Out of space

Fix C drive out of space issue on Windows Server/PC

It is headache to most of Windows computer users when system C: drive is running out of space. Microsoft only provides Disk Cleanup to free up and reclaim disk space, but many people feedback that C drive runs out of disk space again shortly after cleaning up. In this article, I’ll show you a 3-step solution to fix C drive out of space completely, it is valid for Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP and Server 2016/2012/2008/2003.

C drive out of space

Fix C drive out of space ASAP

In most of the computers, C drive is where Operating System located, so comparing with other data drives, you’d better pay more attention when C drive is running out of free space.

When you see the “Low Disk Space” warning on bottom right corner, or C drive changed to be red in File Explorer, you should try to fix this issue as fast as possible. In this situation, you begin to suffer from computer performance down. The less free space left in C drive, the higher risk of computer stuck, reboot unexpectedly or even crash. It is urgent and this is the reason why Microsoft create these warnings.

How to fix C drive out of space issue?

When a data drive is getting full, you can simply transfer files to other place, but you cannot do this to system C drive. As I said in the beginning, Microsoft only provides Disk Cleanup to free up disk space. To most of the servers and PCs, this utility can reclaim disk space more or less, but it cannot solve this problem completely. Even if you got over 10GB free space, it will be eaten up quickly.

Here, I’ll show you the 3-step solution to fix C drive out of disk space issue on Windows PCs and servers. Step 2 and 3 are very important.

Step 1 – Free up disk space

The aim is to delete junk files to get some free space in C drive, so Windows will back to the right way and runs smoothly. If you have more than 500MB free space in C drive, you may jump to Step 2 to save time.

To free up and reclaim disk space, you may either use Windows native Disk Cleanup or 3rd-party software. I always recommend Windows Disk Cleanup, because it is safe and fast, also able to delete many kinds of junk and unnecessary files.

Tip Disk Cleanup is enabled by default except some editions of Server 2008 and 2012, in these editions you need to install Disk Cleanup manually.

The GUI and steps to run Disk Cleanup are the same in all Windows versions. For example in Windows 10:

  1. Press Windows and R key on keyboard, type cleanmgr, and then click OK.cleanmgr cmd
  2. Select C drive in the drop-down box and then click OK.Select drive
  3. Click the check-box in front of the types of files that you want to cleanup and click OK. If you are not sure what the files include, click it and you’ll see the description.Select files
  4. Confirm this operation by clicking Delete Files.Confirm deleting
  5. Repeat the steps above to clean up system files.

If you want to reclaim more free space in a specific OS, lean more options from the pages below:

Step 2 – Expand C drive

The aim is to move free space from other partitions, then there will be plenty of free disk space in C drive.

This step is dispensable especially to the computers that C drive was created small. It is similar with a smart phone, if you use a 16GB device, you have to clean up frequently. But if you use a 256GB device, you won’t encounter this problem for a long time.

It is very easy to expand C drive with free space in other partitions, you just need to drag and drop on the disk map to resize allocated disk partitions. Download NIUBI Partition Editor and follow the steps in the video:

Pay attention to data safety

It is easy to enlarge C drive, but there is system/data damage risk if you use some unreliable partition software. To ensure system and data safety, NIUBI Partition Editor is integrated 1 Second Rollback technology. It is able to automatically revert the computer to original status in a flash, if any software or hardware issue occur during this operation. In that case, nothing will be modified or damaged.

To Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista and XP computers, NPE free edition is free for home usage.

 Computer optimization

The reason why C drive out of space is annoying is because it comes out again and again. Besides increasing C drive to lager size, you’d better do some optimization, otherwise, the disk space will be eaten up by new junk files. Here I listed some options:

  • Create separate partition for programs and files, do not throw everything into C drive.
  • Change default program installation path to drive D.
  • To the programs that you have installed to C drive, change the default output path to other partitions. The programs for Games, Videos, Pictures, Projects, etc. output large files.
  • If the entire hard disk is running out of free space, you’d better replace it with a large one. (NIUBI can help you clone and migrate OS to new disks.)
  • Run Windows Disk Cleanup monthly to delete new generated junk files.

In Summary

No matter C drive is running out of space in Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP or Windows Server 2016/2012/2008/2003, complete the same 3 steps above and you’ll solve this problem completely or for a long time.