By Michael / Last Updated June 25, 2021

Question

My laptop has been 5-year-old and recently I find there is no more hard disk space left which makes it difficult to install any software or apps. How to increase hard drive space on a laptop? Can anyone give me any suggestions?

- Question from microsoft.com

Why should we increase hard disk capacity?

Nowadays, as digital technology develops fast, people tend to use their personal computers to store necessary files including photos, videos, music, and work files. Over time, there can be less storage space left on your PC, which makes it difficult to store more files. Meanwhile, if your computer’s hard disk is running out of space, the system speed can become literally slow. So, how to increase hard disk capacity on your PC becomes a critical question. Luckily, in the following content, 4 most useful ways will be given to help increase hard disk space on your Windows computer.

How to increase hard disk capacity with 4 methods?

There’re many benefits in increasing hard disk capacity for your PC like making the PC run more smoothly. However, many users don’t know how to do that on their own. So, please read on to learn how to get it done.

Method 1. Uninstall the software you no longer need

If there is too much unused software clogged up on your hard disk, then, your storage space can be drastically eaten up. In order to make more space for the hard disk, you’d better delete those software and programs you’ll never or seldom use from Control Panel on your PC.

1. In the search box on the lower left of your desktop, type “control panel” and hit “ENTER”.

2. In the popup windows, click on “Programs” > “Programs and Features”.

3. Then, all apps and programs will appear in the popup window. Right-click the one you want to delete and select “Uninstall” to remove it from your PC once for all.

uninstall

Method 2. Disable System Restore

System Restore is an inbuilt Windows feature that restores your OS to a previous state in time when Windows fails to start. Generally speaking , it occupies large disk space on your PC, and in this case, turning it off can reclaim enough storage space.

1. Right-click on “This PC” on the desktop and select “Properties”.

2. In the left panel, click on “System Protection”.

3. Select the C drive where you’ll disable System Protection and click on “Configure”.

disable system restore

4. Hit the option “Turn off system protection” and click on “OK”.

Now, you should find there is more space on the C drive.

Method 3. Disable hibernation

Hibernate mode is quite similar to sleep mode, but instead of saving your open files and running apps to the RAM, it saves them to your hard drive which allows your PC to turn off entirely. This means once your PC is in hibernate mode, it uses 0 power. Moreover, hibernation allows your computer to start up more quickly as it doesn’t need to re-establish the files and settings. However, when enabled, it takes part of the disk for its data – the hiberfil.sys file – which is allocated at ¾ of your computer’s installed RAM.

1. In the search box, type “command prompt” and select “Run as administrator” in the appearing results.

2. In the Command Prompt window, type “powercfg.exe /hibernate off” and hit “ENTER”.

3. Now, you’ve disabled the hibernate mode successfully and you should be able to find extra space on the hard disk.

disable hibernation

Method 4. Perform Disk Cleanup

The program of Disk Cleanup is a Windows inbuilt utility for PC maintenance that is designed to free up disk space. This utility first searches and analyzes the hard disk for data that is not of any use anymore and then, deletes them.

1. Type “disk cleanup” in the search box and hit “ENTER”.

2. Select the partition you’re going to clean and click on “OK” to proceed.

3. Tick off the files you wish to delete in the popup window and click on “OK” to carry out the deletion.

disk cleanup

The deletion will be completed within only a few seconds.

Alternative: Replace it with another disk of large capacity

If you’ve tried all of the methods above but they don’t help you much, then, maybe it’s time to replace your hard drive with a bigger one. But first of all, to keep all the data on the old disk safe, you need to copy them to the new drive. But how to do that since Windows seems not to provide a related tool.

To solve the problem, it is recommended to use a disk clone tool like – AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard – which is the most powerful disk manager software on market. Within steps, it enables its users to clone a disk to another one, transferring all contents including OS, personal data, videos, music, and apps quickly and safely and ensures they work normally as in the old drive. Meanwhile, other useful features including partition clone, partition resize, and partition format is also available. This software is so user-friendly that it contains no adverse bundleware or dangerous viruses. The user experience is extremely good.

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Step 1. Install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard and then, all disks and partitions will appear on the interface.

Step 2. Click on “All Tools” in the wizard on the upper left and select “Disk Clone Wizard”.

tools

Step 3. There will be 2 clone methods and here, I recommend “Clone Disk Quickly”. Hit “Next”.

copy methods

Step 4. Select the source disk and click on “Next”.

source disk

Step 5. Select the target disk and click on “Next”. You’ll be prompted that all the data on the target disk will be wiped. Click on “Yes” to proceed.

target one

Step 6. Tick off  “Clone without resizing partitions” and click on “Next” > “Finish”.

clone without resizing partitions

Step 7. After returning to the main interface, hit “Apply” on the upper left and hit “Proceed” to start the disk clone.

apply

After the process is completed, you can start to replace the old hard disk with a new one. Because there’re many tutorials on the internet of how to install a new hard drive on your PC, for this reason, I’ll only introduce it briefly.

Desktop PC hard drives are usually located in the lower front half of a mid-tower enclosure. They’re attached by using between 2 and 6 screws. As long as the drive is in place, you just need to plug in the SATA data cable. This connects to the motherboard. Then, connect the power cables to your power supply unit. The next time you start your computer, you’ll see the new hard disk in your BIOS.

Conclusion

How to increase hard disk capacity on your computer? In this tutorial, you’ve learnt why we should do that and the top 5 ways to get it done. Hopefully, in the content above, you’ll find the method that meets your own requirement and helps you out. As for me, after I replaced my old hard drive with a new one, my PC ran as smoothly as before and I could save whatever I wanted on my PC again, with the help of AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. For other features of this software like partition split, partition alignment, and MBR to GPT OS migration,  you should upgrade it to the Pro version.