How to Free up Disk Space with Windows 10’s Storage Settings

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Windows 10 includes new storage settings you can use to free up disk space with. The storage settings give you a graphical overview of your hard disk storage, showing you what’s taking up the most disk space. It also includes a few options you can select to free up storage.

To open the new storage settings, select Settings on the Start menu. Then click System > Storage and select the This PC option. That will open the window in the shot below.

system storage

This gives you an overview of the storage on hard disk. The first line bar at the top shows you how much of your disk storage is filled. It shows you how much of the storage is for system & reserved, apps and games, temporary files, pictures, videos and more besides.

So if you haven’t got a lot of free space on the hard disk, free up some storage. Firstly, you could delete temporary files. Scroll down the window and select Temporary files to open the options shown below.


There you can press the Delete temporary files button. That will erase temporary files from Windows. There’s also an Empty recycle bin option there that clears the Recycle Bin. Clicking View downloads will open the Downloads folder in File Explorer from which you can delete setup wizards by pressing the Delete button.

Apps and games will probably hog the most disk space. So removing some of them from Windows is probably the best way to clear the hard disk. Press Apps and games on the Storage usage window to open the options below.

storage settings

That window lists all the software you’ve installed, and you can remove apps and games from there. Select software on the list and then press the Uninstall button to remove it. You can enter keywords in the search box at the top to find a specific program.

Click System & reserved to open further storage details for that category as below. That also tells you how much storage space is allocated to system restore. Press the Manage system restore button and Configure to adjust the system restore storage space. Drag the Max Usage bar left and press Apply to reduce the system restore disk storage allocation.

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Clicking on other categories such as Documents and Pictures will open File Explorer shortcuts. For example, you can press View documents to open the Documents folder in Explorer. Then you can delete docs from there.

After removing some software or files, you’ll need to update the system storage details. To refresh the storage details, click the small circular arrow at the top of the storage usage page. That will then update the storage details.

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So the new storage settings in Windows 10 give you some handy options. With them you can now get a better overview of what’s taking up the most storage and clear the disk as required. You may also want to check out this article on Windows 10 system tools that covers some of the other handy tools in Windows 10 you can clear up some disk space with.

Posted by Matthew on April 14, 2016

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