How Ways to Free Up Storage Space on Windows 2021

How to dump storage space on Windows

How Ways to Free Up Storage Space on Windows

Ways to Free Up Storage Space on Windows

Gigabytes are less expensive than ever however they also can be the type of element wherein the 
greater you have got, the extra you have a tendency to eat, and it would not take lengthy for the terabytes to fly via in case you spend plenty of time in your pc. Those of you going for walks Windows on a compact SSD likely recognise what a chore it may be to preserve sufficient area to your power among cell backups, Windows Updates, PC video games, media documents, and so forth.

For this little manual we took it to an excessive through looking to unfastened up area on an antique 80GB Intel X25-M G2 stable kingdom pressure. Although SSDs have stepped forward via leaps and boundaries over the 9 years in view that this Intel pressure became launched, the tool nonetheless has lots of lifestyles left in line with SSDlife Free and Intel's SSD Toolbox application.

Spending a trifling $fifty six for a 250GB Samsung 860 Evo power this is two hundred% quicker than this antique pressure will finally be a sensible funding, however to be sincere other than regularly going for walks out of garage, we have not had a purpose to improve the power, nor have we established a brand new replica of Windows in extra than 5 years. If you are looking to smooth up your power, this manual will serve you no matter your modern-day garage answer.

After soaring round <10GB for too lengthy (sufficient to down load or switch a massive report), we got down to regain as an awful lot area as we may want to by using transferring, compressing and deleting documents from all round Windows. In the give up, 27GB of garage changed into recovered (37GB overall unfastened) and we took notes alongside the manner to percentage with you inside the occasion that your Windows pressure is likewise low on area.

Options are prepared from least to maximum built-intense...
Scan for documents with Disk Cleanup, and 0.33 birthday celebration gear
Junk report cleaners make it smooth to carry out a machbuiltintegrated-extensive record cleanup and can be beneficial for liberatbuiltintegrated up garage on low ability SSDs builtintegrated some greater gigs could make or built-in the overall performance of your integrated machbuiltintegrated. If you have built-in no way used a junk report remover earlier than, you is probably amazed by how an awful lot area may be reclaimed with even Wintegrateddows' very own 7fd5144c552f19a3546408d3b9cfb251 Disk Cleaner:

Search the Start Menu for Disk Cleanup
Open Disk Cleanup and pick your built-inintegrated machbuiltintegrated power
The device will test your pressure for unnecessary documents and vbuiltintegrated cached built-information
Clickintegratedg "Clean up system documents" close to the lowest of the wbuilt-indow will run a 2d experiment
The end result of the experiment will show extraordbuiltintegrated styles of builtintegrated, from Recycle Bintegrated documents to transient built-in cache. If you clicked Clean up built-in documents, "Temporary Wintegrateddows built-inbuiltintegrated documents" amongst different Wintegrateddows documents may be listedintegrated, that may without difficulty be integrated numerous gigabytes to as a whole lot as 25GB or greater.

Disk Cleaner also can be released with superior alternatives which builtintegrated the capacity to delete documents that could be used to reset your built-inintegrated built-in (the Wbuilt-indows ESD documents) with the aid of copybuilt-ing or built-ing this lbuilt-ine right into a Command Prompt: cleanmgr /sageset:50

We waited till after manually cleansing the whole thing we ought to earlier than jogging Disk Cleanup and the device simplest freed 200MB of area, although we've got additionally scanned with the software program currently.

After Disk Cleanup, we examined with Wise Disk Cleaner (our advocated CCleaner opportunity) and recovered some other 2GB+ among the commonplace and superior cleaners.

Enable Windows 10 Storage Sense
Windows 10 has an automated disk cleansing provider that you may allow in Settings > System > Storage > "Turn on Storage feel." The function vehicle-scans for transient documents whilst you're low on disk area together with putting off nearby copies of OneDrive documents and making them on-line-most effective after now not getting used for 30 days.

You can carry out that test manually by using clicking "Free up area now" at the Storage Sense settings web page and the software will delete the subsequent records:

Temporary setup documents
Old listed content material
System cache documents
Internet cache documents
Device Driver applications
System downloaded software documents
Dated gadget log documents
System mistakes reminiscence sell off documents
System mistakes minidump documents
Temporary device documents
Dated Windows replace transient documents

Manually look for documents you now not want
Deleting replica documents out of your device may want to get better many gigs of area if only some huge documents are located. Unfortunately, with out PowerShell scripts or attempting to find the documents through File Explorer, Windows does not make it clean to discover reproduction documents. We these days examined 1/3-celebration software program committed to deleting reproduction statistics and located CloneSpy to have the first-class mixture of presenting simply sufficient functions with a litter-unfastened interface.

You might also need to down load a disk area analyzer inclusive of SpaceSniffer, with the intention to test your power(s) and show all the documents in an interface that makes it clean to peer what is occupying the maximum garage.

Download: SpaceSniffer | Xinorbis | WinDirStat | SequoiaView | TreeSize Free

The Windows User AppData folder (C:UsersusernameAppData) is a superb place to begin for locating huge quantities of software documents for browsers, messengers, recreation customers and greater, such as a temp folder that contained 606MB of facts on our gadget.

You can also move other files to another drive and create a shortcut or a symbolic link to them, such as the ESD folder that we discuss later which contains a few gigs worth of files used for resetting Windows to its default state.
The Windows command mklink links one directory to another so that when software interacts with location A, it's redirected to location B. In the example of a PC game, Steam would think the game was in its original directory, but the files would instead run from a different drive. Here's a quick start guide for using mklink and some third-party softwarethat lets you create links from a GUI instead of a command line:
  • Create the folder where you'd like your new files to be
  • Cut and paste the files from the old location to the new folder (don't leave the files behind)
  • When the transfer finishes, open the Command Prompt and enter your mklink command (like this):
mklink /d "c:\files" "d:\files"
Command options for mklink:
/D Creates a directory symbolic link. Default is a file symbolic link
/H Creates a hard link instead of a symbolic link
/J Creates a Directory Junction
Link Specifies the new symbolic link name
Target Specifies the path (relative or absolute) that the new link refers to.

Clean unused system and driver files

Not long back we discussed methods for reclaiming several gigs on your storage drive by deleting the Windows.old backup folder that's created when reinstalling or upgrading Windows. The folder contains all the files from a previous Windows installation and can be deleted if you no longer need the data (or the folder can be moved to another drive).
You can also save space on files and folders without deleting them by enabling Windows' built-in compression option: Right-click an item, go to Properties, click the Advanced button and check the box next to "Compress contents to save disk space" -- click Ok twice to confirm/exit. Compressed files and folders will have blue text. Side note: Compression is undesirable for any system file or files that will be accessed even sporadically. Only use for archiving purposes.
Out of curiosity, we deleted a Windows account that was mostly new and unused to see how much storage would be freed and this didn't even recover 0.1GB but might be worthwhile for old accounts with a lot of data. Navigate to C:\Users, right-click the user folder for the account you want removed and delete it.
We also cleaned many other system and driver files from various locations around Windows 8.1 with results that ultimately reclaimed more than 4.5GB on our SSD, and that could have been well over 7GB if we deleted the ESD folder discussed in a moment.

System and driver files we tried to clean...

C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\ - Occupied 4.3GB
Windows stores its installed drivers in the operating system's "DriverStore\FileRepository" folder, which can become cluttered with old driver files over time, especially for hardware such as graphics cards that recieve regular software updates.
We tried Command Prompt methods to automatically batch clean the DriverStore folder of all the drivers files not being used by Windows, but none of the commands worked except Microsoft's instructions for manually deleting them one by one. Fortunately, there's a third-party utility that lets you browse and delete unused driver files in the DriverStore
Driver Store Explorer loads all the cached drivers which you can filter by device type, manufacturer, driver version and even the size of the file, making it easy to find large drivers worth deleting. There's even a "Select Old Driver" button that will auto-check the boxes next to unused driver files, which can be deleted all at once.
Cleaning the DriverStore FileRepository folder with Driver Store Explorer released 2.6GB of space, most of which was Nvidia drivers...
C:\Windows\WinSxS - Occupied 7.56GB
WinSxS is the location for Windows Component Store files, which are used "to support the functions needed for the customization and updating of Windows," including operating system functions such as Windows Update installing new component versions, uninstalling a corrupt update as well as other system recovery operations. Microsoft has instructions for cleaning the unused components in this folder, which involves entering a command or two in an administrator Command Prompt.
The company says that the following command will remove previous versions of updated components, but when we tried this, the operation gradually occupied around a gig of space and then released that gig after completing without freeing up much if any space.
/online /Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup
However, adding /resetbase to the end of that line (so, /online /Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup /resetbase) will remove "all superseded versions of every component in the component store" and this managed to reduce the size of our WinSxS folder by nearly 2GB from 7.56GB to 5.98GB.

C:\ESD - Occupied 2.68GB
Microsoft recommends against deleting this folder because it's "used by Push Button Reset feature to reset your computer back to its original install state," in other words, files used for resetting Windows. That said, the folder can technically be deleted if you don't plan to use this feature or have already made an external USB recovery drive (search Start for Create a recovery drive) which will provide the same functionality.
Note that secondary system files scan in Disk Cleanup in Windows 10 may include the ESD folder as an option for deletion. We're doing the cleanup on Windows 8.1, but ESD can still be included with the instructions in the Disk Cleanup section above.
If you can't see the folder while browsing C:\ in the Windows File Explorer, go to View and check the box that enables "Hidden items."
Our machine did not need the extra space badly enough to delete the ESD folder.
C:\Windows\Installer - Occupied 1.1GB
This directory serves as a cache location for Windows installer based applications along with "stripped down versions of the Windows installer data files," according to Microsoft.
During application install, update of the application or application removal, this directory is used by the application to confirm the existence of previously installed items to determine the next steps the installer needs to take.
The company suggests that simply uninstalling a given application is the best way to clean its associated files from this folder.
C:\Program Files\Nvidia Corporation\Installer2 - Occupied 1.1GB
This location contains installation files from previous iterations of Nvidia's drivers and the company's web page about this folder says the contents of this folder can be deleted without affecting your currently installed drivers or software. "At most, it will prevent complete installs from occurring in the case of using an older driver from the OS driver store." We deleted all of the files in Installer2.

C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Nvidia\NvBackend{ABAF8EFC}\ - Occupied ~1GB
Nvidia's "NvBackend" folder took up nearly a gig, 830MB of which was in "Packages" and on our system this included 114 executable files named "DAO.insertrandomnumber.exe" that occupied 512MB of space. After much searching we couldn't determine if these files were safe to delete.

Proceed at your own risk...

Reduce Windows System Restore, hibernation & pagefile

These are the most extreme methods for recouping disk space on a Windows installation. While not recommended prior to trying the previously listed options, many gigabytes can be salvaged by making some advanced system tweaks.
Adjust your System Restore settings
Introduced with Windows ME, System Restore creates automatic backup files that can return your system, settings, programs and Windows Registry to a previous state. Depending on the size of your drive and the capacity percentage that System Restore is set to occupy, you may be able to reclaim several gigs by reducing the amount of storage it can use, deleting old restore points or disabling the feature altogether. To get started:
  • Search Start or Run for sysdm.cpl
  • Go to the System Protection tab
  • Select your Windows drive and click Configure...
The window that opens will have a slider that you can adjust to change the maximum disk space that System Restore is allowed to consume on your drive -- the less space you define, the more frequently old restore points will be deleted. You can also manually delete old restore points or disable the feature from the same window.
Restore points can be upwards of a gigabyte so somewhere around 2GB is probably the minimum you'd want in most situations, although we've been using 1.49GB (2% of our drive) for years with no issues. This seems to provide enough space for at least one restore point, which has spared us the trouble of reinstalling Windows once over the years.
Delete hiberfil.sys, disabling Windows hibernation
Hibernation writes your current system state to a non-volatile memory source such as your primary HDD or SSD, allowing you to turn off your system and restore your progress at a later date.
Turning on a system from hibernation is generally faster than starting from a cold boot and it doesn't require a constant power source like sleep, which stores data in RAM.
That said, if your operating system is on an SSD, load times should be sufficient and desktops are usually connected to a power source anyway, so using sleep instead is typcically fine.
Your hibernation file (hiberfil.sys) is probably occupying a few gigs to a dozen or more and the file can be purged from an elevated Command Prompt:
  • Search Start or Run for cmd.exe
  • Right-click on cmd.exe and choose Run as administrator
  • Enter the following command: powercfg.exe -h off
We already had hibernation disabled but re-enabling the feature consumed 12.8GB on our SSD.
Reduce or relocate your Windows page file
While not encouraged, you may be able to shrink or disable your page file (pagefile.sys), which allows Windows to use some of your drive space as system memory. The operating system can move infrequently used data from your RAM to the page file on your drive and the feature is particularly useful if you are running low on system memory.
By default, the Windows page file is configured to occupy many gigabytes on your system drive (3 x RAM or 4GB, whichever is larger) but if you have plenty of RAM or are confident that your system's performance won't be affected by reducing the size of your pagefile, the feature can be tweaked by navigating through these menus:
  • Search Start or Run for sysdm.cpl (or right click This PC > Properties > Advanced system settings)
  • Select the Advanced tab and then open Performance Settings
  • Go to the Advanced tab (again) and click the Change button under Virtual memory
From the Virtual Memory window, uncheck the box for automatically managing your page file sizes, select your drive from the list and define a new custom size for the page file. Note that you can also move the page file to another drive from the same window...
  • Select the drive with the page file from the list
  • Click No paging file and then Set to disable the page file on this drive
  • Select another drive and choose Custom size or System managed size to enable the page file elsewhere
As for how large your page file should be, Microsoft's definitive guide on the subject says there's no value that will work for every machine. However, the company suggests that adding some performance counters to the Windows Performance Monitor (perfmon.exe) will provide information which can be used as a baseline to determine the best page file size for your system. We reduced our page file from 5360MB to 4000MB.

A quick highlight reel of our drive cleanup

To recap, we've included some of the ways that we regained the 27GB on our Windows drive. This isn't a cheat sheet for the article because there are more methods above for cleaning your drive than we actually used, but we thought a play-by-play of our clean-out might be useful to someone in a similar situation.

Here's most of what we did:

  • No longer use an Apple device, deleted everything Apple (including iTunes and Safari, mobile backups etc.) Had to manually delete 457MB worth of files at C:\Users\TechSpot\Music\iTunes and another 500MB of Apple data from C:\ProgramData. (+1.6GB storage space)
  • Uninstalled other old unused software from Windows' built-in Add or remove programs utility. (+3.9GB)
  • Manually deleting program files found via SpaceSniffer (Avira Scout for instance wasn't listed in add/remove programs along with other leftover files from uninstalled applications, not to mention a random VLC stream file and 710MB of files in an FlvtoConverter folder) (+many many gigs)
  • Deleting the contents of this folder recovered several more gigs worth of storage: C:\Users\TechSpot\AppData\Local\Temp
  • Scanned with Disk Cleanup -- basic and advanced (+200MB)
  • Scanned with Wise Disk Cleaner (+2.2GB)
  • Deleted the contents of C:\Program Files\Nvidia Corporation\Installer2 (+1.1GB)
  • Cleaned DriverStore folder with Driver Store Explorer (+2.42GB)
  • Cleaned WinSxS folder via Command Prompt (+1.58GB)
  • Compressed various folder around the operating system
  • Reduced page file from 5360MB to 4000MB (+1.3GB)
  • (Already had hibernation disabled and System Restore minimized)
  • Final scans with Wise + a system reboot resulted in 37GB of free drive space, up from 10.5GB at the start of cleaning.