One of the common problems that Windows users face is running out of disk space on their system drive, usually the C drive. When the C drive is full, your computer may become slow, unstable, or unable to install important updates. Therefore, it is necessary to free up some space on your C drive to keep your PC running smoothly and securely.
There are many ways to free up space on C drive, depending on the cause of the problem and your preference. In this article, we will show you eight effective methods that you can try to clear disk space on Windows.
Method 1: Empty the Recycle Bin
The Recycle Bin is a folder that stores the files and folders that you delete from your PC. It allows you to restore them if you change your mind or need them later. However, the Recycle Bin also takes up some disk space on your C drive, especially if you have deleted large files or folders.
To empty the Recycle Bin and permanently delete the files and folders in it, you can do the following steps:
- To empty the Recycle Bin on your desktop, you can right-click on its icon and select the option “Empty Recycle Bin”.
- Click Yes to confirm that you want to delete the items permanently.
This will free up some space on your C drive, depending on how much data was in the Recycle Bin.
Method 2: Run Disk Cleanup
Disk Cleanup is a tool in Windows that removes unnecessary files from your PC. The files you have include temporary files, system files, downloaded program files, thumbnails, recycle bin files, and more. These files may take up a lot of space on your C drive and are safe to delete.
To run Disk Cleanup and free up space on the C drive, you can do the following steps:
- To begin, click on the Start button, then type “disk” in the search box and select “Disk Cleanup” from the results. In the Disk Cleanup window, select the C drive and click OK.
- Wait for Disk Cleanup to calculate how much space you can free up on the C drive.
- Check the boxes next to the types of files that you want to delete and click OK.
- To delete the selected files, click on the Delete Files button and confirm your action.
This will free up some space on your C drive, depending on how much data was selected for deletion.
Method 3: Uninstall Unused Programs
Another way to free up space on C drive is to uninstall the programs that you don’t use or need anymore. Some programs may take up a lot of space on your C drive and may also create temporary files or cache files that can clutter your disk.
To uninstall unused programs and free up space on C drive, you can do the following steps:
- Click Start, type “control” in the search box, and select Control Panel.
- To access the list of programs installed on your computer, open the Control Panel and click on “Programs and Features”.
- In the Programs and Features window, you will find a list of all the installed programs on your PC. Sort them by size to identify which ones occupy the most space on your C drive.
- To remove a program from your device, simply choose the program you want to uninstall and then click on the ‘Uninstall’ option.
- To complete the uninstallation process, please follow the instructions displayed on your screen. Make sure to carefully read and follow each step to ensure a successful completion.
This will free up some space on your C drive, depending on how much space was occupied by the uninstalled program.
Method 4: Move Personal Files to Another Drive or Cloud Storage
Your C drive may be full because you saved too many personal files on it, like documents, photos, videos, and music. These files take up space and may slow down your computer.
To free up space on the C drive, you can move some of your files to another drive or cloud storage service. This will not only clear disk space on Windows but also help you back up your important data and access it from anywhere.
To move personal files to another drive or cloud storage service and free up space on C drive, you can do the following steps:
- Connect an external hard drive or USB flash drive to your PC or sign in to a cloud storage service such as OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.
- Open File Explorer and navigate to the folder where your files are stored. You can also use the Quick Access or This PC options in File Explorer to access your common folders such as Documents, Pictures, Music, Videos, etc.
- Select the files or folders you want to move. Right-click and choose Cut or Copy from the context menu.
- Navigate to the destination folder where you want to store your files. This can be a folder on another drive or a folder in a cloud storage service.
- Open the destination folder and right-click in a space. Select ‘Paste’.
This will free up some space on your C drive, depending on how much data was moved to another location.
Method 5: Turn On Storage Sense
Windows 10 has a feature called Storage Sense. It helps your PC by deleting temporary files, recycle bin files, and old versions of Windows. You can turn on Storage Sense and configure it to run when your C drive is low on space or a regular schedule.
To turn on Storage Sense and free up space on C drive, you can do the following steps:
- Click Start, type “storage” in the search box, and select Storage settings.
- In the Storage settings window, turn on the toggle switch under Storage Sense.
- Click Configure Storage Sense or run it now to customize how Storage Sense works. You can decide how often Storage Sense runs. You can also choose how long to keep files in the Recycle Bin and Downloads folder. Additionally, you can decide whether to delete previous versions of Windows.
- Click Clean now to run Storage Sense immediately and free up space on your C drive.
This will free up some space on your C drive, depending on how much data was deleted by Storage Sense.
Method 6: Delete Temporary and Downloaded Files Manually
You can also delete temporary and downloaded files manually without using Disk Cleanup or Storage Sense. These files are usually stored in these folders:
You can access these folders by typing their paths in the address bar of File Explorer. You can delete the files in these folders directly, but make sure you don’t need them anymore. Some of these files may be used by programs or processes that are currently running on your PC.
To delete temporary and downloaded files manually and free up space on the C drive, you can do the following steps:
- Open File Explorer and navigate to one of the folders mentioned above.
- Select the files or folders that you want to delete and press Delete on your keyboard or right-click on them and choose Delete from the context menu.
- Repeat the same steps for the other folders.
This will free up some space on your C drive, depending on how much data was deleted from these folders.
Method 7: Delete Internet Temporary Files
Internet temporary files are files that are created by your web browser when you visit websites. The files are cache files, cookies, history, etc. They help your web browser load websites faster and remember your preferences. However, they also take up some space on your C drive and may contain some sensitive information.
To delete internet temporary files and free up space on the C drive, you can do the following steps:
- Access your web browser settings or options menu. For instance, in Internet Explorer, click Tools and choose Internet Options.
- In the settings or options window, find the option to clear browsing data or history. For example, in Internet Explorer, you can click Delete under Browsing History.
- Please select the data you want to delete by checking the appropriate boxes. This may include Temporary Internet files, website files, Cookies, website data, and History.
- Click Delete or Clear to confirm that you want to delete the selected data.
This will free up some space on your C drive, depending on how much data was deleted from your web browser.
Method 8: Use Third-Party Tools
If you have tried all the methods mentioned above and still can’t free up enough space on your C drive, you can consider using third-party tools. These tools can help you find and delete unnecessary files, analyze what’s using your storage space, and locate duplicate files for you.
Some of the popular tools that you can try are:
- CCleaner: A tool that can clean junk files, registry errors, browser data, and more from your PC.
- TreeSize: A tool that can scan your disk and show you a graphical representation of what’s taking up space on your PC.
- Duplicate Cleaner: A tool that can find and remove duplicate files from your PC.
You can download these tools from their official websites or other trusted sources. Before using them, carefully read their instructions. Always back up your important data before deleting files.
In this article, we have shown you eight ways to free up space on C drive in Windows. You can try any of these methods according to your situation and preference. By clearing disk space on Windows, you can improve your PC performance, stability, and security. We hope this article has been helpful. Please leave any questions or suggestions in the comments below.