Free Up Space on a Full Hard Disk

December 14, 2023

[avatar user="Jamie Poindexter" size="thumbnail" align="left" link="attachment" /]byJamie Poindexter|May 12, 2021|Jamie's Tech Corner,Our blogThe first step in cleaning up and freeing up space on a full hard drive is to see what is taking up the most space. It could be a rogue log file filling up the drive or even a mis placed video folder buried and forgotten. A neat utility called Space Sniffer can help you visually identify where all the space is going. Download the utility here. Once you open the program you will be asked to choose a drive or folder to analyze. Choose the drive that you want to look at and it will start scanning.

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You will begin to see the folders and files appear in the list and sizes listed next to them.

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If you want to dive deeper, you can double click on a folder and it will break it down further inside that folder.

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Once you have narrowed down the major offenders you can then start cleaning up or moving things around to make more room. Large media files could be moved to a external drive, unused programs could be uninstalled or a Windows error could be identified and fixed. Programs like One Drive and Google Sync could be accidently set to sync or cache all files locally to the hard disk. These programs allow marking folders as online only, so a place holder is kept but the actual file does not take up space on the disk. This is helpful if you want to keep the files but do not use them often and therefor don’t need them taking up space.

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Another stop when freeing up space is disk cleanup. Windows will often retain any old versions of Windows when a feature update is installed. These can be rather large and if you have no plans on reverting back to the previous version you can safely remove these files.

Hopefully, these tricks will help you in cleaning up a full hard disk. If all else fails you may want to look into upgrading the hard drive to a larger one.