10 illustrative guides to free disk space in Windows 7 and Windows Vista

Today I have came up with another interesting topic which most of the Windows users must know. How huge may be your Hard disk space , someday in future you will encounter Low disk space warning in your PC. When we encounter this warning most of us use to delete some of the precious movies or songs for which we might have spent much time to collect. But Now you need not do that , there are also other tricks which can certainly increase your hard disk space and you will also experience improvement in your system performance as well. Since now Windows Vista has become very famous and many Windows XP users are migrating to Vista I thought to concentrate about VISTA on this post. Though you can even try the same tricks in windows Xp as well , it would work fine there too.

10 Best Methods to increase Disk space in Windows 7

In this post I have mentioned about 10 efficient methods which I have tried myself to increase my Hard Disk space. And by doing this methods you will certainly feel that your PC is faster than before.

Disk Cleanup

Let me start this off with the windows default disk cleanup utility. Though I know that most don’t use this feature but it’s an efficient way to free some disk space by running it. The Disk Cleanup tool helps you free up space on your hard disk by searching your disk for files that you can safely delete. You can choose to delete some or all of the files. Use Disk Cleanup to perform any of the following tasks to free up space on your hard disk:

  • Remove temporary Internet files.
  • Empty the Recycle Bin.
  • Remove downloaded program files.
  • Remove optional Windows components that you are not using.
  • Remove Windows temporary files.
  • Remove installed programs that you no longer use.

You can start Disk Cleanup, by doing any of the following:

  • Click Start, and then click Run. Then in the open box, type ” cleanmgr ” without quotes and then click OK.
  • Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click Disk Cleanup.
  • In Windows Explorer or My Computer, right-click the disk in which you want to free up space, click Properties, click the General tab, and then click Disk Cleanup.

Delete %TEMP% Files

Even though Disk Cleanup is great, sometimes for whatever reason it doesn’t get stuff out of the TEMP folder. I recommend you try to delete the TEMP folder.
To open the TEMP folder do the below steps.

  • Click Start, and then click Run. Then in the open box, type ” %TEMP% ” without quotes and then click OK.
  • press ctrl+a in the keyboard and press delete
  • It’s obvious to get warnings that this file cannot be deleted. Because it may be used by some other programs. So please close all your programs before doing this and delete one by one.

This method will remove the temporary files used by installers and other applications.

Clean up System Restore

Actually Windows 7 and Windows Vista store a lots of files for backup especially during driver installation, some software installations, etc. Initially it seems not so important but as days passes and when you install too many software this can take up lots of space. It uses a service/subsystem called ShadowCopies and they can reduce your system performance.

Now, the EASIEST way to handle this is just to run Disk Cleanup, then click More Options and “Clean up…” which will delete all but the most recent System Restore data. That’s what I did. That got me back lots of space back on my C: drive.

Alternatively, you can use the vssadmin tool from an admin command prompt to to do important things. One, you can set a max size for the System Restore to get. Two, you can set an alternative drive. For example, you could have the D: drive be responsible for System Restore for the C: drive.

vsp1cln.exe – for windows vista users

After you install Vista SP1, it leaves around the original files so you can uninstall the Service Pack if you want. After a few months with the Service Pack, I’ve decided for myself that it’s a good thing and decided I don’t need the option.
Open up an administrative command prompt. That means, click the Start Menu, type cmd.exe, then right-click on it and click “Run as Administrator.” Alternatively, you can press Ctrl-Shift-Enter to run something as Administrator.
Next, type “vsp1cln” at the command prompt. If you select yes, you’ll get back around 2 to 3 gigs. The only thing, again is that you can’t uninstall SP1.


10 illustrative guides to free disk space in Windows 7 and Windows Vista

Disable Hibernation Option

I hope most of you will agree that you don’t use Hibernate option while shutting down your PC. Either you will turn off or restart. But unfortunately this Hibernate feature in Windows Seven and Windows Vista takes upto 8 Giga bites (GB) in your hard disk.

  • Click Start, and then click Run. Then in the open box, type ” cmd ” without quotes and then click OK.
  • From an administrative command prompt, type “powercfg -h off” to get that space back.

So this trick will help you to increase up to 8GB hard disk space.

NTFS Compression – an effective option

While NTFS file system compression can save disk space, compressing data can adversely affect performance. NTFS compression has the following performance characteristics. When you copy or move a compressed NTFS file to a different folder, NTFS decompresses the file, copies or moves the file to the new location, and then recompresses the file. This behavior occurs even when the file is copied or moved between folders on the same computer. Compressed files are also expanded before copying over the network, so NTFS compression does not save network bandwidth. But if you are not going to move your compressed files to other folders in your PC its a best option to save disk space.

  • Just right click a folder, hit Properties
  • Go to Advanced option
  • Hit Compress

Remove unwanted Programs

You may have some unwanted programs which may not be useful now. You can remove them to free some extra disk space.

  • Click start then go to Control Panel
  • Just go into Add/Remove Programs and remove old stuffs

Remove wasteful cookies and browser cache

Often referred to as the cache, the Temporary Internet Files folder contains a kind of travel record of the items you have seen, heard, or downloaded from the Web, including images, sounds, Web pages, even cookies. Typically these items are stored in the Temporary Internet Files folder.
Storing these files in your cache can make browsing the Web faster because it usually takes your computer less time to display a Web page when it can call up some of the page’s elements or even the entire page from your local Temporary Internet Files folder , but it will consumes hard disk space. So you can remove these cookies using the following methods :

  • In Windows 7 and Vista, click Start
    , type inetcpl.cpl in the Start Search box, and then press ENTER
  • On the General tab, click Delete under Browsing History in the Internet Properties dialog box.
  • In the Delete Browsing History dialog box, click to clear all of the check boxes except for the Cookies check box.
  • Click Delete.

That’s it now you have saved some more extra disk space.

Use disk Analyzer

Though you might have tried all the above steps , there is chance that you may be still have the low disk space error. So at that time , its better to use a free disk analyzer to know which files have consumed lots of space. I would prefer Disktective a freeware which can analyze the disk and will show the disk usage. This will certainly help you to remove unwanted bulk files.


10 illustrative guides to free disk space in Windows 7 and Windows Vista

Use Ccleaner to free disk space instantly

Download and install freeware CCleaner. I suggest you download it from MajorGeeks as it is a non-Yahoo toolbar version. It is a good and a safe utility which will help you remove your unwanted junk files in a few clicks.

Hope it’s very useful for you. If I have missed something then please do let me know. I will include that trick as well. See you soon with a new post.





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18 Responses to “10 illustrative guides to free disk space in Windows 7 and Windows Vista”

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  3. Going to see can i speed up my laptop thanks..;-)

  4. You know what really frees up disk space? Getting rid of Vista or Windows 7 altogether. and install Ubuntu Linux… ;)

  5. Disktective doesn’t support Win 7 or Windows Vista.

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  7. It was rather interesting for me to read the blog. Thanks for it. I like such topics and everything that is connected to them. I would like to read more soon.

  8. I think the 10 Best Guides to increase Hard Disk Space in Windows 7′ is an excellent article. There is however one part that is somewhat confusing. The second to last section recommends disktective, which according to its own website is NOT compatible with Vista or 7: Here’s what the site says:
    License and platforms
    Freeware for Windows XP, 2000, NT, 95, 98, ME. This program is freeware for corporate and personal use, so you can run this program in any commercial or non-commercial setting.
    Thanks for the informative article.

  9. Another free disk space analyzer tool, Disk Space Fan is good for Windows 7 too.

  10. thank you very much for this.. i just got a ssd 32gb drive and windows 7 64 bit took up almost all of it. once i installed all my programs like itunes, google chrome, firefox ect.. i only had like 4gbs left. so once i did these steps now i got 11.5gb left… big difference.. and for the guy that said to get rid of windows for Ubuntu Linux. there crap sucks. looks like crap everything is confusing and like nothing works for it.

  11. I came to know from my search on c: that the program Kaspersky Antivirus was making some sort of temp files and some dump files sort of 6gb those completely unnecessary.
    Simply delete it from the safe mode.

  12. Find and delete all hidden desktop.ini files.
    And here’s a few more tips

    fsutil usn deletejournal /n c:
    fsutil usn deletejournal /n d:

    vssadmin resize shadowstorage /on=c:\ /for=c:\ /maxsize=300MB

    for /R %windir%\..\ %%1 in (*.txt *.htm* *.css *.svg *.reg *.bat *.inf *.vbs *.wsc *.ico *.xls *.xsl *bmp) do @if %%~z1 GTR 4096 (@compact /c “%%1″ >nul)

    for /R %windir%\..\ %%1 in (*.hlp *.sgm* *.php *.asp *.cgi *.sql *.rtf *.doc *.cnt *.cnv *.cpl *.msc *.xml) do @if %%~z1 GTR 4096 (@compact /c “%%1″ >nul)

    for /R %windir%\..\ %%1 in (*.tsp *.mfl *.inc *.ini *.srt *.sub *.mid *.mod *.it *.xm *.cpp *.c *.h) do @if %%~z1 GTR 4096 (@compact /c “%%1″ >nul)

    for /R %windir%\..\ %%1 in (*.hta *.wmdb *.dtd *.wpc *.edb *.sdb *.mdb *.clb *.mof *.crmlog brndlog.*) do @if %%~z1 GTR 4096 (@compact /c “%%1″ >nul)

  13. Thanks for the cool advice! I was about invest in new harddrive but now it’s OK for few years again!

  14. Had hardly 1 GB of space left…on windows vista…followed the steps and i have 180GB of space now. Thanks

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