7 Easy Ways for How to Clear Hard Drive Space in Windows 10/11

7 ways about how to clear hard drive space will be introduced in this passage. Read to learn and make your computer stay health.


By Irene / Updated on July 19, 2023

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The necessity of clear hard drive space

No matter how big your hard drive is, you may run into a problem where there's not enough space left on your disk over time. Generally, irregularly storing or creating files on your hard drive without regular deletions will result in useless files piling up, thus eventually obstructing smooth disk operations. Besides, other factors such as hibernation files and third-party application files may also necessitate disk cleaning, or it will make your PC gradually sluggish and slow.


The situation will become worse if you tend to use C drive space for storage. The C drive is where the system is installed, and when it’s running low on space, your computer will not only become really sluggish, but also you may constantly run into system crashes and the BSOD issue.

7 ways for how to clear hard drive space

When your drive gets full, you will probably seek help from the internet on how to clear space on hard drive. Here we collect 7 most common and practical methods. No matter your hard drive or C drive running out of space, they can be helpful for you to free up space.

Way 1. Disable hibernation mode

Hibernation mode is usually used for quickly resuming your computer's previous state. But it takes up a large amount of storage space because it saves the contents of the computer's RAM.

Normally, to preserve the computer's state during hibernation, all the data in the RAM needs to be written to the hard disk with "hiberfil.sys" files. For instance, if a computer has 20GB of RAM, the hiberfil.sys file will also be around 20GB in size. Therefore, to free up drive space, disabling the function is worth trying.

Step 1. Press the Start button and enter "cmd" in the search box.

Step 2. Right-click on the displayed item and choose "Run as administrator."

Step 3. When the command prompt window opens, type "powercfg.exe /hibernate off" and hit Enter.

hibernate off

As a result, the hibernate.sys file, which is utilized for hibernation, will be removed, thereby freeing up disk space equivalent to the size of your computer's RAM.

Way 2. Run Disk Cleanup

"Disk Cleanup" tool is a helpful utility designed to clean up various files on your computer, such as temporary Internet files, items in the Recycle Bin, and even old Windows installation files. It primarily targets the system partition, typically labeled as the C drive.

Step 1. Type "disk cleanup" in the search box or use Cortana. Or you can right-click on the C drive, go to "Properties," and then select "Disk Cleanup."

disk cleanup

Step 2. In the Disk Cleanup window, check the files you wish to delete, and then click "OK." You also have the option to delete system files, such as previous Windows installations, by clicking on "Clean up system files."

Way 3. Enable Storage Sense

Windows 10 version 1703 introduced "Storage Sense," a feature designed to remove temporary files and items from your Recycle Bin. When you enable Storage Sense in Settings, Windows can automatically free up disk space by deleting unnecessary files. Simply enable it, as it comes disabled by default.

Step 1. Go to "Settings," then select "System," and finally choose "Storage."

Step 2. You'll see "Storage sense". You can turn it on by moving the button from "Off" to "On", or if you want more choices, click the link that says "Change how we free up space".

storage sense on%20(2)

Note: If you don't have Windows 10 Creator Update version 1703, you can still delete temporary files manually: Go to "Settings" > "System" > "Storage" > select a drive (for example, C drive) > scroll down and look for "Temporary files" > delete them.

Way 4. Empty the Recycle Bin

When you delete files from your PC, they aren't immediately removed completely. Actually, they go to the Recycle Bin and consume the hard-drive space. Therefore, emptying the Recycle Bin is a way to free up space. 

Just right-click on the Recycle Bin icon on your desktop, and select "Empty Recycle Bin." Then a warning will appear, asking if you're sure you want to permanently delete the items in the Recycle Bin. Click "Yes" to proceed.

Way 5. Move all Apps to another drive

If your drive, especially the C drive is nearly full due to numerous or large applications, you may consider uninstalling them. But some apps are still necessary. At this time, you can move them to another drive that has free space.

For data safe, you can try AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional, a versatile partition manager that supports almost all Windows versions. Its “App Mover” can help you easily transfer installed programs to another drive without data loss.

Download Pro DemoWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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Step 1. Install and run the software. Click “Free up” in the top toolbar, and choose “App Mover”.

App Mover

Step 2. Choose the C drive and click "Next".

Choose Partition

Step 3. Select the apps you want to move, set a destination path, and click on "Move".

Tick Apps

Step 4. Click "OK" on the pop-up window.


Way 6. Allocate free space for full drive

Normally, your computer may have more than one space. If other drives have much free space, it is also a good idea to allocate them to the full drive. AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional can also help you to achieve that.

Step 1. Install and run AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional, and right-click a drive with much free space. Choose "Allocate Free Space"

Allocate free space

Step 2. In the new window, you can specify the space size and target partition. If it’s C drive, you need to select C drive from the given list, and click “OK”.

Allocate from D to C

Step 3. Click “Proceed” and “Apply” to execute.


After that, a part of the free space on the empty drive will be added to the full drive.

Way 7. Upgrade to a larger hard drive

If there is no space for the above operation, maybe it is time to upgrade to a larger hard drive. With that multifunctional tool, you can avoid the trouble of reinstallation of programs or systems.

The feature “Clone Disk” can replicate the entire contents of the source disk, including the operating system, applications, files, and partitions, to the target disk. You can ensure a seamless transfer of data and ensure that your new disk functions exactly like the old one, without any data loss or compatibility issues.

Before you do:
Please initialize the hard drive first if it is brand new.
Install the new disk to desktop or laptop. If your electronic device has only one disk slot, you may need a SATA to USB adapter to connect it.
Please make sure the compatibility of the partition style with the boot mode (UEFI and Legacy BIOS). To prevent any need to alter the boot mode after cloning, it's advisable to maintain consistency between the partition style of the new disk and the partition style of the source disk. If required, please convert to GPT or MBR accordingly.

Step 1. Run AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. Then, run it and click Clone > Clone Disk.

Copy Wizard

Step 2. Choose a clone method in this window. Generally, we recommend the Clone Disk Quickly and click Next.


Clone Disk Quickly allows you to adjust the partition size on the destination disk and supports cloning a larger disk to a smaller one.
Sector-by-Sector Clone allows you to clone all sectors on the source disk to the destination disk.

Step 3. Choose the old disk as the source disk in this step and click Next.

Source Disk

Step 4. And choose new disk as the destination disk. If the destination disk is SSD, you can check “Optimize the performance of SSD” and click Next.

Target One

Step 5. In the Edit Disk window, you can resize the partition to fit the new disk and click Next.


Step 6. Finally, click Apply and Proceed to submit the operations.


Step 7. When this is done, you can continue to use Windows. And When the clone is over, Windows will not reboot.

If it is a data disk, you just need to install it on the computer to use it. But for the system disk, if you want to boot Windows from the cloned disk. You must restart the PC, enter the BIOS and change the boot order to boot the computer from the cloned disk.

Change Boot Order

Bottom line

Here are 7 practical and effective methods about how to clear hard drive space. Regularly clean hard drive can be beneficial to computer performance. With AOMEI Partition Assistant, you can easily manage your device with simple clicks.

Other functions like migrating OS to SSD, converting between MBR/GPT, and merging partitions are also popular among users. By the way, there is also the Server Edition for Windows Server users to enjoy convenience.

Irene · Staff Editor
Irene is an Editor of AOMEI Technology. She devotes herself in giving insightful thoughts on common computer problems with simple and clear guidance. Irene loves to help people solve problems and explore more solutions on relevant issues. She loves reading, singing and travelling.