings.

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

chosee hard disk files

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

choose hard disk folders

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.

disable hibernation on windows 10

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.

compress windows 10 installation

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:

There is a better and quicker way to back up your files to the external hard drive. It is recommended that you use AOMEI Backupper, it helps you to create backup automatically, regularly, and incrementally.

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.

transfer files, apps, games to external hard drive

Step 5: Click on the option "Choose location".

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

click on move button

This way you can free any amount of space on 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 the different methods mentioned in this article and get a lot of free space on your computer. If you accidentally delete your hard disk data in the process of cleanup, you can use Wondershare Recoverit to restore it as soon as possible. Just have a quick download.

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