Fix Windows 10 low disk space issue
Low disk space issue is very common in Windows 10, but few people know how to solve this problem. Some people click this low storage space warning but regain little free space. In this article, I’ll explain why Windows 10 runs out of space and how to fix Windows 10 Low Disk Space issue.
Symptom of low disk space
When a disk partition especially for system C drive is running low on disk space, you’ll see a red bar instead of the default blue bar in File Explorer. If the free storage space is less than 10%, C drive is showing red, which is to alert people fixing this issue as fast as possible.
When C drive is showing red, you’ll suffer from computer performance down. It may stuck when you do some operations, or reboot unexpectedly. In this situation, if Windows 10 download and install Updates, C drive may be full immediately. When free space reach the threshold, Windows 10 will pop up a small window on bottom right and ask you to turn on storage sense – “Your PC’s low on storage. Turn on storage sense and Windows can help free up space.”
If free space is keep running low, Windows 10 will pop up another notification with message “Your computer’s running low on storage space. Visit storage settings to free some up”.
Why low storage space in Windows 10
Windows 10 low storage space maybe caused by several reasons including:
- Virus attack
- Display incorrectly
- C drive runs out of space
If the computer was attack by some virus, large amount of files will be generated. If C drive has plenty of free space but is filling up in a short time, you’d better run your antivirus software to scan.
In previous Windows such as Windows Vista and Windows 7, many people feedback such issue that C drive usage percentage is showing incorrect, but in Windows 10 this problem seems to be solved, however, it is still a possible reason.
The most possible reason is that C drive is filling up by many types of files. Windows 10 download Updates much more frequently than all previous versions. Besides Windows Updates, many other types of files such as temporary, cache, log, hibernation, backup, internet browser also eat up free space quickly. Furthermore, some people install and use all applications by default setting. Have you noticed Games, Projects, Videos and Photograph programs? They are in very large size and output large files, too. If you do not pay attention, C drive is getting full very quickly even if you use very big hard disk.
How to fix low disk space issue
In one word – increase C drive free space, there are several steps:
- Transfer files
- Free up disk space
- Expand C drive with free space in other volume
This step is very useful if you install Games, Projects, Videos and Photograph programs in C drive with default settings. Change the default output location to other volume with plenty of free space, and then transfer the output files to new locations.
Free up disk space
When the low disk space notification pops up, you may turn on storage sense and click the “Free up storage space” windows to reclaim disk space. However, the new way to free up disk space in Windows 10 can only delete part of the unnecessary files. So, you’d better run the standalone Windows 10 Disk Cleanup.
This step is useful to the computers that never or have not free up space for a long time. By doing this, you may reclaim over 10GB free space.
- Open File Explorer
- Right click C drive and click Properties.
- Click Disk Cleanup.
- Select the files you want to delete and click OK to free up.
- Repeat to Clean up system files.
Generally speaking, you cannot regain large amount of free space. Even if you got over 10GB free space, it will be eaten up quickly by new junk files. So you’d better expand C drive larger.
Expand C drive
The hard disk drives are allocated while installing Windows, but you can extend C drive with free space in other drive without reinstalling. To most of the Windows 10 laptop and desktop, this is indispensable step, because there must be plenty of free space in C drive. Otherwise, you’ll face to the same low disk space issue in short time.
(Take iPhone as example, if you use a 16GB device, you have to clean up very frequently, but you won’t encounter this issue for such a long time if you use a 256GB device.)
Besides plenty of free space in C drive, another key point to fix Windows 10 low disk space is moving personal files out and delete new generated junk files in C. As the latest version for PC, there are some better ways in Windows 10.
Move installed apps and games
On Windows 10, it’s possible to move certain Microsoft Store apps and games to a different storage device without having to reinstall. (Note: you must have the external storage connected at all times.)
- Connect the removable drive.
- Press and on keyboard, and then click Settings.
- Click on Apps > Apps & features.
- Click the apps and click the Move bottom below.
- Use the drop-down menu to select the new location.
- Click the Move button.
- Repeat the steps to move more items if you want.
Change location to new files
Windows 10 is much more smart that all previous versions. You can change the default save locations for apps, documents, music, pictures, and videos to other place, steps:
- Open Settings.
- Click System> Storage.
- Under “More storage settings,” click Change where new content is saved.
- Click the drop-down menu to select new location.
Run Disk Cleanup monthly
As I said above, new junk files will be produced, so you’d better run Disk Cleanup monthly to delete the unnecessary and junk files.
Most of the Windows 10 computer users will encounter the low disk space issue after running the desktop or laptop for a period of time. To fix this issue completely, finish the steps above. Among them all, extending C drive as large as possible and running Disk Cleanup monthly are most important.