Free Up Disk Space on Local Disk C in Windows 10

Windows 10 runs out of free space frequently and you need to Free Up Disk Space on Local Disk C. This happens because some computers have small partitions or reduced sized storage (HDD/SSD).

When Windows runs low on disk space, it will show the error Low Disk Space on Local Disk C. The error notifies that the disk or the partition on witch Windows is installed is full and needs some extra free space.

In this case Windows runs very slow because it no longer has enough disk space to run in optimal conditions. The best thing to do is to free up disk space on the Windows partition.

Must Read: How to fix Windows using Command Prompt

What causes the Low Disk Space on Local Disk C in Windows?

There are many things that makes the message Low Disk Space on Windows to pop-up. The most important things that causes the disk to get full are:

  • Windows upgrades to new version
  • Antivirus files from the Windows Installer folder
  • Temporary files generated by installed applications
  • System Restore Points

Warning: Some of the methods presented in this article may result in the irretrievable deletion of data on your disks. We recommend that you back up the data you have on disks before applying any of the methods described in this article. The authors of the article do not assume any responsibility and cannot be held responsible for the actions you take. This article is a tutorial and its purpose is to present methods by which experienced PC users can deepen certain technical knowledge.

Windows Updates takes up the most Disk Space

Delete the old version of Windows from Local Disk C

Windows 10 frequently installs security updates and upgrades to new version. This type of updates and upgrades takes up a lot of disk space. To delete the older version of Windows, known as the Previous Windows installation(s), you must do the following:

  1. Open File Explorer
  2. Go to This PC
  3. Right Click on Local Disk C
  4. Go to Properties
  5. Go to Disk Cleanup
  6. Click on Clean Up System Files

Select Previous Windows installation(s) and anything else you want to delete, such as Temporary files and click OK.

Delete Unnecessary Files from Windows Installer Folder

Another lesser known cause of Low Disk Space on Local Disk C is the files in the Installer folder. This folder is located in the Windows directory. That means the Installer folder is a protected system folder and this makes it a hidden folder.

To access the Installer folder, open File explorer, go to Local Disk C > Windows. Go to the View tab and click on Options. Select the View tab, choose the Show hidden files, folders and drivers option and uncheck Hide protected operating system files.

Go to the Installer folder and check the files in this folder. In the Installer folder sort the files by author. After that, look carefully to see if the files belong to the antivirus installed on your computer.

The antivirus you have installed may create many encrypted files with a certain extension in this folder. This happens when the antivirus tries to block virus-infected sites and files.

So if you often visit a virus-infected site or many other infected websites, the antivirus may create an encrypted file. That file may actually be an executable that tries to install spyware or viruses on your computer every time you access a infected website.

Select files whose author is the antivirus installed on your computer and delete them to free up disk space. Usually these files takes the most available space in Windows.

Delete Temporary Files to Free Up Space on Local Disk C

The disk space is also occupied by some temporary files that help Windows and apps run better. Installed apps and Windows are generating the temporary files.

Windows stores temporary files for each user in Temp folder within User Folder. Every Windows user has its own Temp folder. The path to Temp file is: C:\Users\YourUser\AppData\Local\Temp.

To delete temporary files from Windows, open File Explorer and in the address bar type % temp% and press enter.

The folder containing the temporary files will open, select all the files in this folder and delete them.

Some files cannot be deleted because they are from apps that still run in background. In this situation, you ignore those files.

Change the Location for the Desktop, Documents, and Downloads Folders

Save space on Local Disk C by moving the files and changing the location of the default folders. Desktop, Documents and Downloads can be configured to store files into another location on disk.

Desktop folder stores the files on the C partition by default. This location can be changed and the files can be moved to the new location.

To change the Desktop location in Windows 10 do the following:

Open File explorer > This PC > Local Disk C > Users > YourUser. Right-click the Desktop folder, click Properties, and select the location tab. Click Move, select the folder in the new Location, and then tap Select Folder.

Delete Windows Systems Restore Points and Disable System Restore

To gain even more space on Local Disk C, you can delete the Restore Points that Windows creates.

Attention: before deleting restore points or disabling the System Restore option in Windows, you need to make sure that you do not need them. If you have problems with the Operating System and want to restore it to an earlier state, this will no longer be possible.

To delete System Restore Points open File explorer, right click on This PC and then on Properties. A window with System Properties will open.

Click on the System Protection tab, select Local Disk C and then click on Configure. In the window that will open, select Disable System Protection or Delete, depending on the option you want.

If you only opt for Delete, Windows deletes all the restore points. The option remains active and Windows automatically creates other restore points.

If you choose Disable System Protection, Windows deletes all restore points. Windows will not create other Restore Points and this will save space on Local Disk C.

Delete the Files in the Recycle Bin

Another way to save space on Windows partition is to delete useless files from the Recycle Bin.

Before emptying the trash, you must carefully check its contents. The deleted files in the Recycle Bin can no longer be recovered.

So if you have checked the contents and there is nothing important in the trash, delete its contents as follows:

Double Click the Recycle Bin icon on the desktop to open the trash. Right Click inside it and click on the Empty Recycle Bin.

To keep files from Recycle Bin, open it and select the files or folders you want to keep. Right Click on the selected files and then click Restore.