Regardless of how much storage space your computer hard drive has, it will be nearly full at some point. Performance problems on your computer can often be traced to insufficient disk space. So, if the programs on your PC run slowly or you can not download more files to your computer due to limited disk space, this article is for you.

free up disk space on windows
Image: Windows(Unsplash)

There are several ways you can clean up your hard drive and create a significant amount of free space on your computer to improve the functionality of your PC. Moreover, these methods work for both Windows 10 and Windows 11 with only a slight difference in each step. This article will present the six best methods to free up disk space on Windows.

How to check storage usage on Windows PC

If you want to know the storage usage of your Windows computer, follow these steps:

  • Press Windows + I to open Settings on your computer
  • Click on System and select Storage.
  • The Storage page will show you how your hard disk is being used.

How to free up space on Windows computer

Are you having trouble removing unnecessary files from your computer? Here are some techniques to free up disk space on a Windows computer.

1. Clear files in Recycle Bin

free up disk space on windows via recycle bin

Every time you delete a file on your Windows computer, the file ends up in the Recycle Bin in case you need to recover the file. For many users, the files in the Recycle Bin become clumps, leaving little or no space on the computer’s hard drive even after deleting many files.

However, you can easily go to the Recycle Bin and delete all the files. Here is how;

  • Search Recycle Bin on Windows Search Box and click the result.
  • On the resulting window, press Ctrl + A to select all the files in the bin.
  • Right-click your mouse and hit Delete to remove all files from the program.

If you have some files that you may need later, click on the unimportant ones and delete them. This will free up a considerable amount of disk space. Also, you can set your files to be permanently deleted every time you use the delete function in File Explorer.

  • Right-click the Recycle Bin icon on your desktop screen and select Properties.
  • Then Choose Don’t move files to the Recycle Bin. Remove files immediately when deleted and click OK afterward.

2. Make use of the Windows disk cleanup tool

You can also use Windows’ built-in disk cleanup tool to free up space on your computer. Here are the steps to do so:

  • Open File Explorer on your computer and right-click on the drive you want to clean up.
  • From the resulting drop-down menu, click on up disk space on windows via drive properties
  • Then select Disk Cleanup and check the boxes for the files you wish to remove from your computer.disk-cleanup
  • Hit Clean up System files.

clean up files on windows

This way, all the files you have checked will be removed, freeing up space on your Windows computer.

So if you are someone who creates a restore point every time you need to edit the registry, update Windows, or do other things, you should try deleting the restore points to free up space on your computer.

  • On the resulting window after the clean up, click on the More Option.more options to remove restore points
  • Under the System Restore and Shadow Copies category, select Clean up. Then click on Delete.

remove system restore points

3. Uninstall unused heavy apps

uninstall apps

Many times, after using some program for a one-time purpose, we forget to uninstall them. These applications take a large amount of space on your computer and can cause your device to lag and not perform very well. Hence, it would help if you got rid of unused programs by:

  • Search Apps and Features in the Windows Search box and open the result.
  • Check for apps that are taking up your storage, click on it and hit Uninstall to get rid of them.

4. Use OneDrive to store files

All Windows PCs come with OneDrive as their file backup tool. Yes, the program is meant to be a storage point in case your computer crashes, but you can also use it to save files and free up space on Windows computers. Nevertheless, many users don’t use this program at all. Therefore, if you want to free up space on your computer, upload your photos, documents, and other files to OneDrive and access them whenever you want.

5. Activate Storage Sense

Storage Sense is a built-in Windows feature that allows you to easily delete junk files such as caches and cookies, previous installation files and many other unused files on your computer. It basically runs automatically to make your drive more efficient by removing junk files. However, you need to enable the feature on a computer before it will work.

  • Press Windows + I to open Settings.
  • Click on System and select Storage on the vertical pane.
  • Under Storage, click on Configure Storage Sense or run it now.
    configure storage sense
  • Toggle on the Storage Sense switch.
  • Click on the Run Storage Sense option to schedule when you want the feature to run on your computer.
  • Ensure the Delete temporary files that my apps aren’t using box is checked.
    activate storage sense to free up space on windows computer
  • Then hit Clean Now.

6. Move files to an external drive

Another way to free up space on Windows computers is to move your files to an external hard drive. External hard drives are storage hardware. You can save your files by simply transferring them from your computer to the hard drive. This way you’ll avoid deleting documents and other files on your computer, since you’ll be able to access the files on the hard disk whenever you need them.

Final Words

We have presented the six best methods for freeing hard disk space in Windows PC. There are a few other methods you can use, but they are not recommended. Just apply one of the methods described above to free up enough space on your computer. However, if you have exhausted all the possibilities, you can replace your computer’s hard disk with one that has a larger storage space.

FAQs on ways to free up disk space on Windows

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If you are looking for methods to clean up disk space on Windows 10, this is for you;

  1. Delete files in Recycle bin
  2. Run Disk cleanup
  3. Uninstall unused programs
  4. Delete unnecessary downloads

Yes, you should clean up the temporary files in Windows 10 regularly. The temporary files are created for the programs on your computer, but new ones are created when the programs need them.

In order to free up disk space on Windows 11/10, follow these steps:

1. Type Disk Cleanup in Windows Search Box and run it
2. Choose the drive you want to clean up and select OK.
3. Select the type of files you want to delete under the Files to delete the section.
4. After that, click OK.

To see what's taking up your storage on Windows 10 PC, press Windows + I keys to open Settings >>> Click on Storage, and select the storage point your want to check. You'll see the list of files consuming your disk space, and by tapping on them, you'll be taken to the file location.

In order to clear device memory (RAM) on Windows, try the following:

  1. Restart your device.
  2. Try different browsers as some are known to hog memory a lot.
  3. Clear RAM cache.
  4. Update Windows to the latest version.
  5. Uninstall unused software.
  6. Cut down on background apps.

If you are pressed for time and looking to quickly clear up disk space on Windows, try these following things:

  1. Empty the recycle bin
  2. Run Disk Cleanup
  3. Delete temporary and downloaded files
  4. Turn on Storage Sense
  5. Disable Hibernate
  6. Uninstall apps

These are the quickest ways to free up space. We have discussed other (not to quick) methods in this article.

Further Reading:

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