C drive full Windows 7

How to free up disk space in Windows 7

Thanks to the cheaper price, many people use larger traditional disk nowadays, it is very common to use a 1 TB or 2TB internal disk. New technologies make life better, for example: you may use a solid state drive (SSD) to replace the traditional mechanical disk, as we know SSD is much more stable and faster. However, the price of SSD is still too expensive causing most of the personal computer users use the advanced disk with small size. When updating the old Windows 7 computer, many people use the SSD for Operating System and applications for faster loading and better performance. In this case, it is more likely to encounter Low Disk Space issue in Windows 7. Actually, C drive becomes full in large traditional disk, too, because Windows Updates, applications and many other kinds of files write into C drive continuously every day.

C drive full Windows 7

What to do when it happens, replace this disk with another new one? HDD manufactures will be glad if you do that, because you may buy several every year. Actually, most of the low disk space of C drive can be solved except you use a very small disk such as 128GB. In this article, I’ll introduce how to free up disk space in Windows 7 to reuse disk space. In addition, you’d better expand C drive to larger size with free space in other volumes and I’ll show you the steps, too.

Low disk space Win7

Clear up disk space as fast as possible

When the system C drive is filling up, your computer may not perform as well as before. Generally speaking, you’ll suffer from performance down. If C drive becomes almost full, your computer may stuck, reboot unexpectedly or even crash. It will be too late if the computer cannot boot because of no free disk space in C drive. So try to free up space in Windows 7 as fast as possible.

Freeing up space in Windows 7

To reclaim/free up disk space in Windows 7, the first choice and easy way is using the built-in Disk Cleanup tool. Windows 7 Disk Cleanup can delete/clear up many types of unnecessary files fast and safely.

Steps to free up space with Windows 7 Disk Cleanup:

Step 1: Right click C drive and click Properties:

Start disk cleanup

Step 2: Click Disk Cleanup

Windows 7 Disk Cleanup

Wait for Disk Cleanup to calculate how much space you’ll be able to clear up. This process can last for a few seconds to a few minutes. In general, the more cluttered your disk, the longer it will take to scan.

Scan files

Step 3: select the files you want to delete and click OK to proceed. Highlight each option you can see which files this category includes, and what exactly you will be deleting. (Make sure that you’ve clicked the check-boxes for each of the files that you want to clear up.)

Select files

Step 4: Clean up system files in the same window. Within a minute or two, the same Disk cleanup menu will appear with additional types of files to delete.

Be cautious when freeing up system files. Consider what each of these file types means, and decide whether delete them or not:

  • Service Pack Backup: Windows keeps old versions of files updated by service packs. Be aware that if you clear these files, you’ll be unable to uninstall the service pack.
  • Temporary Windows installation: These are the installation files used by Windows setup and left over from the installation process, feel free to delete these files.
  • Windows Updates: Windows retains a copy of each newly-installed Windows Update, deletes older versions of updates that you no longer need, Be prepared to restart your computer.

Step 5: To get more free space, you may switch to More Options tab, where you can clean up installed programs and System Restore points.

Clean up space

Windows 7 Disk Cleanup is very useful to the computers that never freeing up disk space.

Additional options to free up disk space

If Windows 7 Disk Cleanup cannot free up enough disk space, there are additional options for you:

1 Disable Hibernate

Hibernation uses large amount of disk space. From administrative command prompt, type “powercfg -h off” to get that space back. (Don’t turn it off if you use the feature).

2 Decrease disk space usage for System Restore

Windows 7 keeps backups of lots of system files every time something major such as driver installation and software installations happens, and after a while this can take up lots of space. You may completely turn it off to release all disk space or decrease the space usage for System Restore.

To open Windows 7 System Restore:

Click Windows > Control Panel > System > System protection

Win7 system restore

To turn off or decrease disk space usage:

Click Configure in System Protection tab, there are 3 options and select one, you can adjust the maximum disk space usage or system protection by dragging  on Max Usage bar.

Note: Turn off system protection won’t delete all restore points automatically, to do this, you should click the Delete button on the bottom.

Decrease space usage

3 Move paging file

Page file is part of C drive by default and used by Windows as RAM, you cannot remove it but can decrease it or transfer it to other volume.

4 Uninstall unused programs

Consider uninstalling the programs that you no longer seldom use, the more program installed, the more disk space will be released.

5 Transfer files and modify program settings

Some program such as Games, Projects and Videos output very large files, you may modify the default output path to other volume and transfer these files to new locations.

6 NTFS Compression

This is a great feature of NTFS files system. If you’ve got a bunch of folders with old crap in them, but you don’t want to delete them, compress them and it will save much disk space.

To do this, right click C drive and click Properties, click the check-box of Compress this drive to save disk space.

Win7 compression

If you still cannot free up enough space in Windows 7, or the C drive was created too small, you’d better expand C drive to larger size.

Expand C drive

To expand C drive in Windows 7, you may use the free partition softwareNIUBI Partition Editor Free, which is a great tool.

Watch the video how to resize volume and extend C drive in Windows 7:


Besides resizing disk drive, NIUBI Partition Editor can perform variety of disk partition management operations. Download

Detailed steps to clear/free up disk space in Windows 7.
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