Storage Full! How To Free Up Disk Space On Windows 10
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Storage Full! How To Free Up Disk Space On Windows 10

Read this comprehensive guide on how to free up disk space on Windows 10. It provides multiple solutions to get rid of the storage full warning message on your Windows PC.

All our PCs have a limited disk space. Hence, there is always a chance of getting the storage full. And this is one of the worst situations as it prevents you from saving anything on your PC, no matter how important it is. Along with this, your system also starts performing sluggish when the storage gets full. Hence, it is essential to clean the hard disk regularly. But not everyone knows how to free up disk space on Windows 10. Considering this, today, we are here with this comprehensive yet simple guide to clear disk space on Windows 10.

Even for the tech experts, it is one of the most tricky tasks to clean up PC storage. The reason is no one exactly knows what is hogging their hard disk. Hence, in this post, we have discussed 13 different solutions to free up disk space on Windows 10. So, without being sluggish like a PC showing the storage-full warning, let’s proceed to the guide.

Also Read: How to Fix 100% Disk Usage in Windows 10 

How To Free Up Disk Space On Windows 10 PC

Your search for how to free up disk space on Windows 10 PC ends here. Below are the helpful solutions to clean the hard drive and restore the disk storage on your computer.

Solution 1: Clean The Recycle Bin

When you delete something on your Windows 10 PC, it doesn’t get deleted permanently. The system transfers the file to the Recycle Bin so that you can restore it if required in the future. To delete the file or folder permanently, either you have to press the Shift + Delete keys on your keyboard or remove it from the Recycle Bin. If there are multiple files in the Recycle Bin and you want to remove all of them from your PC, then you can follow these steps.

  1. Open the Recycle Bin from the icon available on your Desktop. If you can’t find it on your Desktop, then search & open the Recycle Bin using the Windows Search feature.
  2. After opening the Recycle Bin, select the Recycle Bin Tools or Manage tab.How to free up disk space open recycle bin
  3. Then, choose the Empty Recycle Bin option.          How to free up disk space empty recycle bin
  4. At last, select the Yes option to remove files from Recycle Bin and free disk space on your PC. 

Solution 2: Clean Duplicate Photos & Files

Now, let’s talk about one of the most effective solutions to free up disk space on Windows 10. We humans like to make and store memories. And the most convenient way of doing so is clicking pictures. However, we all are quite busy in our lives. Hence, we often forget to sort the photos that we have clicked. You do not even bother about the messy picture gallery unless it starts hampering the storage of your PC. 

Duplicate pictures are one of the major junk that occupies a large proportion of our hard disk space. We must prevent the accumulation of dupes on our PC to avoid the storage-full issue. However, it seems like an impossible task when you have a picture gallery of thousands of photos. It requires hours to remove all the duplicate images, and none of us have that much time. But do not worry. Here we have brought the most convenient and fastest solution to get rid of dupes. You all can use Quick Photo Finder, a reliable, quick, & effective software to find and delete duplicate images from your system storage. 

Below are the salient features of Quick Photo Finder that makes this duplicate photo finder & remover tool the best in the business.

  • The software is well-equipped with some advanced algorithms to detect dupes and similar pictures on your PC.
  • After detecting duplicates, Quick Photo Finder represents the results in quite an organized manner. Hence, you can make better decisions.
  • The interface is also pretty impressive. Anyone can use this duplicate photo remover tool with ease. It also allows the users to drag & drop the folder containing duplicate images to perform a scan.
  • It is as effortless as clicking a picture nowadays. You can find and delete duplicates just by performing a few clicks. Hence, you do not have to spend long hours searching & removing dupes from your PC.

You only have to click the below button to download Quick Photo Finder. After that, it is a piece of cake to find and delete duplicate images from your Windows 10 PC.

Quick Duplicate Finder

download now button

Along with the pictures, you can also remove other duplicate files from your PC using some best duplicate file detector and remover tools. It helps to free up disk space to a great extent.

Solution 3: Use Disk Cleanup

You can also try the Disk Cleanup tool of Windows to clean the hard drive. The utility helps to clean C drive in Windows 10 by eliminating the temporary files, shadow copies, and older system restore points. Here are the steps to use Disk Cleanup and retrieve the lost storage.

  1. Open My PC/This PC from your desktop or File Explorer.
  2. Now, go to the C: drive and right-click on it.
  3. Click on the Properties option available at the bottom of the right-click menu.How to free disk space use disk clean up
  4. In C: Drive properties, click on the Disk Cleanup button.                          How to free disk space use disk clean up properties
  5. Now you have to wait till Windows performs calculations.
  6. After that, it provides you with a list of files to delete. You have to click on the Clean up system files button.How to free disk space use disk clenup system file
  7. Then, checkmark all the listed files.
  8. Click on the OK option.
  9. At last, select Delete Files.

Along with the temporary files, you can also delete the shadow copies & older system restore points to retrieve some space on the C drive. Below are the necessary steps that you have to follow.

  • Just like above, open My PC/This PC from your desktop or File Explorer.
  • Now, go to the C: drive and right-click on it.
  • After that, click on the Properties option available at the bottom of the right-click menu.How to free disk space use disk clean up
  • Then, click on the Disk Cleanup button in C: Drive properties.                How to free disk space use disk clean up properties
  • Now you have to wait till Windows performs calculations.
  • After that, you have to click on the Clean up system files button.          How to free disk space use disk clenup system file
  • Then, select the More Options tab.
  • Select the  ‘Clean up…‘ option available under System Restore and Shadow Copies.
  • At last, select the Delete option to remove system restore points and shadow copies and ultimately free up disk space on Windows 10.

Solution 4: Use Storage Sense Feature Of Windows 10

Windows 10 offers a built-in junk cleaning features known as Storage Sense. Enabling this tool of the operating system helps you to get rid of unwanted files and eventually get more disk space. Here is how you can enable Storage Sense on your Windows 10 PC.

  1. With your mouse, do a right-click on the start icon of Windows 10.
  2. Click on Settings in the shown menu.                                                                         Use Storage Sense Feature-1
  3. In Settings, choose System.                                         Use Storage Sense Feature-2
  4. Now, go to the Storage settings.
  5. After that, you have to click on the highlighted Configure Storage Sense or run it now tab.Use Storage Sense Feature-3
  6. Enable the Storage Sense.                                       Use Storage Sense Feature-4
  7. Once you have enabled the Storage Sense, set the schedule to run Storage sense automatically on your PC. 

It’ll help you to eliminate all the junk automatically as per the set schedule. However, if you are looking to free space on Windows 10 PC immediately via Storage Sense, then here is all you have to do.

  1. Follow the instructions provided above to access the Storage settings of your Windows 10 PC.
  2. Then, click on the highlighted Configure Storage Sense or run it now tab.Use Storage Sense Feature-5
  3. After that, select the Delete temporary files that my apps aren’t using option.Use Storage Sense Feature-6
  4. Then, set the duration to delete Recycle Bin & Downloads folder data.
  5. Once you have set the duration to remove data from Recycle Bin and Downloads folder, specify a schedule for OneDrive content synchronization.
  6. After this, checkmark the Delete previous versions of Windows option.
  7. At last, select the Clean now option to clean the hard drive.Use Storage Sense Feature-7

Solution 5: Try OneDrive Files On-Demand Feature

Another helpful solution to clear disk space on Windows 10 is making the data available online only using OneDrive. For this, you first have to enable the OneDrive Files On-Demand. Here are the needed steps.

  1. Go to the OneDrive icon available on the right side of the Windows 10 taskbar and click on it.
  2. After that, select Help & Settings.
  3. Then, choose the Settings option.                                                          Try OneDrive Files On Demand Feature-1
  4. Now, go to the Settings tab.                                           Try OneDrive Files On Demand Feature-2                                      
  5. Select the ‘Save space and download files as you use them’ option available under File On-Demand.Try OneDrive Files On-Demand Feature-3
  6. Choose OK to enable the OneDrive Files On-Demand feature.Try OneDrive Files On-Demand Feature-4

After enabling the OneDrive Files On-Demand, here is how you can make your data available online only.

  1. Click on the File Explorer icon available on the taskbar.
  2. Then, select the OneDrive option from the left panel.Try OneDrive Files On-Demand Feature-5
  3. Now, you have to choose the space-hogging files and folders.
  4. After selecting, make a right-click on the selected items.
  5. Click on the Free up space option in the context menu to free disk space.Try OneDrive Files On-Demand Feature-6

Also Read: Best RAM Cleaner, Optimizer, and Booster for Windows 10

Solution 6: Uninstall Unwanted Apps, Games, & Other Utilities

All of us have several programs, games, and utilities installed on our PCs. However, we do not require all of them. Hence, it is good to uninstall such utilities, or else they may acquire a large proportion of your disk space. Below are the steps to uninstall unwanted software and games manually on your Windows 10 PC.

  1. With your mouse, do a right-click on the start icon of the Windows 10.
  2. Click on Settings in the shown menu.                                                                         Uninstall Unwanted Apps Games Other-1
  3. In Settings, choose Apps.                                            Uninstall Unwanted Apps Games Other-2
  4. Now, select the Apps & features option from the left panel.                                Uninstall Unwanted Apps Games Other-3
  5. After that, go through the list of installed apps on your PC.
  6. Click on the one you want to remove from your computer.
  7. Select the Uninstall option.

You can repeat it for all the apps that you want to uninstall on your Windows 10 PC. However, if you find it time-wasting to remove programs manually from your computer, then you can use some best app uninstallers for Windows to do the task automatically.

Solution 7: Transfer Files To An External Drive

If you are constantly getting the ‘Storage Full’ warning, then one of the most effective solutions that you can try is to transfer the local files to an external drive. First of all, you have to install an external drive on your PC. After that, below are the steps that you have to follow to transfer your local data & files to the new drive.

  1. Click on the File Explorer icon available on the taskbar.                                               Transfer Files To An External Drive-1
  2. Then, navigate to the location of the file or data that is hogging your space.
  3. After that, select that file or folder.
  4. Now, go to the Home tab.
  5. Select  “Move to” option.                                                                  Transfer Files To An External Drive-2
  6. Then, click on the Choose location option.
  7. Choose the external drive that you have installed.
  8. At last, select the Move option and start the file transfer.

Along with the files, you can also transfer the installed programs to the external drive to get some extra free space. Below are the needed steps.

  1. With your mouse, do a right-click on the start icon of Windows 10.
  2. Click on Settings in the shown menu.                                                                         
  3. In Settings, choose Apps.                                            Transfer Files To An External Drive-4
  4. Now, select the Apps & features option from the left panel.                                Transfer Files To An External Drive-5
  5. After that, go through the list of installed apps on your PC.
  6. Click on the one you want to transfer to the external drive.
  7. Select the Move option.
  8. Now, set the external drive as the new location.
  9. At last, click on Move to free up disk space on Windows 10.

Also Read: 14 Best File Copy Utility Software for Windows 10, 8, 7 in 2021

Solution 8: Enable Windows 10 NTFS Compression

You can also compress your files and drives to free space on Windows 10. Windows provide an NTFS compression option to help you decrease the file or drive size. First, let’s discuss how to enable NTFS compression on files & folders.

  1. Navigate to the file or folder you want to compress.
  2. Then, right-click on it.
  3. After that, select the Properties option from the context menu.Enable Windows 10 NTFS Compression-1
  4. In Properties, select the ‘Advanced…’ option.                                                 Enable Windows 10 NTFS Compression-2
  5. In the Advanced Attributes dialog box, mark the Compress contents to save disk space option available under the Compress or Encrypt attributes tag.
  6. Then, select the OK option.                                                                            Enable Windows 10 NTFS Compression-3
  7. Now, choose the Apply button.
  8. After that, select Apply changes to this folder, subfolders, and filesEnable Windows 10 NTFS Compression-4
  9. Select OK.
  10. Now again, click on the OK to compress the selected file or folder.

If you want to enable NTFS compression on a particular drive, then here are the steps that you have to follow.

  1. Open My PC/This PC from your desktop or File Explorer.
  2. Right-click on the drive and select Properties.             Enable Windows 10 NTFS Compression-5
  3. Mark Compress this drive to save disk space option in the Properties dialog box.Enable Windows 10 NTFS Compression-6
  4. After that, select Apply.
  5. Now, in the Confirm Attribute Changes dialog box, choose ‘Apply changes to drive (drive letter), subfolders, and files’ and click OK.                                                                                                            Enable Windows 10 NTFS Compression-7
  6. At last, click on the OK to compress the selected drive.

Solution 9: Disable Hibernation

Windows operating system saves memory data in the form of hiberfil.sys file on your hard drive to ensure the safety of your current session. This feature is known as hibernation. However, hibernation is pretty helpful, but it consumes a hefty amount of your drive space. You can disable the hibernation feature on your Windows 10 PC to clean the C drive and get more disk space. Here is what you have to do.

  1. Search Command Prompt using the Windows Search feature
  2. Click on Run as administrator.                                  Disable Hibernation-1
  3. Type ‘powercfg /hibernate off’ command and press the Enter key on your keyboard to disable hibernation on your Windows 10 PC.

Solution 10: Use Compact OS

Compact OS is a benefit offered by Windows that helps to reduce the size of the operating system and its related apps & files. It serves as a decent solution if your storage is getting full. Here is how you can use the Compact OS feature to free up disk space on Windows 10.

  1. Search Command Prompt using the Windows Search feature
  2. Click on Run as administrator.                                  Use Compact OS-1
  3. Type ‘compact.exe /compactOS:always’ command and hit the Enter key on your keyboard.

Following the above steps will help you to shrink the size of Windows 10 and apps installed. However, any mistake can cost you a lot and even the complete data loss. Hence, we suggest you create a backup for all your data before proceeding with this method to regain disk space.

Also Read: Best Free Hard Drive Encryption Software for Windows 10

Solution 11: Rebuild Or Configure Windows 10 Search Indexer

Sometimes, indexing issues can make the Widows database grow immensely. It eventually causes storage troubles on the PC. However, do not worry. One can easily get rid of this by rebuilding or configuring the Windows 10 Search Indexer. First of all, let’s check out the method to rebuild the Search Indexer and clean the hard disk of your PC.

  • Do a right-click on the start icon of Windows 10.
  • Click on Settings in the shown menu.                                                                        Rebuild Or Configure Windows 10 Search Indexer-1
  • In Settings, choose Search.                                         Rebuild Or Configure Windows 10 Search Indexer-2
  • After that, choose Searching Windows on the left panel.                                   Rebuild Or Configure Windows 10 Search Indexer-3
  • Then, select Advanced Search Indexer Settings available below More Search Indexer Settings.Rebuild Or Configure Windows 10 Search Indexer-4
  • Now, click on the Advance option.                                   Rebuild Or Configure Windows 10 Search Indexer-5
  • Go to the Index Settings tab.                                                                 Rebuild Or Configure Windows 10 Search Indexer-6
  • Choose the Rebuild option available under Troubleshooting.Rebuild Or Configure Windows 10 Search Indexer-7
  • At last, choose OK to rebuild the Search Indexer.

If you want to configure the Search Indexer, then below are the instructions you have to follow.

  1. Do a right-click on the start icon of Windows 10.
  2. Click on Settings in the shown menu.                                                                        Rebuild Or Configure Windows 10 Search Indexer-8
  3. In Settings, choose the Search option.                       Rebuild Or Configure Windows 10 Search Indexer-9
  4. After that, choose Searching Windows on the left panel.                                   Rebuild Or Configure Windows 10 Search Indexer-10
  5. Then, select Advanced Search Indexer Settings available below More Search Indexer Settings.Rebuild Or Configure Windows 10 Search Indexer-11
  6. Now, click on the Modify option.                                     
  7. Select Show all locations.                                            Rebuild Or Configure Windows 10 Search Indexer-13
  8. Unmark the options that you want to remove from the index. Rebuild Or Configure Windows 10 Search Indexer-14
  9. Now, click on the arrow-like icon for C drive. It will help you to expand the components of the drive.
  10.  Unmark the options that you want to remove from the search.              Rebuild Or Configure Windows 10 Search Indexer-15
  11. Then, select the OK option.
  12. And, finish the configuration process by choosing the Close option.

Solution 12: Delete Unwanted User Accounts

If you share your PC with other users, then you might have created multiple user accounts. However, it is necessary to remove those accounts that are not in use. It helps you to have more space on the hard drive for the active users. Hence, deleting unwanted and unneeded user accounts can be a great solution to clear disk space on Windows 10. Below are the necessary steps to do so.

  1. Move the cursor to the taskbar of your Windows 10 PC and right-click on the Windows icon available on it.
  2. Click on Settings in the shown menu.                                                                         Delete Unwanted User Accounts-1
  3. In Settings, choose the Accounts option.                 Delete Unwanted User Accounts-2
  4. After that, choose the Family & other users option from the left pane in Accounts settings.Delete Unwanted User Accounts-3
  5. Then, click on the user accounts that you do not want to be on your PC anymore.
  6. Now, select the Remove option.
  7. Proceed with deleting the respective account and its data by selecting Delete account and data.Delete Unwanted User Accounts-4

Also Read: Best PC Optimizer Software for Windows 10, 8, 7

Solution 13: Disable Windows Reserved Storage

Windows reserves a specific amount of your system storage for the updates, cache, & other temporary files. However, just like hibernation, it is also a quite useful feature offered by the operating system. But, if you have a PC with low storage, then it may trouble you. Hence, to regain some additional space on your hard disk, you can disable the Windows Reserved Storage feature.

However, we do not recommend this method to every PC user. Disabling Windows Reserved Storage may cause several troubles during your next Windows Update. Hence, we suggest you to proceed with this solution only if you are a tech expert or someone who understands this function of Windows quite well. Below are the instructions to disable Reserved Storage on your Windows 10 PC.

  1. Search PowerShell using the Windows Search feature.                       Disable Windows Reserved Storage-1
  2. Click on Run as administrator.
  3. Now check whether your Windows PC has the Reserved Storage feature enabled or not. You can do this by typing the following command in Windows PowerShell.
    Get-WindowsReservedStorageState
  4. After providing the above command, press Enter.Disable Windows Reserved Storage-2
  5. Now, disable the Windows Reserved Storage if your PC has the Reserved Storage feature enabled. You can do this by typing the following command.
    Set-WindowsReservedStorageState -State disabled
  6. Complete the command to disable Windows Reserved Storage and free space on Windows 10 by pressing the Enter key on your keyboard.                                                               Disable Windows Reserved Storage-3

Final Words On The Guide To Free Up Disk Space On Windows 10

Well, that was all we have to share with you on resolving the storage-full problem on your PC. It was a comprehensive guide to free up disk space on Windows 10. We hope the above solutions helped you to clean the hard drive of your computer. There are multiple benefits of having more disk space. So, keep your storage clean by following the above methods. However, if you think that we have missed something important on the topic, then feel free to share it via comments.

Furthermore, subscribe to the Innovana blog. We regularly share various such guides and posts to help you keep your PC uncluttered and high performing.

Aman
Aman is a writer with keen observational and learning skills. Despite being a technical writer he doesn't have any technical background. His interest in new technology helps him to write exceptional technology-related articles. Apart from writing, he likes to play chess.

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