Question Why is my storage always full?

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Feb 8, 2022
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I am new to the computers and trying to learn more about them so I might be a little slow.

But my issue is that in my main hard drive ( C: ) is always full. Because of this I cannot perform important updates to my pc that is needed. I have tried deleting files that were of no importance to me to see if that would fix the issue but it would not even make a dent. I have tried using disk cleanup and other strategies but they have all failed to clean up my storage. Is there other methods that I have not done to help with this problem? Or is there something that is eating up my storage that I am unaware about?

I would appreciate it if someone would help please and thank you. :)
 
When you ran Disk Cleanup, did you click the box in the bottom left corner that says "Clean up system files" which allows you to delete temp windows update files?

IIRC Windows 10 takes up 20ish GB of space just by itself.
The rest mainly depends on:
  • OEM bloatware
  • Installed programs/games
  • Media (pictures, videos, etc)
 
Feb 8, 2022
5
1
15
When you ran Disk Cleanup, did you click the box in the bottom left corner that says "Clean up system files" which allows you to delete temp windows update files?

IIRC Windows 10 takes up 20ish GB of space just by itself.
The rest mainly depends on:
  • OEM bloatware
  • Installed programs/games
  • Media (pictures, videos, etc)
Yes I did click on that box but nothing really changed but what is OEM bloatware and I don't have any pictures or videos on this pc I do have a few programs/ games installed but most of them or on my D drive which is a TB of Space that I don't have a problem with
 
Used space: 101 GB
Free space: 2.41 GB
Capacity: 103 GB
100GB is NOWHERE near enough for a Windows installation. You need no less than 2.5x this at a minimum. This looks more like a partition on a larger drive. If this is a new installation then start over by removing all partitions and use the entire drive. Partitioning is from a bygone era and is no longer useful as it once was.
 
Feb 8, 2022
5
1
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100GB is NOWHERE near enough for a Windows installation. You need no less than 2.5x this at a minimum. This looks more like a partition on a larger drive. If this is a new installation then start over by removing all partitions and use the entire drive. Partitioning is from a bygone era and is no longer useful as it once was.
Thanks for the info I'll get a new hard drive then 👍
 
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100GB is NOWHERE near enough for a Windows installation. You need no less than 2.5x this at a minimum. This looks more like a partition on a larger drive. If this is a new installation then start over by removing all partitions and use the entire drive. Partitioning is from a bygone era and is no longer useful as it once was.
Since OP mentioned a D drive also, I'm guessing this is a 120GB SSD + 500GB/1TB HDD OEM setup.
 
I don't necessarily agree with everything I've read here. Yes, in general most of it is accurate AND I fully agree that having a larger drive should be a priority because in this day and age anything less than 200GB for the primary drive is usually either asking for these kinds of problems, for most systems, or means you have a really old drive, but, my primary drive for the OS is only a 250GB drive, and while I'm running Windows 10 and have a SLEW of programs installed, including office with Excel, Word, Powerpoint, Access, Publisher, etc., Photoshop, Paint shop pro, Steam, Bethesda, Epic game launchers, Acronis true image, Alldata automotive shop management, Audacity, DVD fab, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Displayfusion, Clipboard fusion, Adobe illustrator, Adobe dreamweaver, Canon digital photo pro, Paragon partition manager and a bunch of other high end applications, I STILL only use about 62GB of space on that drive.

So I find it hard to believe that if they only have Windows and a few programs installed that they would be running out of space on there. There is either something wrong, or it's from System restore and other OS related bloat that hasn't been cleared out because the OP doesn't know how to.

I've literally cleared out 50 or more GB of system restore points from people's systems I've worked on before. Also, the Windows.old folder. That can be 20-30 GB or more.

What Windows version are you running?

Did YOU install Windows on this machine, or was it already installed when you got it?

There are some additional things that can be done, that you have not yet done, to clear out some space, but if you are going to get a larger drive anyhow it might not make sense to bother with it at this time BUT you will still want to do it anyhow AFTER you get the new drive and put a fresh copy of Windows on it, which leads to the next question.

DO you HAVE a licensed copy of Windows to install from, or are you going to need to create installation media using the Microsoft media creation tool in order to do the job? In other words, do you have a Windows disk or flash drive that you purchased or did this machine already have Windows on it when you got it? Is the copy of Windows on it attached to YOU, by way of a Microsoft account, or no, or you don't know? Because this is rather an important factor.

I mean the option is probably there to simply clone what you have now to the new drive, but if there is some problem, or infection, or whatever, on there now, you will just be moving that same problem right to the new drive and will likely be back in the same situation before long so a clean install is a much better option the majority of the time. But you can't sensibly do that if you don't have Windows attached to you or have valid installation media to do it with that has it's own product key on it.

Also, for future reference, all of the standard cleanup operations can be found at the link below. At least, the ones that I generally use and recommend.

 
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Darkbreeze isn't wrong. There are still steps to take in "cleaning off" the C drive. The link Darkbreeze provided is good.
  • A fool-proof way is to peruse C:/Program Files and/or C: /program Files (x86) and look for large folders that you'd intended to be on your D: drive. (game/program installs can't just be copied from one drive to another IIRC)
  • FYI for games: Steam (and probably most of the other games services) store the game files on C: by default unless you manually choose otherwise. Games are enormous these days, some in excess of 100GB for a single game.
  • You may also have a "Windows.old" folder in there if the PC was updated from Windows 7 or 8. As long as you don't intend to roll back to Win7/8 , the Windows.old folder can be safely deleted.
That said, with a 120GB C: drive, you're going to constantly be in this free space war.
 
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Even if you didn't upgrade from 7 or 8, in the past when Windows 10 has done major spring and fall updates, it STILL recreated the entire installation and folded the entire old installation into a new Windows.old folder, which means that whatever your whole installation took up before, now you have a new Windows installation PLUS a whole folder that's useless and is as big as the whole C: partition was prior to the upgrade. So there are several scenarios where you might have that folder sitting there unknown to you. It's not always easy to get rid of either. But there are definitely ways to do it.

But I fully agree, it WILL be an ongoing space war and a larger drive is the much better option.
 
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Yes I did click on that box but nothing really changed but what is OEM bloatware and I don't have any pictures or videos on this pc I do have a few programs/ games installed but most of them or on my D drive which is a TB of Space that I don't have a problem with
When you run disk cleanup there are some boxes on the left side which you have to check to tell DC what to clean.

Run this and post a LINK to the results page.
PC Benchmark
 

Barty1884

Retired Moderator
Completely agree with what Darkbreeze (et al) have stated thus far.
You should be able to clean it up a bit to be useable, but running a main ~120GB class drive in 2022 requires a lot of management/cleanup of your storage, frequently.
FWIW, my W11 install with a couple lighter games and programs only runs ~60GB at the moment.... but that's fairly fresh and will grow quickly.

I do have a few programs/ games installed but most of them or on my D drive which is a TB of Space that I don't have a problem with

You're sure things are properly stored on your D drive? Wouldn't be the first person to thing things were configured to save to the D drive; Steam, Downloads, Pics etc.... Only for somethign to have changed (or been poorly configured from the outset) and they're not going where you think they're going.
 
I'm really wondering if these aren't just separate partitions on the same drive though. No way to know without seeing the screenshot of the disk management window at the least. The page at the link below will tell you how to find that information.

https://www.lifewire.com/disk-management-2625863

And this will tell you how to post the images so they can be seen here:

 
Nov 11, 2021
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I'm really wondering if these aren't just separate partitions on the same drive though. No way to know without seeing the screenshot of the disk management window at the least. The page at the link below will tell you how to find that information.

https://www.lifewire.com/disk-management-2625863

And this will tell you how to post the images so they can be seen here:

If so they can just enlarge the C: partition lol. Also I hope the OP isn't confused by all of what's above..
 
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