Disk cleanup in Windows 10

Disk cleanup in Windows 10

Hard drive full? Little storage space? – So Windows gets more again

If you want to install Windows 10 but have too little space, you may get the message that Windows needs more space. But even if you use Windows 7 or 8 longer, you will sooner or later the message “Little space” displayed. We explain how Windows 10, 7, and 8 get more storage when the hard drive is full.

Even if you have Windows 7 or 8, you can free up space. Our picture gallery shows step by step how to do it:

  • Run Disk Cleanup by pressing Windows + R, typing cleanmgr.exe, and pressing Enter.
  • Selects drive C, which typically has Windows installed.
  • Click on the button System files in the lower left corner of the window. Disk Cleanup restarts. Select drive C again.
  • Scroll down in the Items to delete list and locate the Previous Windows installation (s) entry. Put a check in front of the entry if you want to delete the backups of your old operating system. This usually releases several gigabytes of storage space.
  • You may be looking for other items in the list that you want to select for deletion. Click on OK.

Caution: If you remove the previous Windows installations, you will not be able to downgrade to your old operating system unless you have specially made a backup before the Windows 10 upgrade.

Hard drive full and Windows shows “little storage space”

Uninstall or “move” programs

Open Windows Explorer with the Windows + E keys and check if you only have one or more disks or partitions. By default, Windows will install all the programs in the C drive, which will eventually run full, but about the D drive is still completely empty.

In that case, you can uninstall programs and reinstall them under directory D to free up space on C.

In the Control Panel, you can sort the programs in the uninstall list according to their size.

Outsource music, movies and TV shows

If you have media archives such as music or video collections, they usually consume a lot of storage space as well. Mostly it makes sense to use a NAS server for this. These are small PCs with large hard drives. They are very handy for large amounts of data. Our recommendation: Synology DS216j 2-Bay NAS *.

Do not forget to buy 2 equally sized hard drives. Especially with several PCs in the household worth the purchase.

External hard drive or cloud as an alternative

If you do not want to buy a NAS, it may be enough to buy an external hard drive *, where you outsource files and folders that you do not need very often.

Alternatively, you can store non-sensitive data in a cloud like OneDrive.

Clean up PC and find storage eaters

If you do not want to spend money, you can also try to delete temporary data on the PC or use Disk Cleanup.

However, only in rare cases, enough free space.

Where on your PC are the biggest storage eaters, you can find out easiest with a freeware tool like TreeSize Free.

With it you can track exactly which files and folders are the largest.

In addition, you can also run the CCleaner on your system (detailed instructions for the tool).

If you do not know any further, sons, daughters, grandchildren, nephews, etc. will definitely be happy to help. There is always an IT professional in the family somewhere.

Hard drive full on Windows 10 installation

During the installation of Windows 10 you may get the message that Windows needs more space. The message may also appear if you want to download and install an update in Windows 10.

You then have the choice between:

  • Perform Disk Cleanup to free up disk space.
  • Select another drive or attach an external drive with 9.00 GB of free space.

First try disk cleanup by clicking on the first stroke. If the space is still insufficient then do the following:

  • Check if you have 9 GB of free space on another hard drive or partition of your PC. If not, plug in a USB stick of sufficient size. Then click on the second letter above.
  • A dropdown menu appears. Select here the hard drive, partition or USB stick and confirm with a click on the button Update and follow the further instructions to install Windows 10.

Important: Windows may inform you that you should keep the external drive after upgrading to Windows 10. There is then secured about your old operating system. If you later want to downgrade back to Windows 7 or 8, you need the drive again.


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