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Hard Drive Is Full? Solutions Are Here.

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    Hard Drive Is Full

    No doubt, almost everyone has encountered the full hard drive issue. Let’s look at a real-life example.

    My computer hard drive is getting full day after day. Recently, I can’t restore some programs on it, and some partitions become red. Besides, sometimes, I receive a Low Disk Space warning as "You are running out of disk space on Local Disk (C:). To free space on this drive by deleting old or unnecessary files, click here." I really need help! Can you help me?

    In general, with the development of computer technology, hard drives are getting larger and larger, but somehow they always seem to fill up. And, if your computer hard drive is full (or only C drive is out of space), you're likely encountering one or more of the situations listed below:

    1: Computer is running slowly.
    2: You cannot store more large files/data on it.
    3: Hard disk drive is not big enough to accommodate all your needs, such as software update/upgrade, install programs.

    So well, what should we do if our hard drive is running out of space? What should we do when Windows pops up the low disk space warning? How to free up hard drive space on Windows?

    Eight Methods to Solve Full Hard Drive

    • Method One: Empty Recycle Bin

    • Recycle Bin, a temporary storage place, is used to store deleted files. To be specific, when you delete a file or folder on your PC, it doesn't get permanently deleted—it goes to the Recycle Bin. Therefore, you can free up space by tapping or clicking Empty Recycle Bin if you have files there.

    • Method Two: Uninstall Some Programs

    • As we know, computer must have various programs, which will occupy a lot of space. So well, you can uninstall some programs from computer if you no longer use them to free up some space.

      Step 1: Click the Start button, choose Control Panel, click Programs, and then click Programs and Features.
      Note: Windows 10 users can also open the new PC Settings and go to System > Apps & features.

      uninstall programs

      Step 2: Right-click the program you don’t need to use and then choose Uninstall button.

      Tips, some programs include the option to change or repair the program in addition to uninstalling it, but many simply offer the option to uninstall.

      If the program you want to uninstall isn't listed, it might not have been written for this version of Windows. In this case, you can check the information that came with your program, or go to the manufacturer's website. In general, most programs will be installed automatically in the C:\Program Files folder.

    • Method Three: Run Disk Cleanup

    • To free up hard disk space on Windows, you can also delete temporary files and other unimportant data. And here, Windows includes a built-in tool, Disk Cleanup, to help you clear your disk of unnecessary files.

      Step 1: Right-click one of your hard drives in the Computer window and select Properties, and then click Disk Cleanup button in the disk properties window.
      (Alternatively you can click Start button, type Disk Cleanup, and right-click Disk Cleanup and run it as Administrator. After that, select the drive you want to clean up and click OK button. Disk Cleanup scans and calculates how much space you will be able to free on that drive. )

      disk cleanup

      Step 2: In this window, select the types of files you want to delete and click OK. This includes temporary files, log files, files in your recycle bin, and other unimportant files.
      Tips, here, you can click Clean up system files button to delete system files which don’t appear on the list here. Doing this will enable you to delete legacy files from previous installations of Windows, old system restore points, and various system log files.

    • Method Four: Reduce The Size of The WinSxS Folder

    • Warning: Deleting files from the WinSxS folder or deleting the entire WinSxS folder might severely damage your system and make it impossible to restart or update your PC.
      The WinSxS folder, located in the Windows folder on your PC (for example, C:\Windows\WinSxS), stores the Windows Component Store files, which are used to support functions needed to customize and update Windows. However, over time, you may notice that the C:\Windows\winsxs directory seems to use lots of disk space.

      This post will tell you everything you want to know.

      Now, you can reduce the size of this folder to free up space according to the following steps.
      Step 1: Open Control Panel, click System and Security.
      Step 2: Tap Schedule tasks under Administrative Tools.
      Step 3: Click Task Scheduler Library > Microsoft > Windows > Servicing.

      Reduce The Size of The WinSxS Folder

      Step 4: Tap StartComponentCleanup, and then tap Run under Selected Item.

    • Method Five: Make OneDrive Files Online-Only

    • As everyone knows, files that are available offline take up more space on your PC, and OneDrive also needs 200 MB of free space on your PC to sync your files. So well, to free up space, you can make some files or folders online-only.

      1: If you have Access all files offline turned on, you need to first turn off this setting before you can make files online-only.
      2: If you have pending uploads to OneDrive, you need to wait until they are completed before making files online-only.

    • Method Six: Reduce the Amount of Space Used for System Restore

    • System Restore is a feature in Microsoft Windows that allows the user to revert their computer's state (including system files, installed applications, Windows Registry, and system settings) to that of a previous point in time, which can be used to recover from system malfunctions or other problems. In general, System Restore does this by saving the changes made to system files in a restore point. Therefore, if System Restore takes up a lot of hard drive space for restore points, you can take the following steps to reduce its size. Note, here we take Windows 7 for example.

      Step 1: Right-click the Computer icon, choose Properties.
      Step 2: Click System protection.
      Step 3: Click Configure.

      Reduce the Amount of Space Used for System Restore

      Step 4: Now, in this window, you can turn off system protection entirely, delete all but the latest restore points, change it to only restore files (and not settings), or drag the slider to use more or less space.
      Tips: you had better leave a decent amount of space—System Restore can help you out of a jam when your computer stops working.

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      Although these methods can help to free up some hard disk space, they are not the best solution for full hard drive since you may continue to store data and files on it. Therefore, if you find yourself frequently running out of disk space or the recommendations in the previous section did not help resolve your issue, you may try using the next method.

    • Method Seven: Buy Extra Storage Space

    • A longer-term strategy for expanding your PC's storage capacity is to turn to another removable storage, including external/internal hard drive, SD cards, USB flash drives, DVDs or CDs, or using cloud storage or network drives.

      (1)Add another new drive

      If your hard drive is full, you can add another external or internal hard drive as a secondary storage device to store data without deleting any files saved on the full hard drive.

      (2)Replace the full drive with a large one

      If your full hard drive is very small, you may want to consider replacing it with one of a higher capacity. However, if you do decide to do this, you need to reinstall the operating system. In this case, is it possible to replace the full drive with a new one without reinstalling OS?

      Now, fortunately, MiniTool Partition Wizard, a professional yet free disk copy tool developed by dedicated software development company, can help you to transfer all data as well as operating systems from the full drive to a new one without affecting the original data because of its “Copy Disk” feature. Detailed steps on how to upgrade small old hard disk to larger newer one without reinstalling Windows and all other installed programs are shown here.

      Step 1: Download this professional freeware from its official website, install it on computer and then launch it to get its main interface.
      Note: Before copying disk, you need to connect the large disk to computer at first.

      Step 2: Select or right-click the full disk and then choose “Copy Disk” from the left action panel.

      select target disk

      Step 3: Select the large disk that will save the copy of the full hard drive and then click “Next” button. Note: It is recommended to backup all important data on this target disk in advance, because all its data will be deleted.

      copy options

      Step 4: Choose a copying method (fit partitions to entire disk, copy partitions without resize and edit partitions on this disk) to decide the layout of target disk and then click “Next”. If you choose the first one, all space on the target disk will be taken up. By using the second method, all partitions will be copied to new disk without changing their size. By choosing the third method, you are able to change partition size. Moreover, if you are copying drive to SSD or advanced format HDD, you had better keep checking the option “Force to align partitions to 1MB”.

      Step 5: Click “Finish” button to go back to the main interface of this software.

      Step 6: Click “Apply” and tap “Yes” to perform all changes. Next, you will be asked to restart now since you are copying system disk. Just do as told.

      In general, in addition to Copy Disk, MiniTool Partition Wizard also offers other excellent features including Migrate OS to SSD/HD, Move/Resize Partition, Create Partition, Delete Partition, Check File System, Partition Recovery Wizard, Convert MBR Disk to GPT Disk, Convert Dynamic Disk to Basic Disk, and more to help manage partitions easily and quickly.

      Download Now

    • Method Eight: Extend C Drive

    If you only receive the warning that C drive is running in low disk space and find there are some other partitions or free space on the same disk, you don't need to delete some files or add another new drive. At this time, increasing the size of C drive is the best solution to get rid of this warning.

    When it comes to increasing C drive size, you can try using Windows built-in disk management tool. However, the “Extend Volume” feature only works with unallocated space on the right side of the partition you would like to extend. Besides, this feature can only shrink or expand NTFS partition. So well, turning to third-party partitioning tool is a good choice for common users.

    Look, if C drive is running out of space, you can try using MiniTool Partition Wizard to easily and effectively increase its size without affecting the original data.

    Step 1: Select C partition and choose “Extend Partition” function from the left action panel in the main window of this free tool.

    extend partition

    Step 2: Choose an existing partition (can be any partition except itself and you can choose a suitable one according to partition situations) or unallocated space to borrow free space from and drag sliding button to decide how much free space to borrow. Then, click “OK” to go back to the main interface.

    Step 3: Click “Apply” to perform all changes.

    Video Tutorial for handling low disk space warning case:

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    In a word, if your C drive is running out of space, you can turn to MiniTool Partition Wizard to easily and effectively increase its partition size to move out the warning. If your entire hard disk is almost full rather than C only, you can delete some temporary files, uninstall some programs, or reduce the size of WinSxS folder to free up hard drive space. Besides, you can add a new storage device as a secondary drive, and replace the full drive with a new large one to store more data.
    And, if you have any good ideas or any problems about full hard drive, please leave comments below. Much appreciated!