How To Free Up Disk Space On Windows 10 PCs

It seems that no matter how much hard drive space we have on our computers we’re always clamoring for more. Whether you’re keeping a bunch of pictures on your PC or you’re downloading a lot of content, there just never seems to be enough space. Sure there are a lot of ways to fix this problem, but most of them involve either deleting things you have saved or purchasing a new hard drive. If you don’t want to risk deleting something you really need or forking out the money for a new hard drive then thankfully there are some other options that will better suit your needs.

Uninstall Apps

One thing you can quickly do to free up some space is to uninstall unused or unnecessary apps. I would wager that there are probably a few apps on your PC that you aren’t using and can probably get rid of. These could be apps you’ve installed and forgotten about or bloatware that came pre-installed on your PC. If you want to find out what apps are taking up space, simply open Settings and go to SystemApps & Featuresand choose Sort By Size. To uninstall an app, click on the app and then click Uninstall. If you are running legacy programs on Windows 10 then you might not see them in this list. To find these programs, right-click the Start button and click Control Panel. Then go to Programs and Features to see the list of legacy programs on your computer. To uninstall a program from this list, left-click to select it and click Uninstall.

Save Files On A Separate Drive

If your PC has multiple hard drives or a partitioned hard drive then you may see that you are running out of space on one drive or partition. This is easily fixed by changing your default save locations for apps, documents, music, pictures, videos, or anything else that takes up hard drive space. To do so, open Settings, and go to System, and then Storage. Under Save Locations and select a different drive for each of the categories. You can select any drive, even a removable one, that is connected to your PC.

Clean Out Recycle Bin

Whenever you delete something from your PC it isn’t actually deleted. Instead, the deleted files go to your Recycle Bin and continue to take up hard drive space. If you want to actually free up space from deleted items then you have to empty your Recycle Bin. Emptying your Recycle Bin is extremely simple. All you have to do is right-click on the Recycle Bin and click Emtpy Recycle Bin. You will be hit with a prompt asking if you are sure you want to permanently delete your Recycle Bin items. Click Yes and you’re done! The items will be deleted and your hard drive will have a little more free space to work with.

Disk Cleanup

Windows comes with a built-in disk cleanup that is conveniently called Disk Cleanup. This program can help you clear up space by removing different files including temporary internet files, system error memory dump files, and even previous Windows installations that could be hanging around from your recent upgrade to Windows 10. You can get to the Disk Cleanup by clicking Start, then under All Apps go to Windows Administrative Tools, and then Disk Cleanup. Select the drive you want to clean up and then hit Ok. Disk Cleanup will calculate how much space you can free up and then, if you want to delete system files (like the Windows.old folder), you can click Cleanup System Files.

Shut Off Hibernate

Instead of completely shutting off a PC, a lot of people put it in hibernate mode, which is a pseudo-shutdown mode that allows you to startup faster. Whenever your computer goes into hibernate it saves a snapshot of your files and drivers before shutting down, which takes up space. If you don’t really mind about starting up a bit slower, then you can get some extra space by disabling hibernate entirely. This is a particularly space-saving idea due to the fact that hibernate takes up 75% of your PC’s installed RAM. If you want a complete guide to disabling hibernate in Windows 10 then you can click here. Just note that disabling hibernate in Windows 10 won’t allow you to use the operating system’s fast startup feature.

Store Files Exclusively In The Cloud

If you are using cloud storage via OneDrive or another cloud service then you are probably double-storing files and photos. Did you know that you don’t have to do this?All cloud storage services allow you to select which folders are downloaded and saved to your PC as well as in the cloud. Simply right-click on the One Drive and choose Settings. In the Account tab, next to Choose Folders to Sync to This Device, click Choose Folders. From here, select the folders you want to sync to your device and then de-select any folders you don’t want to sync. Once you’re finished, click Ok. The folders you did not select to sync to your device will be removed from your hard drive, giving you some extra space. You will still be able to access the files in these folders from the OneDrive site in any web browser, they just won’t be saved to your hard drive.

So there you have it! If you’re looking for a few quick ways to free up some space on your hard drive with Windows 10 then these tips are sure to help. Granted, if you need to free up a lot of space then you are probably going to have to delete some files or fork out the cash for an additional hard drive or a bigger hard drive. But if you’re looking to get some free space quick then these are your best options!

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