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How to Free Up Hard Drive Space on Windows

Updated on April 20, 2015

Many computers today come with at least 500gb of hard drive space, after a while your hard drive will begin to fill up and this will result in your computer becoming slower and slower, this happens because you have too many unnecessary files on your hard drive. An example of this is that windows stores loads of unneeded traces of your personal information, this includes passwords, bank information and emails, all without you knowing it.

To make the most out of your computer, you will need to maintain it on a regular basis, monthly if possible. Maybe even weekly, but it depends what you do on your computer.

Below I have listed 7 different ways to free up hard drive space on Windows. Make sure to follow all 7 methods to free up the most space possible and to keep your hard drive running as efficiently as possible.

What you will need:

  • Computer
  • Time

Disable Hibernation (Method 1)

Hibernation mode is a great way to keep your programs open when turning off your computer. When your computer is in hibernation mode, everything which you had open is saved onto the hard drive. When your computer is in hibernation mode, you can fully disconnect it because hibernation mode doesn't require any power.

However, if you don't like the benefits of hibernation mode and prefer to completely shut down your computer please follow the tutorial below.

1. Click start and search for cmd, Once you have found cmd, right-click it and click run as administrator

2. When you're in cmd just type in the following and then press enter

powercfg /hibernate off

If you want to turn it back on type in

powercfg /hibernate on

and then press enter

Disable system restore / Minimize space system restore is using (Method 2)

Disabling system restore is not a good idea because if something goes wrong with your computer, then you will have to restore your computer back to factory settings instead of a closer date. I would recommend reducing the space system restore uses rather than disabling it all together because you never know what might go wrong with your computer, but if you truly need to free up hard drive space here's how to do it.

1. Firstly click start and then right-click computer and then click Properties

2. Now that you're on computer properties click System Protection on the left-hand side

3. Now click Configure

4. Finally, select Turn off system protection or drag the slider at the bottom to as much space you want to use and then click apply

Disk Cleanup (Method 3)

Disk Cleanup is an inbuilt program which helps to clean up all unnecessary files on your hard drive, if you clean up all those files, then it will help your computer to run more smoothly and quickly. Disk Cleanup does a number of different things such as removing temporary files, emptying the recycle bin and removing a bunch of other files you no longer need.

1. Firstly, you will have to open up Disk Cleanup by clicking start and searching for Disk Cleanup, once you've found it, click it

2. Once you've opened up Disk Cleanup choose your hard drive and then click OK

3. Once Disk Cleanup has finished scanning your hard drive you will have a list of files to delete. I usually select them all, once you've selected the files you want to delete click ok

4. A message will appear after clicking ok, just click Delete Files

Disk Defragmenter (Method 4)

Disk defragmenter is an inbuilt program which helps to speed up your computer by rearranging files stored on your hard drive to make them run more efficiently. The hard drive gets fragmented over time because when you're using your computer the files just get placed randomly on your hard drive and this results in them being unorganised and after a while this will start showing itself by slowing down your computer. You should defragment your computer at least once a month. Here's how to do it.

1. Firstly, you will have to open up Disk Defragmenter by clicking start and then searching for Disk Defragmenter, once you've found it, click it

2. Now select which disks you want to defragment and then click Defragment Disks

That's it, you're done. I would suggest configuring it to a certain day and time of the week you know you will be on your computer. You can do this under configuration.

Download a free junk cleaner (Ccleaner) (Method 5)

You should always have a free junk cleaner because the junk cleaning software helps you to remove any unwanted junk files in only a few clicks. Ccleaner is a program which cleans up all these files, this includes files such as temporary internet files, invalid windows registry entries and internet history etc.

1. Download the application HERE

2. Once downloaded the first thing you should do is run the cleaner by clicking Run Cleaner

Once Ccleaner has finished running it will tell you how much space the program has freed up.

Put all music, videos and images onto an external hard drive or on Dropbox (Method 6)

You should always put all your music, videos and images onto an external hard drive or Dropbox because this will free up your main hard drive therefore speeding it up.

To get Dropbox all you need to do is download it, you can find the download HERE

Uninstall any old programs and/or games (Method 7)

If you have any programs or games you no longer use what's the point in having them installed? They're just additional space which could be used for something more important. I will show you how to uninstall them below.

1. Click start and then Control Panel, once you're within the control panel, click Uninstall a program (Make sure you're viewing by Category)

2. Once you're in the Uninstall a program window, select any program(s) you want to uninstall and then click Uninstall. Once you have clicked uninstall it will take you through a simple uninstallation process, similar to the process when you first installed the program

If you have followed all of these simple tips correctly, then you should free up hard drive space.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave them below!

Did this tutorial help you free up hard drive space?

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    • Jacobb9205 profile image

      Jacob Barnard 22 months ago from Gloucestershire

      Thank you

    • Rabadi profile image

      22 months ago from New York

      Hey great info, I just followed you, mind following back? :) Thank you.