Out of space

Solve C Drive Out of Space Problem with Ease

The most common issue in a Windows computer is about disk space usage. On both Windows PCs and servers, the system C: drive runs out of space in a certain time, and you’ll receive ‘Low Disk Space‘ alert in some platform such as Windows XP/Server 2003 and Windows 7/Server 2008. It is headache for most of the computer users, because there is no official solution from Microsoft. Furthermore, you’ll see the same issue in near future even if you did something. In this article I’ll introduce how to fix C drive running out of space issue completely.

Out of space

Symptom of C drive out of space

In Windows XP to Server 2008, you’ll receive ‘Low Disk Space’ alert on bottom left corner if C drive is running out of space.

Low disk space

In Windows 7 and later editions, C drive will be shown as Red instead of the default blue bar in Windows Explorer:

C drive full Win10

When you see either Low disk space warning or the red partition, you’d better solve the problem as fast as possible. Otherwise, you’ll suffer from computer performance down, computer stuck, reboot unexpectedly or even crash. It is urgent and this is the reason why Microsoft create these warnings.

Why C drive runs out of disk space

Few people feedback it is caused by virus attach or Windows shows the disk space incorrectly. But in most cases, the reason is because C drive filled up by many kinds of files, such as:

Windows updates

Windows Update always download large amount of updates continuously. Of course C drive is running out of space even if you did nothing else.

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 without changing the installation path.

Application data

Some applications output files to C drive with by default. The applications for project, picture, video output very large files. Of course the free space in C drive will be eaten up very quickly.

Other files include:

  • 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 running out of space?

When C drive is running out of space, there are two efficient way: enlarge C drive and free up to reclaim disk space.

With partitioning software, you can resize existing disk volumes and transfer free space from other volumes into C drive. It is the fastest way to fix C drive out of space issue.

Extend C drive

With Windows built-in Disk Cleanup or other 3rd-party software, you can delete the unused files to reclaim disk space. Different with resizing partition, freeing up just delete the unused files and reuse the disk space. That is to say, C drive size keeps the same, free space is getting by deleting files. Disk Cleanup can be used as the monthly maintenance utility, but to fix C drive out of space issue, the first choice is always increasing C drive space.

Option 1 – enlarge C drive

 Actually, it is very easy to resize volume and expand C drive, follow the steps:

Download NIUBI Partition Editor, right click drive D and select Resize/Move Volume:

Shrink D

In the pop-up window, drag the left border rightwards to shrink D.

Shrink D

Click OK and back to the main window, 20GB free space is taken from D and displayed as Unallocated behind C drive.

Unallocated created

Right click C drive and select Resize/Move Volume again. In the pop-up window, drag the right border rightwards to combine the 20GB Unallocated space.

Extend C drive

Click OK and back to the main window, press Apply on top left to proceed, done.

C drive extended

If there is not plenty of free space in the adjacent volume D, you can get free space from any other volumes in the same disk, watch the video:

Pay attention to data safety

Data safety is most important to both personal computer and a server. To ensure 100% data safety, NIUBI Partition Editor is recommended. It is the ONLY program that integrated Roll-Back Protection technology. It is able to automatically roll back the computer to original status in one second, if any software or hardware issue happen while repartitioning. So the Operating System and data always keep intact.

In addition, the unique file-moving algorithm helps resize partition 30% – 300% faster than any other tools.

Option 2 – free up to reclaim disk space

There are many choices and guide to free up disk space in Windows, but I always recommend Windows built-in Disk Cleanup, because it is safe and fast, also able to delete many kinds of unused files.

For other platform, you may search by Google.

Change the way using disk space

  1. Expand C drive as large as possible.
  2. Create separate partition for applications and files, do not put everything into C drive.
  3. Change default installation and output path of the applications to other volumes.
  4. Decrease the space usage rate for Recycle Bin, System backup and restore and Hibernation.
  5. Run Windows Disk Cleanup to free up space monthly.

No matter C drive is running out of space in Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP or Windows Server 2016/2012/2008/2003, simply expand C drive as large as possible. Disk Cleanup is also useful to solve this problem, you can reclaim free space by deleting unused files. As a regular maintenance utility, it also makes the computer clean and fast.

By following these steps, you can fix C drive out of space issue completely.

Download to enlarge C drive

How to solve C drive running out of space?
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