Free Hard Drive Space on Windows 10 Using Storage Settings

Even in a world of ever increasing storage options, hard drive space is still a precious commodity. This is particularly true in space-limited tablets or if you opted for a faster, but significantly smaller, solid-state drive. If you’re pushing the boundaries of your hard drive, it’s time to consider cleaning it up. The first step in doing so in finding out what’s hogging up all your space. Fortunately, Windows 10 includes a handy Storage setting that lets you do just that.

Accessing Storage Settings

1. Click Settings from the Start menu.

2. Click System from the Settings window.

3. Select the Storage tab from the left pane and click the hard drive you wish you access under the Storage heading. In most cases, this will be This PC (C:). This entry also displays the drive size and amount of space used, but you can obtain the same information using File Explorer.

4. Look at the list to see a categorical and color-coordinated breakdown of what’s eating up your hard drive space. Click an entry to see additional information. Depending on your selection, File Explorer might open to view files or you might arrive at a new window that displays a more comprehensive breakdown.

As examples, clicking System and Reserved displays a breakdown by size for system files, virtual memory, hibernation files and system restore and clicking Apps and Games opens a display to show the space allocated to each program.

5. View the breakdown to see what consumes the most space. In the list of apps and games, you can also enter app names, sort the list or choose a different drive. By knowing which nonessential program consumes the most space, you can estimate how much space you’ll recover by uninstalling the program and deleting associated files; the option to uninstall a program appears by selecting it from the list.