Free up disk space

Free up disk space on Windows Server 2019

The same with previous Windows version, disk drives in Server 2019 runs out of disk space, too. To data drives that used for backup or projects, you may transfer files and change files output location to other drives. But to system C drive, it is much more complicated. This article introduces how to free up disk space in Windows Server 2019 with Disk Cleanup and other methods, then you can reclaim disk space in C drive. In addition, you’d better increase C drive to larger size with free space in other drives.

Run Windows Disk Cleanup utility

The same with previous versions, Windows Server 2019 has built-in Disk Cleanup utility to free up disk space. It can scan and delete most of the unnecessary files in your disk drive. I use Disk Cleanup from Windows XP whose GUI and steps keep the same over 10 years. I still like to use this tool, because it is easy and fast, the most important – safe.

Steps to free up disk space in Windows Server 2019:

  1. Press Windows and R on keyboard, type cleanmgr and press OK.Run disk cleanup
  2. Select the drive that you want to clean up and click OK.Select drive
  3. Click the check-box in front of the files that you want to clear up. If you don’t know what files are included, click each option and you’ll see its description.

Select files

Select files

Click OK and Disk Cleanup will begin to clear up.

Cleaning up

This is my test server that installed not long ago, so there are few junk files to clean up. To the computers that are running for a long time but never freeing up disk space, you may reclaim over 10 GigaBytes disk space.

Additional options to free up disk space

If you want to regain more disk space from C drive, you may try the options below:

1. Delete Shadow Copies

If you enabled Shadow Copy, you can delete the previous copes.

  1. Open Window File Explorer
  2. Right click C drive and click Properties, and then switch to Shadow Copies.
  3. Select the previous copies and click Delete Now.

Shadow copies

2. Reset Recycle Bin

All files that deleted by pressing DEL without SHIFT key will go to Recycle Bin, where you can revert these files to original location manually if you deleted them by mistake. Recycle Bin use part of space of C drive by default, so more files in Recycle Bin means less free space in C drive.

You can change the location of Recycle Bin to other larger partition.

  1. Right click Recycle Bin.
  2. Select the drive for Recycle Bin.
  3. Select Customer size and enter an amount.

Recycle Bin

3. Reset Page file

Page file uses part of disk space as virtual RAM and it is located in C drive by default. You can change it to other partition when C drive is running low. Steps:

  1. Right click Windows flag on bottom left and select Settings
  2. Type “advanced” and select View advanced system settings
  3. Click Settings below Performance in Advanced tab.
  4. Click Change below Virtual Memory
  5. Select drive, enter amount of Initial size and Maximum size in Customer size, and then click Set and OK. (It requires reboot to take affect.)

Page file

4. Uninstall apps

You may uninstall some programs that you no longer use or that came preinstalled on your computer from the manufacturer. Steps:

  1. Open Settings
  2. Click Apps > Apps & features
  3. Click the items that you want to remove and click Uninstall.

All options above help you regain disk space in Windows Server 2019, then there will be more free space in C drive, so the server could back to right way. However, this is not the final step.

Increase partition size

Many people feedback that C drive become full again after freeing up disk space. New files are written and generated in C drive continuously, so the free space by cleaning up disk will be eaten up quickly by new files. You’d better expand C drive to larger size, so there will be plenty of free space.

NIUBI Partition Editor can expand C drive with Unallocated or free space of other drives in the same disk. Integrated with innovative 1 Second Rollback technology, NIUBI can ensure system and data intact.

Download NIUBI Partition Editor and follow the steps in the video:

Final steps

Windows Disk Cleanup helps you reclaim disk space, NIUBI Partition Editor helps you increase C drive space, but to completely solve C drive full issue, you’d better also complete the steps below:

1. Save files to new location

You can change the default save locations for apps, documents, music, pictures, and videos to other place, so these types of new files will be saved to other partitions.

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click SystemStorage.
  3. Under “More storage settings,” click Change where new content is saved.
  4. Click the drop-down menu to select new location.

2. Change output location for programs

All programs are installed to C drive by default and many of them output files there, too. The programs for videos and projects, as well as some Windows services output many large files, so you’d better change the default output location to other large drives.

3. Turn on Storage Sense

Storage Sense can free up disk space automatically when a drive is running out of space. It can delete temporary files and files in Recycle Bin and the Downloads folder. To enable Storage Sense in Windows Server 2019:

  1. Open Settings
  2. Go to System > Storage
  3. Switch Off to On under Storage Sense on the right side.

4. Free up disk space regularly

Storage Sense free up disk space automatically but only when the drive is running low, and it can only clear up part of the junk files, so you should run standalone Disk Cleanup utility regularly (once a month).

In Summary

When system C drive is getting full in Windows Server 2019, the right strategy is:

  1. Free up disk space to get some precious free space.
  2. Run NIUBI Partition Editor to expand C drive as large as possible.
  3. Run Disk Cleanup monthly to clear up new junk files.

Download NIUBI