C drive full Windows 7

How to free up disk space in Windows 7

Windows 7 has been released for such a long time, many people insert solid state drive (SSD) when updating computers. The read and write speed of SSD is much faster than traditional mechanical disk, so it is good choice for Operating System and applications. Whereas, the disk space is much smaller, because the price of SSD is still expensive to personal computer users. Actually, C drive is running out of space no matter you use SSD or traditional disk, 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 manufacturers will be glad if you do that, because you may buy several disks every year. In fact, most of the low disk space of C drive can be solved except you use a very small disk. In this article, I’ll introduce how to free up disk space in Windows 7 to reclaim disk space. In addition, you’d better expand C drive to larger size with free space in other volumes.

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

To a Windows 7 computer that never free up disk space, you may reclaim over 10 GigaBytes disk space, however, this is not the final step.

Many people feedback that C drive is full again after freeing up disk space. Because new files are generated continuously, so 10GB free space will be eaten up quickly. To completely solve this problem, you’d better expand C drive as large as possible, especially to the computers that C drive are created small.

Furthermore, you’d better complete the steps below:

  1. Install new programs to separate drive such as D.
  2. Change the files output location of installed programs to other large drives, especially to the programs for games, videos, photos and projects.
  3. Run Windows 7 Disk Cleanup once a month.

Expand C drive to larger size

Note: there is system damage and data loss risk if you use some unreliable partition software to re-size partitioned drives.

Equipped with unique and innovative 1 Second Rollback technology, NIUBI Partition Editor can ensure system and data intact. It creates snapshot of disk partitions, monitors the whole process. If any software internal error or hardware issue such as power failure (especially for laptops) occur, it roll back to original status automatically and rapidly.

Download NIUBI Partition Editor and follow the steps in the video to resize and extend C drive in Windows 7.

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