Question SSD Free space?

May 27, 2019
How much free space should I leave on my Windows C drive SSD?
I currently have an old 120gb sata 3 drive and there is 9gb free. someone mentioned to me this isnt enough? Is this correct?
Never came to a definite, real-life answer to this myself. For precaution measures, I always try to keep at least 10% of the SSD space free. Other than that, I'd say that you only need more space if you feel that performance has decreased.

Disk cleanup might remove a lot of unneeded junk, so you might try it first, preferably in admin mode (where you can also remove old Windows installations if they are not needed, as well as old updates).


Aug 12, 2007
There are a couple rules-of-thumb for this:
  1. At least 20% of the total/raw flash free. With a 120GB drive this would mean no more than about 100GiB of the 112GiB of user-accessible flash (128GiB of total/raw flash * .8)
  2. At least 15% of the user-accessible flash. With a 120GB drive this would mean no more than about 95GiB.
The first number comes from the fact that 20% of over-provisioning ("OP") in total provides about three times the endurance of the typical 7% (from simply converting binary to decimal, e.g. 128GiB -> 119GiB). This is/was a bit of a magic number for consumer usage. A 120GB drive already has more than the typical amount of OP, often to mitigate drive weaknesses such as it being DRAM-less or reliant on a large SLC cache, although more OP can also improve performance esp. writes.

The second number comes from the fact that modern drives/controllers are able to use any free space as "dynamic over-provisioning" due to how aggressive TRIM is nowadays. It's not as effective as dedicated/reserved OP (outside user space) so given the balance - there's always at least 7% dedicated/reserved from the conversion, as mentioned above - you want a bit more of the dynamic (and thus overall OP) to compensate.

Given a 120GB already has more OP you are probably fine with #1, unless your drive has more OP to compensate for being DRAM-less for example, in which case #2 is optimal.