Is your computer running slowly? Have you experienced your programs freezing in the middle of you using them? Both of these could be the result of low disk space. Besides upgrading your RAM and buying external storage, which can get pricey, there are ways to free up disk space easily and without costing you any money. Try these four easy to follow tips to give your computer a speed boost.
Windows 7 or 10
Admin rights to run an elevated command prompt
Things to Consider First
One of the most common reasons for a slow PC is viruses and malware so before applying any of these tips you should scan your system using a reputable antivirus and antimalware. I personally like to use BitDefender and MalwareBytes because they have free versions. Also, one of the easiest ways to optimize your PC’s performance is to replace your hard drive with a solid state drive.
Tip #1 Run Disk Cleanup
Running Disk Cleanup is a good starting point for any Windows device when you need to free up disk space.
1. Start button > Search for This PC
2. Right click the C drive and go to Properties
3. Click on Disk Cleanup
4. Mark the check boxes next to the appropriate file types that you wish to get deleted.
5. It will then tell you how much disk space you’ll be freeing up
6. Click OK and follow the prompts to delete the unwanted files.
Tip #2 Limit “Hibernation” Disk Usage
Hibernation is a feature that was introduced in Windows 7 and is enabled by default on Windows 10. This feature speeds up the system boot up time. The default size of the hibernation file is equal to 75 percent of the total physical memory on the system. Let’s check and see how much disk space we’re currently allocating to it by following these steps:
Open up an elevated PowerShell by right clicking > run as admin
powercfg -h -size percentsize
As you can see I have allocated just over 3 GB to the hibernation feature on my machine which is the minimum you can set it to.
Follow these steps in order to make it use less space
Open up CMD prompt as admin
powercfg -h -size 40% if, for example, if you want System Restore to only use 40% of your disk.
Tip #3 Limit System Restore Disk Usage
This will apply more to machines running Windows 7 since System Restore comes enabled by default.
Open up an elevated PowerShell or CMD prompt and type in the following
vssadmin list shadowstorage
This will output the amount of space allocated to System Restore for each drive
If you want to re-allocate the amount of space run the following
vssadmin resize shadowstorage /for=c: /on=c: /maxsize=2GB
The above command will set the max space used by System Restore to 2GB. Make sure to create a system image back up before altering this setting as this may delete old restore points.
Tip #4 Use CCleaner to Delete Uneccessary Files and Duplicates
CCleaner is a free tool that I use that has many features. With CCleaner we can scan our system for unnecessary files and duplicates and remove them, giving us more disk space and a faster computer. You can download it free here
Let’s open it up and go to the Tools tab. From here click on Analyze. CCleaner will scan your PC for all unnecessary files. NOTE: You will have to close any browsers and potentially some documents you have open (such as Word/Excel) you have open so make sure you save your work. When this is done click Run to delete the files that are hogging up your disk space. Another useful feature of CCleaner is the Duplicate Finder. This will scan your PC for all duplicate files and allow you to delete all but one.
There are many other ways to free up disk space. You can use these tips as a base and implement other solutions to meet your needs. These tips will ensure you increase data storage and save money.