How to Free Up Storage Space on Windows Devices

Today, I would be explaining ways to free up storage space on Windows devices. It is a common experience that the more time you spend using your computer, the more the space on your computer drive gets filled up.

How to Free Up Storage Space on Windows Devices

If you have been finding it difficult trying to maintain enough space on your drive between mobile backups, Windows Updates, PC games, media files and so on, then this post would guide you on 5 different ways by which you can free up storage space on Windows devices.

How to Free Up Storage Space on Windows Devices

Scan for files with Disk Cleanup, and third-party tools.

One of the easiest ways to perform a system-wide file cleanup is through the use of Junk file cleaners. They are also useful in freeing up space on low capacity SSDs. On Windows OS, an example is the in-built Disk Cleanup application. How to use Disk Cleanup to free storage on Windows?

  • Go to the search menu and search for Disk Cleanup
  • Open Disk Cleanup and select your main system drive
  • Disk Cleanup will scan your drive for unnecessary files and old cached data and possible folders that might contain unnecessary files
  • Select those folders you wish to delete to free your storage
  • Clicking on “Clean up system files” near the bottom of the window will run a second scan

The result of the second scan tells you how much storage Disk Cleanup can free on your device and also lists different types of data that you might wish to delete. This process can free up to 27 GB of disk space on your drive.

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Enable Windows 10 Storage Sense

The Windows 10 OS has an automatic disk cleaning service that you can use to free up storage space on your drive. To enable Windows 10 Storage Sense:

  • Search the Start Menu for Settings
  • Click on System
  • Click on Storage
  • Turn on Storage Sense

Windows 10 storage sense automatically free up storage space by scanning and getting rid of files you don’t need when your drive is low on space. Clicking on “Free up space now” on the Storage sense settings page scans your drive and makes a list of all unwanted data and temporary files that you may wish to delete manually. Those files include:

  • Downloads
  • Windows Update Cleanup
  • Windows upgrade log files
  • Temporary files
  • Thumbnails
  • Windows Defender Antivirus
  • Temporary Internet files
  • Delivery Optimization files
  • The system created Windows Error Reporting files
  • DirectX Shader Cache

This process can free up to 3GB of data on your system drive.

Manually Searching for files you no longer need.

Another way you can free up storage space on your system drive is by manually deleting unwanted duplicate files from your system. If you can find a few large files, then this method can recover several gigs of space. This process can be a little bit difficult on the Windows OS as Windows does not allow easy access to duplicate files. You can try searching for duplicate files you wish to delete by searching for the files through File Explorer.

In addition, another way to go about it is by downloading a disk space analyzer such as SpaceSniffer which will scan your drive(s) and gives a display of all files in an interface that makes it easy to see what is occupying the most storage.

Moving media files and software to another drive

Sometimes there are some important files or software that occupy large spaces on our drive and we don’t wish to delete them for any reason whatsoever. Yet we need to free up some space on our drive. On such occasions, it is advisable to move these files or applications to another drive.

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Meanwhile, you can also move other files to another device and create a shortcut/link to them. This process is somewhat efficient in the sense that you won’t actually need to be deleting anything once the files have been moved to another device. Yet freeing up large enough spaces on your drive.

Removing unused system and driver files

In one of the ways I mentioned before, I talked about the use of enabling Windows storage sense to free up storage space on your drive. Executing the process manually makes it feasible to remove some system files and old Windows backup folder that was created when reinstalling or upgrading Windows. But if you wish not to delete these files, you can compress them by enabling Windows built-in compression:

  • Right-click on a file or folder
  • Go to properties
  • Click the Advanced button
  • Now click the box next to “Compress contents to save disk space”
  • Click Ok twice to confirm.

Although, compressing files can save a lot of space on your drive, but it is not advisable to compress any system files that will be accessed occasionally.

In conclusion, deleting unused files on drives is very important not to free up storage space on Windows devices, but also allows the PC to function effectively. I hope this was of help.