How to free up disk space on Windows 10 PC

How to free up disk space on Windows 10 PC

One of the most annoying screen notifications you could get on your Windows 10 PC is the one letting you know that you're running out of disk space on one of your drives. This could happen after you finally install a game you've been waiting for a long time to be released, installed a large-sized application on your computer, etc. Fortunately, there are countless ways of reclaiming disk space on your PC. You can either choose default methods or install and work with third-party programs that are specialized in freeing up space on your drives.

The best thing you can do before deleting any unnecessary files from your computer is to back up your data. Some important system files might be accidentally removed from your PC while using third-party cleaning apps.

Personally, I prefer using the default cleaning methods to reduce the risks of losing important data. Many third-party cleaners don't provide you with the option to preview or choose the files they permanently delete from your computer. Important data, such as system files or personal work documents, could be removed from your PC without you knowing about it.

This guide will show you how to reclaim disk space on your local drives by using Windows 10's cleaning options and tools as well as by working with third-party applications like CCleaner, Duplicate Files Fixer, and WinDirStat.

Tutorial assets

You will need to download the following software to follow along with this tutorial.

Using Windows 10 default solutions

Windows 10 comes with plenty of useful features and system cleaning options that many of its users might have missed. For instance, until recently, I didn't know about the existence of the Disk Cleanup application, a default Windows program that helps you immediately get rid of unneeded data, like temporary files, device driver packages, thumbnails, and many others.

Empty Recycle Bin before running any disk cleaning tasks.

Here's what you need to do in order to reclaim space on your drives by using default cleaning tools and options:

Disk Cleanup

This utility was created to help you quickly delete unnecessary data from your PC, without trusting your system files into the hands of a third-party program. This Windows default application enables you to delete old files that are no longer necessary for the functioning of your operating system, such as out of date driver packages, Windows Update leftover files or old installation files. Here's what you need to do in order to reclaim space with Disk Cleanup:

Step 1

Click the Start button from your taskbar and start typing "Disk Cleanup". The application will be revealed in the results list. Launch the app.

Launching Disk CleanupLaunching Disk Cleanup

Step 2

Select the drive you wish to clean up and click the "OK" button. The app will immediately start calculating the amount of disk space it can reclaim.

Selecting Drive For Cleanup In Disk CleanupSelecting Drive For Cleanup In Disk Cleanup

Step 3

Select the types of files you wish to delete from your PC. Press the "OK" button and wait for the program to get the job done.

Selecting File Types In Disk CleanupSelecting File Types In Disk Cleanup

Uninstall unneeded applications from your PC

Removing programs you no longer use on your computer might be a great solution for reclaiming disk space on your local drives. Here's what you need to do to permanently get rid of unneeded apps:

Step 1

Launch the Programs And Features utility on your computer. You can do that from the Control Panel program on PCs with versions older than Windows 8. If you're working on a Windows 8 or 10, click the Start button from the bottom left side of your desktop, hit the Win+X keys, and select the Programs And Features app from the given list.

Accessing Programs And FeaturesAccessing Programs And Features

Step 2

Select the program you wish to uninstall and click the "Uninstall" button.

Using third-party applications

Make sure you download the latest version of the programs directly from the homepage of the developer.

CCleaner

CCleaner is one of the most popular disk cleaning utilities. With its help, you can get rid of unneeded data from your local drives. This program can permanently delete temporary files, browser history, thumbnail cache, clipboard data, Start Menu shortcuts, and many others. Here's what you need to do in order to free up disk space on your PC with CCleaner:

Step 1

Launch the CCleaner app.

Step 2

Click the "Cleaner" button from the upper-left side of the screen. Select the types of files you wish to delete from your local drive.

Step 3

Click the "Analyze" button. Make sure you don't skip this step. By doing so, the application lets you see exactly which files are going to be removed from your PC. You can also choose which files to be excluded from the deletion process.

Step 4

Click the "Run Cleaner" button and wait for the app to free up disk space.

Duplicate Files Fixer

This application is, as its name clearly suggests, a program for removing duplicated files from your PC. Deleting these unneeded files is a quick and simple solution if you need to reclaim valuable disk space on your local drive. Here's what you need to do in order to work with Duplicate Files Fixer:

Step 1

Launch the app on your PC. Drag-and-drop the folders you wish to scan for duplicates. Click the "Scan for Duplicates" button from the bottom side of the interface.

Step 2

The program will provide you with a list containing the found duplicates. Select the files you wish to remove from your PC. Click the "Delete Marked" button from the bottom side of the interface.

Confirmation Window In Duplicate Files FixerConfirmation Window In Duplicate Files Fixer

WinDirStat

WinDirStat is a popular Windows application that helps you analyze disk space usage and provides you with a quick way to get rid of the large files that take out the most of your drive space. Here's what you need to do:

Step 1

Launch the WinDirStat app on your PC. Select the drive you wish to analyze. Click the "OK" button.

Selecting Drive In WinDirStatSelecting Drive In WinDirStat

Step 2

The app will provide you with a graphic representation showing the folders and files that take up the most of your disk space. Select the files you wish to remove from your PC.

Step 3

Head to the "Clean Up" panel from the main menu. Select the type of task you wish to complete. I prefer using the "Delete (no way to undelete!)" option.

WinDirStat Clean Up PanelWinDirStat Clean Up Panel

Conclusion

As you can see, it's very simple to complete any of the aforementioned steps. However, I'd suggest you use Windows' default cleaning options and tools as they're more reliable and there's a small chance you might delete the wrong files to reclaim disk space on your Windows 10 PC.

Alternative downloads


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