Its usual for hard drives to consume space as and when files are added. But what’s bizarre is when the hard drive fills up in a short period of time and gives you a low space warning. Here, in this blog, we address this issue of hard drive space (C: drive) filling up too quickly and explain the reasons for this issue. We also provide solutions to resolve this problem. So, read this article to reclaim your C: drive space now in Windows 10.
Steps to Reclaim space on C: drive in Windows 10
For the most part, we all understand that the C: drive consists of operating system files, system files, and applications. But there are also many other things stored on the C: drive that not many of us are aware of. Let’s try to understand these files and learn how to reclaim space on the hard drive.
Cache and temporary files:
In order to make your browsing experience better and fast, your browser saves cache files on your hard drive. Over time, these files can grow in number and occupy a ton of space.
Similar to cache, temporary files are files saved on your C: drive when you install a program or application. These temp files can occupy a large amount of space over time. Deleting these two files: cache and temp files on your C: drive will help you free up some space and let’s see how you can do that in Windows 10.
Search for Disk Clean up in the taskbar. When the icon appears in the results, click on it
In the new dialogue that opens, select C: drive
Disk Cleanup will calculate the amount of space you can free up and opens a new window. In the window, select ‘Temporary Files’ and click Ok
Restore points and shadow copy files
Restore points are essentially backups of your system mainly comprising of Windows Registry files. These restore points store certain portions of your OS and may not be the best backup to completely rely on.
Similarly, there are files known as volume shadow copy files that save old versions of files. This helps you get back access to files if you accidentally overwrite them.
If you have a good backup strategy like a disk image or something similar, then restore points and volume shadow copy files may not be useful and can be deleted. Deleting these files will free up a ton of space on your C: drive.
In the taskbar, type ‘Create a restore point’ and click on the icon to open it
Choose ‘C:’ drive under System Protection tab and click Configure
Set the ‘Max disk usage’ to a maximum of 5% or 10% to make sure these restore points don’t occupy more than this assigned percentage. You can also choose to ‘Delete all restore points’ to delete the restore points and get the space back.
Optionally, you can also choose to Disable System Protection completely to turn off Volume Shadow Files and save some space going forward.
If you want to delete old volume shadow files, there is an option to do that through Disk Clean up tool as explained in Solution 1.
Corrupt file systems
File systems can get corrupted if the system doesn’t shut down properly or if the system is turned OFF in the middle of a write cycle. And corrupt file systems can result in errors such as C: drive filling up too soon etc. In order to solve this problem, you can run a tool called CHKDSK using the steps explained below.
Open Windows Explorer and right click on ‘C:’ drive
Then select Properties > Tools
Under the Error Checking tab, select Check Now
Once CHKDSK completes, disk errors should be fixed. Now, check if the C: drive shows the right amount of available space.
Run anti-virus scan
C: drive filling up by itself can also be due to virus/malware on your computer. In this case, you can run an anti-virus scan on your system to eliminate this issue.
Data recovery using Remo Recover
If none of these solutions help you resolve the C: drive space error and if the drive has turned inaccessible, it is most likely corrupted. In that case, you will need to recover data and then format the hard drive. And to recover data from inaccessible or corrupt hard drives, Remo Recover is the perfect solution.