What to do when C drive become full?
The most common issue in Windows PC or server is that system C drive running out of free space? When C drive becomes full, Operating System runs much slower, stuck or even crash. To avoid damage and alert people to solve this problem as fast as possible. In Windows XP/Server 2003, Vista/Server 2008, Low Disk Space warning pops up at bottom right corner. In Windows Server 2012 and later editions, C drive will be changed to Red in My Computer and Windows Explorer. In this article, I’ll introduces what to do when C: drive is full or running out of space.
To many people, C drive full is annoying, because:
- Most of them don’t know how to solve this problem.
- Windows clean up utility cannot free up large amount of space.
- Windows continue to download updates and ask you to install, but there is no free space in C drive.
- Windows is running slowly as a snail.
- Waste a whole day to get GBs free space, but several days later C drive becomes full again.
To solve this problem, firstly, you should know why C: drive is full or what cause this problem.
Why C: drive is full, what eat up the free space?
In both Windows PC and Server, Windows Update always download large amount of updates continuously. Of course C drive becomes full even if you did nothing else to C.
Third party applications
Most of the 3rd-party applications install to C drive by default, meanwhile, most of people simply click yes to finish installing with default settings.
Even if you modified the default installation path to other volume, many applications still output files to C drive with default settings. Some applications for project, picture, video and others output very large files. Of course the free space in C drive will be eaten up very quickly.
Other files including:
- Windows installation caches, reports, logs and temporary files.
- Windows backup and restore points.
- Browser caches and temporary files.
- Caches and waste of videos and music.
- Invalid or lost registries and DLLs.
- Large amount of files on desktop or in Recycle Bin.
How to fix C drive full and running out of space problem?
We should solve this problem according to priority.
1. Remove the files on desktop and empty recycle bin, but before this, you’d better confirm if these files can be deleted.
2. Free up space with Windows utilities, see more
- Free up space on Windows Server 2003
- Free up space on Windows Server 2008
- Free up space on Windows Server 2012
- Free up space on Windows Server 2016
3. Clean caches and temporary files of both Windows and applications.
As there are so many kinds of these files, you’d better do it with a third party tool, it’s easier and faster.
Generally speaking, after these steps you’ll get GBs free space, Windows runs faster, no Low Disk Space alert, so you can solve C drive full temporarily.
You may ask me why it is temporary, then how to fix this problem completely? Obviously, if you don’t think further and make any changes, your C drive will become full again in months or days.
Change the way using your computer
- Expand C drive as large as possible.
- Change default installation and output path of the applications to other volume.
- Decrease the space usage rate for Recycle Bin, System backup and restore and Hibernation.
- Run Windows Disk Cleanup to free up space regularly.
Expand C drive when it is full
Use partition software, you can take free space out of other volumes and add into C drive. This step is important if C drive was created tool small, or you cannot reclaim plenty of space by freeing up.
It is easy to resize partition and expand C drive, however, you should pay attention to data safety. Different with read-only program, partition resizing software will move files and modify disk, partition and system information. An unreliable program may cause system boot failure or data loss. Here I recommend NIUBI Partition Editor, which is the only program that can ensure 100% data safety, because its built-in Roll-Back Protection technology is able to roll back the computer to the status before resizing if any software or hardware issue occurred.Download to install and follow the steps in the video: