What to do when C drive become full?
The most common issue in Windows PC and server is that system C drive becomes full in some day. Windows Updates, programs and many other kinds of files write into C: drive continuously, so C drive will be full sooner or later. In this case, 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 Windows Explorer.
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.
In this article, I’ll introduces how to fix C drive full issue in an easy and fast way.
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 issue?
When system C drive is full, you need only 1 or 2 steps no matter you use PC or Windows Servers.
Option 1: Free up disk space
To do this, you may use either Windows built-in Disk Cleanup or 3rd-party program. I always suggest Windows Disk Cleanup, because it is safe and fast, it is able to clear up many types of unnecessary files.
- 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
- How to free up disk space in Windows 7
Generally speaking, you’ll get some free space by freeing up, it is especially useful for the computer that never or have not free up disk space for a long time. By regaining disk space, Windows runs faster, no Low Disk Space alert, so you can solve C drive full problem temporarily.
Why temporary, then how to fix this issue completely? If C drive is too small or you cannot get large amount of free space by Disk Cleanup, C drive will become full automatically in near future. This is the reason why C drive full is headache to many of the computer users. To fix C drive full permanently, you need a larger C drive and change the way running your computer.
Option 2: Enlarge C drive
Use partition software, you can take free space out of other volumes and add into C drive. Then there will be plenty of free space in C drive without doing anything else, and everything keeps the same.
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 can automatically roll back the computer to original status in ONE second, if any software or hardware issue occur.Download to install and follow the steps in the video:
Option 3: 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 monthly.