A Windows computer or laptop contains different drives like C, D, and E drives. The C drive (C:) is one of the main hard drives of a computer that contains the operating system and system files. This is why most of the space in this drive is already consumed by system files that we cannot even remove.
Due to the fact this drive stores operating systems and important system files, it needs to have sufficient free space in order to run the computer faster and smoother. But, truth is that the space of C Drive fills up so fast as compared to other drives. As it is the main hard drive of the computer which is directly responsible for the computer’s performance, it needs to have sufficient free space.
There’s still nothing to worry about because, in this article, I’m going to share some of the best and proven ways to free up the C Drive space in your Windows computer or laptop. You might know some of the following methods, but I’m combining all the ways that worked for me to free up the C drive.
Here’s How to Free Up C Drive Space in Windows
I’m using Solid State Drive (SSD) in my Windows 10 laptop which is costlier than traditional hard drives. And due to the reason that SSD offers less space as compared to HDD, I always clean up the C Drive to maintain sufficient space for optimum performance. Here’re some of the best ways to free up C Drive space on a Windows computer.
1. Empty Recycle Bin
The very first thing you can do to free up some of your C Drive space is empty the Recycle Bin of your Windows computer. In the Recycle Bin folder, all your deleted files are stored. But, unfortunately, all the deleted files stored in Recycle Bin cover the space of C Drive.
So, if you want to have some free space in your Windows C Drive, just empty the recycle bin. I’m sure there should not be anything important in the recycle bin as most probably we only delete files when they’re of no use.
In my Windows 10 laptop, I cleared over 4GB of disk space by emptying the recycle bin. This is the easiest and best way to free up C drive space in your Windows computer. Let’s now move to the other option.
2. Remove Temporary Files
Temporary files in Windows computers are another big reason for the fast filling of C drives. The computer programs create temporary files when a file is being created or modified to hold the information. As soon as the program is closed, the temporary files also get deleted.
But, not every time the temporary files get deleted after closing the programs. Some might remain saved in the hard drives. And you can safely remove them in order to free up the C drive space.
Temporary files can be removed using the Windows Disk Cleanup tool. To open Windows’ Disk Cleanup tool, right-click on the hard drive and navigate to Properties > Disk Cleanup. It’s very easy.
But, the problem is that it doesn’t remove the temporary files used by other third-party programs like Google Chrome, Firefox, etc. As browser cache uses hard disk space to save you time when accessing websites in the future, you should clear the browser cache in order to free up your C drive space.
3. Uninstall Heavy Applications
By default, all the applications that you install in your Windows computer are stored in the C Drive. And this is why uninstalling the space-hungry applications will help you free up some space in the drive.
From the Programs & Features control panel, you can find out the number of programs installed in your computer and their details like size, publisher name, etc. If you find any less important program heavy in size, you should uninstall that.
If you’re using Windows 10 computer, it’s even easier to uninstall the heavy applications. Just go to Settings > Apps > Apps & Features. Here you can check details of all the programs installed in your computer as well as Windows Store apps and remove any of them by just clicking the Uninstall button.
4. Delete Duplicate Files
Duplicate files are another big reason for unnecessarily filling up the hard drive space. Deleting duplicate files manually in your Windows computer might be a difficult and time-consuming task ever. To make it faster and easier, many third-party applications are available to find and remove duplicate files from the Windows computer.
But, make sure to not remove duplicate files found in system folders like the Windows and Program Files folders because programs may need these duplicate files in different locations to function properly.
5. Disable System Restore
System Restore is one of the most important features provided by Microsoft Windows that allows users to restore their computer’s state to a previous restore point. This helps users to recover their computers from system malfunctions or other problems.
But, when the System Restore is enabled in the computer, it keeps some restore points saved into your hard drive which occupy space in gigabytes. In my Windows 10 computer, restore points covers around 10GB of hard drive space.
You can easily disable the System Restore feature on your Windows computer. Open Control Panel and navigate to System & Security > System > System Protection.
Now, select the C Drive where you want to free up space and click the Configure button. Now in the next window, click Disable System Protection, and Apply the changes.
If for security reasons you don’t want to completely disable the System Restore in your Windows computer, you can still reduce the amount of space used for saving system restore points. You can adjust the maximum disk space used for system protection but as space fills up, older restore points will be automatically deleted.
6. Turn Off Hibernation
The hibernate mode in computers is a kind of deep sleep that helps them to save the battery while keeping your open documents and running applications saved in the hard drive so that they can resume from where you left off.
If the hibernate mode is turned on on your Windows computer, you can turn it off to free up the hard drive space. And I think you can use the Sleep mode as an alternative to the Hibernate mode in your Windows computer.
To turn off hibernation in your Windows computer, open Control Panel, navigate to Hardware and Sound > Power Options > Choose what the power button does, and uncheck the Hibernate box inside the Shutdown settings.
7. Use Disk Cleanup
Windows computers come with a built-in Disk Cleanup Tool which allows users to delete temporary files and other useless data from your hard drive to free up space. To run the Disk Cleanup tool, right-click on your hard drive and click Properties. You can also directly search for disk cleanup in the Start Menu and choose the hard drive.
The Disk Cleanup tool will show you the temporary internet files, recycle bin data, log files, and other unimportant data. All you need to select all the files you would like to delete and click Ok.
That’s it. The Disk Cleanup tool makes it very easy to free up some of your C drive space by deleting all the unimportant files in just a click.
8. Move Data from C Drive to Other Drives
As we know that C drive contains the operating system and system files. This is one of the main reasons why it fills up faster than other hard drives. We usually see that the other hard drives in our computer have more space remaining as compared to the C drive.
So, moving data from C drive to other hard drives can be a good method to make some free space in your C drive. You can either move your C drive data into your computer hard drives or any external hard drive.
9. Change Where New Content is Saved
It’s good to free up your C drive to boost the system performance but it’s also important to maintain the space in this main hard drive of your computer. For this, you will need to change the default settings for where the new content is saved.
By-default in all Windows computers the new apps, documents, music, pictures, and videos downloaded from the internet are saved in the C drive. But, you can change where the new content is saved in your Windows PC.
For Windows 10 users, click the Settings icon from Start Menu and navigate to System > Storage > Change where new content is saved. Here, you’ll see your default settings for saving your new data which you can change anytime.
That’s all. These are the best and proven ways to free up C drive space in Windows computers. All of the above-discussed methods worked for me and helped me free up C drive space in my Windows 10 computer.