Have you ever noticed how something is consuming your drive capacity?
Let’s look at a particular case of what’s taking up space on my Windows 7 hard drive and how to fix it.
Read on to find out how to free up space.
What is taking up space on my hard drive? (windows 7)
Having enough hard drive capacity is essential because it can increase performance. However, some files, apps and features that take up space can be removed to increase the speed of your PC.
Let’s take a look at the top three ways to see what’s taking up space in your storage.
Use Windows Explorer
Windows Explorer is a file management tool that explores all the files on your computer in Microsoft Windows. Each takes up a certain amount of space on drives assigned a letter (C, D, or E). This application allows you to read and interact with such drives, and thus manage them.
Let me show you how to use it to see the memory status of your PC.
First, you need to open the application by simultaneously pressing the Windows key and the “E” button on the keyboard.
You will then see a screen with all your directories and drives. The status bar below a storage drive on your PC indicates how busy it is.
You can also browse files and folders within it to see how much space each one is using.
Symbol of the system
CMD (Command Prompt) is a application that allows you to perform actions via command lines. It can show you how your data is allocated and how much space each type of file takes up.
Run CMD as administrator from the “Start” menu by typing your name in the search box. A black window will appear in which you need to enter the following line:
volume mapping fsutilReport C:
Note that “C” represents the drive letter. If you want to control another unit, replace it with the corresponding letter.
To see the amount of free disk space in Windows 7 for all volumes, type:
wmic logicaldisk get size, free space, title
After running each command, you’ll see a variety of information, including data allocation and free space.
The data size is in bits, bytes, terabytes, etc. The size in the images above is in bytes. That’s why you see such large numbers.
Third Party Software
While Windows Explorer and CMD are valuable applications, they can be difficult to use and inefficient.
However, using a well-optimized third-party program for such tasks could save you time and effort.
Cleaner One Pro and CCleaner are similar applications with a built-in disk analyzer. This feature shows you exactly what is using your storage. Also, it can help you remove unnecessary temporary files and seldom used applications to clean up your computer space.
As you can see in the image above, the files are placed in different categories. This makes cleaning up disk space even easier because you don’t have to spend time exploring your file system.
How to free up disk space
Finding out what is taking up space on my hard drive in Windows 7 is relatively easy. Now I have to find a way to clean it.
Here are five methods to clean up disk space.
Uninstall unwanted programs
Infrequently used applications clog up your computer’s memory. So uninstalling them will definitely free up tons of gigabytes of space.
This is how you can do it quickly:
- Open the “Add or Remove Programs” function in your operating system. To do this, look for it in the “Start Menu”. A window will appear with all your programs listed there. You can also see the size of each app on the right side.
- Select a program, right-click, and then select Uninstall. Follow the steps to complete the process.
Here you are! Now you have more free space on your PC! However, some applications leave “junk” files which can be cleaned up with the following tip.
Delete temporary files
As mentioned, apps can leave behind “garbage” after uninstalling them. These are files that programs create for their processes, that is, temporary files. Normally, our operating system deletes them when we close the program. However, sometimes during sudden crashes, this file deletion does not occur, thus leaving data on your system.
Fortunately, we are here to help! Here’s how to free up space in Windows 7 from “junk” files.
- Run the “Disk Cleanup” function by searching for it in the “Start” menu.
The system scans the drive to determine the amount of data that can be erased. However, if you have multiple drives, it first allows you to choose which one to run the process on.
- Below is a list of all the files that can be safely deleted.
- Check all the boxes in the “Files to delete” section and press OK.
Wait for the hard drive cleanup process.
Use third party software
Another quick and efficient way to free up space on your computer is to use third-party applications.
One of them is called CCleaner.
- Download, install and launch the application.
- Find and click the “Custom Clean” feature on the left side of the application window.
- You will then see two categories: “Windows” and “Applications”. You can choose from each category which type of file to delete.
- Click the “Run Cleaner” button to start the process.
When the process is complete, you will see more details in the center of the window.
Reduce the amount of space used for System Restore
This function is used to restore the operating system to a previous state. Microsoft Windows regularly creates a disk image, which you can then use to restore your operating system. However, they could be quite significant. Removing them or reducing their size will free up storage space.
This is how you can do it.
- Right-click “Computer” in the “Start” menu and select “Properties.”
- Look for “System Protection” on the left side. Then open its tab.
- Select the desired drive and click the “Set” button. You have the option to completely disable system restore. However, we do not recommend doing this for security reasons.
- Instead, move the slider down to adjust Windows space usage.
While this will save you tons of gigabytes in the future, you can still lose important files if your operating system “dies.”
Archive files in archives
If you have a lot of files that you rarely use on your PC, they will eat up your vital storage capacity. However, if you don’t want to delete them, you can archive them to free up hard drive space.
Placing a computer file in an archive can reduce its size to 10% of its original amount. It uses a process called “data compression”. The latter involves modifying the structured data by recoding it to reduce its size. This is a simple and efficient way to free up space on a PC.
Here’s how to create an archive with 7Zip.
- Select one or more folders/files and right click on them.
- Locate the “7 Zip” option in the dropdown menu and click on it.
- Click the “Add to Archive” button. A window with the file details opens. You can encrypt it with a password or name it. Once you are done with your details, click “OK” and the files will be added.
Poor data management will result in lack of storage capacity on PC and your computer will become slow. This is because your operating system needs enough free space to run smoothly.
Therefore, knowing how to clean up Windows disk space will reflect positively on the performance of your desktop computer.
While the tips we’ve given you will definitely help you free up space in Windows, the problem may lie elsewhere. So if you’re constantly running out of storage, consider upgrading your hard drive to a larger, faster solid-state drive.
Now that you’ve learned how to clean up disk space, learn how to expand it.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS.
How do I free up space on my Windows 7 hard drive?
There are several ways to free up disk space in Windows 7.
- Uninstall all unnecessary apps.
- Delete temporary files.
- Use third-party applications to scan your drive and find large files to delete.
- Reduce the space used by the “System Backup” function.
- Save rarely used files like songs, photos in archives to free up more space.
How do I know what is taking up space on my hard drive?
I have found several ways to see what is taking up space on my Windows 7 hard drive.
- Use a third-party software disk analyzer.
- Use Windows Explorer to manually search for large and unnecessary files.
- Open CMD with administrator privileges and type the following commands:
volume mapping fsutilReport C:
wmic logicaldisk get size, free space, title
What happens if the disk space is full?
If you are constantly running out of storage capacity, your computer will become slow. This is because your operating system needs enough free space to run smoothly.