If you want to know how to free up space on C drive on Windows 10, you’ve come to the right place! It’s important to delete unnecessary files if your PC is low on space. 

If you learn how to clean up C drive, you can prevent performance issues and create more space for necessary files. 

You can also increase your SSD’s lifespan if you use one. This guide will show you how to get more space and answer questions like, “What files can I delete from C drive?”

Let’s begin. 

How to Free Up Space on C Drive

If you want to know how to clear space on C drive, follow the steps below.

It’s generally a good idea not to exceed 70% of your total hard drive capacity, whether a traditional hard disk drive (HDD) or a solid-state drive (SSD). 

This can help to reduce wear and tear, prevent performance problems, prevent over-provisioning in SSDs, and more.

For example, when a drive is almost full, it performs more write operations because of temporary files, installations, and updates.

Excessive writes can decrease the drive’s lifespan by causing faster wear. So, keep it below 70% for optimal performance and a longer lifespan.

Method 1: delete temporary files on Windows 10

You can use the temporary files settings to delete unnecessary files to free up your disk space quickly. 

These include upgrade logs, error reports, installation leftovers, temporary Windows installation files, etc.

Here’s how to delete temporary files: 

  • Press Windows + Ito open Settings 
  • Click onSystem and selectStorage.” 
  • ClickTemporary files.” 
Storage local disk temporary files
  • Check the temporary files to see what you want to delete, like the recycle bin, temporary files, Windows update cleaner, etc. After everything, click Remove files to delete the unnecessary files. 
Remove temporary files

That’s how to clear up space on the C drive by deleting temporary files. 

Related: How to Delete Temporary Files from Windows 10 PCs 

Method 2: Enable Storage Sense

Another way to learn how to free up space on the C drive on Windows 10 is to use Storage Sense. It’s a built-in feature that allows you to free up space when your drive C is running low. 

The Storage Sense removes the app files, recycle bin, download files, and converts synced OneDrive files to online-only content.

Here’s how to free up space on C drive using Storage Space: 

  • Press Windows + I to open Settings 
  • Click on System and select Storage.” 
  • ClickConfigure Storage Sense or run it nowunder “Storage.”
Configure Storage Sense
  • Enable Storage Senseand check the Delete temporary files that my apps aren’t using” option
  • Choose when to automatically run Storage Sense, from “Every day” to “During low free disk space.”
Configure storage sense or run it now
  • Use the drop-down menu under Locally available cloud contentto set the duration for which OneDrive synchronized content on the device becomes online-only.
This is a feature in OneDrive Files On-Demand that lets you use File Explorer to access your documents, photos, videos, and other files without syncing them to save space. You can use it to restrict file access to the cloud when the device’s storage is running low. You can still see your files, but they will only download when needed.  If your OneDrive isn’t syncing, check this guide: How to Fix OneDrive Not Syncing on a Windows PC?
  • Click “Remove” when done. 
If you want to delete more files, use the “1 day” option. However, remember that the “Downloads” folder may contain essential files. 

So, it’s advisable to back up your data before proceeding. Here’s a guide to back up your files: How to Back Up and Restore the Windows 10 Registry 

Related: How to turn off Storage Sense in Windows 10 

Method 3: Disable hibernate.

Hibernate is a semi-shutdown mode that helps speed up Windows startup. It’s an alternative to completely shutting down your computer.

If you want to know how to clear space on the C drive, you can switch off the hibernation feature to get more disk space. Here’s why. 

While hibernating, your computer uses disk space to store a snapshot of your drivers and files. You can save disk space if you don’t need a fast startup

That’s because the hiberfil.sys files can take up large amounts of drive space. Here’s how to disable the hibernation feature: 

  • Click the Start button, type Command Prompt,” and select Run as an Administrator.”
  • Type powercfg /hibernate off into the Command Prompt window and press Enter.” 
Command Prompt hibernate off

If you want to enable the feature again, follow the above steps and enter the command “powercfg /hibernate.”

Related: Disable and Enable Hibernation on Windows 10 and 11 

Method 4: Run disk cleanup.

Disk Cleanup is a built-in tool in Windows designed to remove unnecessary files from your computer.

Here’s how to free up space on C drive Windows 10 using Disk Cleanup:

  • Open File Explorer 
  • Click This PC,” right-click on drive C or your primary drive, and select Properties.”
  • ClickDisk Cleanup.” 
  • ClickClean up system filesand check the items you want to delete. 
Windows Disk Cleanup
  • Click “OK” to delete the files. 

Related: How to Save Disk Space in Windows 10 

Method 5: Uninstalled unneeded programs.

If you have programs or applications you don’t need, you can delete them to free up space. Too many programs can slow down your PC, which can decrease productivity. 

Also, your computer may have preinstalled bloatware, which could be taking up unnecessary space. Here’s how to find programs taking up space and how to uninstall them: 

  •  PressWindows logo + Ito open the Settings window
  • ClickPrograms,” select Apps & features,” and select sort by size.
  • Look for programs that take up much space and click Uninstall.” 
Apps and features uninstall
If you have many programs or apps, use the search box to find the apps you want to delete faster. 

Method 6: Change recycle bin settings.

When you delete files, it goes into the recycle bin. If you don’t delete the files in the recycle bin, it’ll still take up space on your drive.

However, you can change its settings to create more space besides deleting files from the recycle bin.

10% of the available space in Windows 10 is reserved for deleted files. The system automatically deletes files, beginning with the oldest, when this limit is reached.

You can change the space allocated to the recycle bin to free up space. 

Here’s how to do it: 

  • Right-click on the recycle bin and select Properties.” 
  • If you have multiple partitions, select the location to configure
  • Select Custom sizeunder Settings for selected location.” 
  • Enter the maximum drive space you want to use in theMaximum size (MB)section. 
  • Click Applyand selectOKto apply the changes. 
Recycle Bin Properties

If you want to skip the recycle bin and permanently delete files from the drive, check the Don’t move files to the Recycle Bin. Remove files immediately when deleted option.

If you want to know how to free up space on the C drive, change the recycle bin settings to save space. 

Method 7: use NTFS compression to free up space.

The NT File System (NTFS) in Windows 10 has an integrated compression feature. It reduces the amount of storage current files use while maintaining regular access.

You can compress folders, individual files, or the entire drive.

Compressing your data can negatively affect your system performance because it constantly compresses and decompresses data. So use this option only if your hardware is capable and you have no other options.

Here’s how to enable NTFS compression: 

  • Open File Explorer
  • Search for the folder you want to compress, right-click on it, and select Properties.”
  • Click Advanced.” 
App properties
  • CheckCompress contents to save disk space under the Compress or Encrypt attributes section, and click OK.”
compress contents to save disk space
  • ClickApplyand select Apply changes to this folder, subfolders, and files.”
  • Click the “OK” button to begin compressing. 

The steps above focus on folders. But you can use the same steps for individual files. If you want to disable the NFTS compression, use the same instructions. 

Just make sure to uncheckCompress contents to save disk spaceunder the Compress or Encrypt attributes.”

How to compress an entire drive

Here’s how to enable NTFS compression for your drive: 

  • Open File Explorer.
  • Click This PC.”
  • Right-click on the device you want to compress under the Devices and drivessection and select Properties.”
  • Check “Compress this drive to save disk space.”
compress this drive to save disk space
  • Click the Apply button.
  • Select Apply changes to drive (drive letter), subfolders, and files.” 
  • Click the OK button.

If you want to disable the feature, use the same steps and just uncheck the Compress this drive to save disk space option.

Related: How to Fix NTFS.sys Failed BSOD on Windows 7 and 10?

Warnings: What Can I Delete from My Computer?

Even though freeing up space on your PC can improve its performance, you must be careful with some items you delete.

Deleting essential files can cause some apps to malfunction, lose data, or cause your PC to be unstable. Here are some items you shouldn’t delete:

1. System Files

The Windows operating system files are necessary for properly operating your computer. If you remove these, your computer may become unresponsive or unstable.

2. Program Files

Don’t delete folders with installed programs because it can cause some apps to malfunction or stop working entirely.

3. User Accounts Files

Deleting files linked with user accounts, including system folders and user profiles, can cause data loss and affect your computer’s stability. 

4. Windows Registry Entries

Changing or removing registry entries may seriously impair the system’s functionality. As with everything related to the Windows Registry, always proceed with caution!

If you want the safest way to clean your registry, consider Auslogics BoostSpeed.

The program has a Registry Cleaner feature that efficiently cleans, repairs, and optimizes your Windows registry to delete errors and crashes. Besides giving you full control, BoostSpeed uses advanced algorithms to ensure you don’t delete necessary files. Plus, the program helps to improve your PC’s overall performance.

Learn more: Speed Up Slow Computer: Auslogics BoostSpeed 13

You now have the answer to the question, “What files can I delete from C drive?” Besides the above points, you can delete large media files like videos, pictures, etc. 

You can also delete applications you don’t use, temporary files, and old downloads. 


If you want to know how to free up space on C drive, follow the points discussed in this guide.

You can effectively remove unnecessary files, avoid performance problems, and maximize your computer’s storage using the suggested methods.

Remember to be cautious and not use more than 70% of your hard drive’s capacity for best results.

If you have any questions or ideas to share, leave them in the comments below! Let’s discuss how to improve Windows 10 system performance and create more space.


How often you run a disk cleanup depends on how you use your computer and your storage needs. However, as a general guideline, it’s advisable to perform a disk cleanup once a month or every few months. You can use Auslogics Deep Disk Cleaner to remove unnecessary files and ensure you don’t delete crucial ones. 

Yes. You can disable hibernation on your PC to save disk space. The hibernation feature allows you to save the computer’s current state to the hard drive before shutting down. If you don’t need it or want to save disk space, you can disable it. To disable it, open the Control Panel, select Power Options, and select “Change plan settings.” There, you can turn off the hibernation feature.
Generally, yes, it’s safe to use third-party disk cleanup tools. However, you must be careful when choosing the tools because you can download malicious software. So, we recommend reputable third-party tools like Auslogics BoostSpeed (use the disk cleaner features), CCleaner, CleanMyPC, etc. 
Ideally, you can allocate 5–10% of your disk space for System Restore. This helps to provide enough space for system restore points without consuming too much space. 
Using built-in tools is better for managing temporary files than deleting them manually. You can use the Windows Disk Cleanup tool to delete temporary files without deleting crucial system data. You can also remove temporary files using third-party tools like Auslogics BoostSpeed, BitRaser File Eraser, and CCleaner.