Low Disk Space alert

Solution of Low Disk Space error in Windows PC and Server

Many Windows computer users have seen the Low Disk Space notification on bottom right corner, but many people know little about it, so in this article I’ll introduce what Low Disk Space is, why there is Low Disk Space warning in C drive, how to disable Low Disk Space alert, how to fix low disk space in Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP (32 & 64 bit) and Windows Server 2016/2012/2008/2003 (R2).

Low Disk Space alert

What is Low Disk Space

Windows Low Disk Space is a notification message that pops up in your taskbar on the bottom right corner of the screen. From the bubble notification in Windows XP/Vista/7 and Server 2003/2008/2012, you’ll see the warning message: “You are running out of disk space on Local Disk [C:]. To free space on this drive by deleting old or unnecessary files, click here.”

In Windows 10, you’ll see a similar notification but with a different name “Free up storage space”, and the warning message changes to “Your computer’s running low on storage space, Visit storage settings to free some up.”

Low disk space Win10

One of the most annoying aspects of Windows is those warning messages that seem to pop up at the most inconvenient times. Although they are designed to warn you when potentially dangerous circumstances arise, some of these warnings are benign and can be closed without taking any actions. And there’s the problem… as a result of so many warning messages, and due to a general fear of ANYTHING that pops up on the screen, some users tend to ignore ALL of them. And sometimes that can be bad. About the “Low Disk Space” warning, you should take care.

Why there is Low Disk Space alert

Windows created the low disk space warning to alert computer users when their hard drive is running low on available disk space. Windows needs a minimum amount of available disk space on the system drive to prevent index corruption and guarantee a basic performance of your computer.

If you ignore this alert, C drive will be filling up, in this situation you’ll suffer from computer performance down. In addition, it causes many problem if system C drive is running very low on disk space, such as no free space to install significant Windows Updates, computer stuck, reboot unexpectedly or each crash.

It is too late to see computer boot failure because of no free space in C drive. This is the reason why you should pay more attention to Low Disk Space alert and try to fix this issue as fast as possible.

How Low Disk Space warning works

Windows Vista checks for available disk space every minute, but Windows 7 and later, by default checks for available disk space every 10 minutes, and the pop up remains for 10 seconds. This is by design, keeping in mind certain performance issues. So it is quite possible that your Windows 10/8/7 may never warn you about this, while you actually consuming disk space, maybe when you are in the process of pasting large amounts of data. It may happen that it warns you when it is too late, ie after 10 minutes!

The first warning appears when a drive has less than 200 MB of available disk space, the second warning appears when the drive has less than 80 MB of available disk space and the most urgent warning appears when the drive has less than 50 MB of available disk space. As your disk space decreases, the frequency that the low disk space warnings pop-up on your screen increases, and it is because of this many people decide to disable this warning in their Windows system settings.

Should you ignore these warnings and plow ahead? Here’s the test: If you are running out of space on the system C: drive, then you need to take action right away, or your system performance will begin to suffer. If the warning refers to some other disk drive, such as the D: or E: drive, then probably you can safely ignore this warning.

How to disable Low Disk Space warning

To disable low disk space warnings, follow these steps.

Note: Follow the steps in this section carefully. Serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Before you modify it, back up the registry for restoration in case problems occur.

  1. Press Windows and R keys to launch Run, type regedit and then press Enter.
  2. In Registry Editor, click the following registry subkey: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
  3. On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click DWORD value.
  4. Type NoLowDiskSpaceChecks, and then press Enter.
  5. On the Edit menu, click Modify.
  6. Type 1, and then click OK.
  7. Exit Registry Editor.
  8. Log off the computer, and then log on again.

I suggest you enable low disk space notification.

Solution of Low Disk Space error

When low disk space alert pops up, it means that you’d better fix this issue as fast as possible. To solve this problem, you have two choices: free up disk space and add more free space to C drive.

To free up disk space, the first choice is Windows built-in Disk Cleanup tool, which is able to delete many types of unnecessary files fast and safely. The steps are the same in Windows XP to 10 and Server 2003 to 2016.

Step 1: Open Windows Explorer, right click C drive and click Properties:

Start disk cleanup

Step 2: Click Disk Cleanup

Windows 7 Disk Cleanup

Disk Cleanup will calculate how much space you’ll be able to clear up.

Scan files

Step 3: Click the check-box to select the files you want to delete. Before clicking OK to proceed, you may highlight each option to view the corresponding description on the bottom.

Select files

Step 4: Clean up system files in the same window. Within a minute or two, the same Disk cleanup menu will appear with additional types of files to delete.

Step 5: To get more free space, you may switch to More Options tab, where you can clean up installed programs and System Restore points.

Clean up space

After these steps you can regain free space more or less. Disk Cleanup is very useful for the computers that never or have not free up disk space for a long time.

However, in some situations you cannot solve C drive out of space problem by freeing up space, especially for the computer that C drive was created too small. In this case, you can add more free space from other volumes.

Watch the video how to increase C drive free space:

You can expand C drive easily with Unallocated space or free space in any other volumes of the same hard disk.

After these steps, the Low Disk Space issue can be solved in Windows Server and PC completely.