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Free Up Disk Space With Windows 10

Desktop PCs, laptops, tablets, and other computing devices run out of disk space, leading to inadequate storage space to organize files. Besides, having insufficient disk space may affect the functionality and reduce system speed. Hence, freeing up disk space is crucial as it helps alleviate disk space issues and ensure the computer is running efficiently.

If you are a frequent Windows 10 user and your internal storage is running low, taking the proper steps to free up space is crucial. Regardless of how much disk space you have on your laptop or PC, there is a point where you will run out of storage space. That said, here are five ways to free up your disk space in Windows 10.

Empty the Recycle Bin

When you delete files or items from your computer, Windows 10 works similar to its predecessors, where the deleted file is placed in a Recycle Bin. It is an effective way that allows you to restore these items, presuming you need them back. However, items in the Recycle Bin can take more of your hard-disk space over time unless you empty the bin. Emptying the bin is a critical step to regain space in your computer, especially if you have several files in the bin.

To empty the recycle bin, navigate to the Desktop and right-click the Recycle Bin icon. On the dropdown menu, select Empty Recycle Bin to delete all files in the bin permanently. If you need to restore some files, you can open the Recycle bin, highlight files you intend to delete, and delete them. For those who find the process long and tedious, there is an alternative to deleting the file permanently within its destination folder by pressing Shift + Delete.

Run Disk Cleanup

Like previous Windows, Windows 10 features a pre-installed disk cleanup utility, commonly referred to as Disk Cleanup. It is a tool that permits users to free up space by removing different files, primarily system error memory dump files, prior Windows installation files, and temporary internet files. The Disk Cleanup utility lets you easily delete loads of unused and temporary files and regain your computing space on your computer.

To activate the Disk Cleanup utility on your computer, use the Start Menu to search for Disk Cleanup or select the tool from the Start menu under Windows Administrator Tools. On the dialog box, choose the files you intend to delete and click OK. If you are unaware of which files you can delete, there is an option to view each file before selecting it. Suppose you need to delete previous Windows system files, simply click Clean up System Files.

Turn On Storage Sense

Although disk cleanup offers strategic steps to free space in Windows 10, you can automate the disk clean by running or activating Storage Sense. Storage Sense is a feature that enables users to remove junk files, including previous Windows installation files, freeing up space on both primary and secondary drives. This enables users to create more room to store and organize more files and improve drive efficiency.

You can activate Storage Sense manually or enable it to run automatically, preventing your drives from storing unnecessary files. Here is how to turn on Storage Sense and enable it to run automatically.

  • Open Settings
  • Select System
  • Click on Storage
  • Under Storage, select Configure Storage Sense. Alternatively, you can choose the option of running it now to enable it instantly.
  • Toggle the switch to enable Storage Sense
  • Using the Run Storage Sense dropdown menu, choose your preferred option: Every day, Every Week, Every Month, or During Low Free Disk Space (Recommended).

With these steps, Storage Sense will activate and run automatically depending on the schedule period you specified. Besides, you can also delete temporary or unnecessary files using Storage Sense by focusing on specific files you intend to delete and free up space on your computer. Windows also offers other ways to run Storage Sense, but the above steps enable you to activate default settings for better results.

Uninstall Apps

Bloatware, unused apps and programs, and forgotten installed applications can consume space on your computer. However, it would be difficult to determine which apps and programs and take up space. To identify apps to uninstall and free up space, navigate the Settings menu and select Apps > App & Features, taking you to all apps installed in your system. Using the Sort by Size option, you can identify apps taking up more space on your computer. To uninstall or remove an app from your Windows 10 computer, tap it on from the list and select Uninstall.

Some apps may not appear on the list for users running legacy programs, requiring more advanced options to display hidden programs. Using the Control Panel, navigate to Programs and click Uninstall a Program to access a list of legacy programs on your Windows 10 computer. You can also sort the list by size, left-click the program you want to delete, and tap the Uninstall button.

Disable Hibernate

Most people prefer hibernating their computers to facilitate faster start-ups without closing essential system files. The quasi-shut-down state allows your system to save a snapshot of your files, including drivers, before shutting down. However, hibernating your computer takes up space, which can affect your storage space over time. The best way to manage and free up your computer space is to disable the hibernate feature on your computer.

But if you prefer keeping your computer in hibernation mode to keep the stage of your programs and operating system active when the computer shuts down, deleting hibernation files on a regular basis helps free up valuable computer space. To disable hibernate, right-click on Start and select Windows PowerShell (Admin). On the dialog box that displays, run the command: powercfg -h off to disable computer hibernate and reclaim your storage space.

Afterward, select File and navigate to Change Folder and Search Options. A dialog box will display, allowing you to switch to the View tab and click on Show Hidden Files, Folder, and Drivers. Finally, open a Local Disk (C:) and a file labeled hiberfil.sys. This allows you to disable hibernating on your computer and prevent the system from accumulating unwanted files during hibernation.

Other practical ways of freeing up space while using Windows 10 include storing files in the cloud, saving files on different drives, disabling reserve storage, clearing the cache on the browser, and clearing the Downloads folder. At Acom Networks, we can help you regain your computer storage space and enjoy an efficient computer system with adequate capacity to organize your files and install crucial apps.

For more info, contact us to learn more or schedule an IT services consultation with us today!