What is filling up my C: drive and how can I stop it?

Alan Trinder August 19, 2012
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I have read a number of replies on similar problems but none seem to really help me. My C: drive is being used up. Initially it had 50gb, I have had to add a further 20gb by moving partitions and it has managed to fill that space as well. I run Ccleaner and Glary utilities regularly. Windows says it does not need defragging.
My questions are;
What is filling the space?
How do I get rid of it?
How to stop it in the future?

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  1. binary man
    August 24, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    You should run Directory Report in administrator mode
    It will show you the size of all files/folders - including hidden ones
    This is something that other disk scanning programs cannot do

  2. Alan Trinder
    August 22, 2012 at 1:24 am

    Hi all, many thanks for the lots of help you have given me.
    The problem isn't system restore, that is disabled. I have now downloaded a very useful suit from Ashampoo called Winoptimiser. this includes a very simple hibernation fix that gave me back 2gb so I am getting there, my thanks to Avish Kansakar for that lead.
    I feel this will keep me largely out of the wood. I am left with one main puzzle, I use a programme called ACDSee Pro 5 for filing my photos. It is a great programme, very quick. The photos are on volume D but there seems to be about 15gb of thumbnails etc it has created on the c drive so any hints on this welcome

    • Avish Kansakar
      August 22, 2012 at 8:20 am

      You are welcome. I used to use the acdsee program but that was years ago. I would suggest you delete those thumbs on c drive and maybe use a program called picassa. Its a photo viewer/filer and you can do some editing on it as well. Give it a try in my opinion.

  3. ReĆ½ Aetar
    August 21, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    disable system restore (you will get an option to delete all check points ,delete them) then again re enable it

  4. Justin Pot
    August 20, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    These tools might help you track down what's eating all of your space:


    If you're using Windows 7, however, a 50 GB drive will fill up quickly. Sad but true.

    August 20, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    Use Space Sniffer.....!

  6. rimaz nazeer
    August 20, 2012 at 5:53 am

    Use Space Sniffer to find out what's filling up and remove all the things like what you don't need,like hiberfil.sys...etc http://www.uderzo.it/main_products/space_sniffer/
    Its Free

    System restore uses up a lot of space and so does the paging file,do a DiskCleanup

    Start -> All Programs ->Accessories -> System Tools -> Disk Cleanup.
    Disable System restore if its of no use to you or limit the amount of space that has been allotted

    You could also bring down the size of the paging file by limiting its allocation

    And also regularly defrag the drive if you want to prevent it in the future

    A good Defrag Software is : http://www.iobit.com/iobitsmartdefrag.html

    Also Clean your Pc Regularly using CC CLeaner : http://www.piriform.com/CCLEANER

    Hope it helps

  7. Alan Trinder
    August 20, 2012 at 2:58 am

    WinDirStat gives me this
    68.3 GB C:\
    19.0 GB C:\Windows
    0 C:\Western Digital
    14.7 GB C:\Users
    34 Bytes C:\templenovo
    77.7 MB C:\System Volume Information
    141.2 MB C:\Recovery
    13.5 GB C:\ProgramData
    15.0 GB C:\Program Files
    0 C:\PerfLogs
    407.0 MB C:\MSOCache
    13.9 KB C:\MININT
    0 C:\logs
    336.5 MB C:\Drivers
    0 C:\Documents and Settings
    13.9 MB C:\Boot
    5.3 GB C:\
    15.9 MB C:\$Recycle.Bin

  8. Alan Trinder
    August 20, 2012 at 1:30 am

    Hi all, with respect to system restore, if I go to this via control panel i see the message "no restore points have been created on your computer system drive" I take it this means it is not system restore?

  9. Avish Kansakar
    August 19, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    There is this program called Ashampoo WinOptimizer. It has a useful tool built into in called the drive space explorer. Will show you exactly which folders and files are taking up the space. I found this tool much more easier to use than any other out there and the results it gives out is easy to read as well.

    • Avish Kansakar
      August 19, 2012 at 7:06 pm

      I forgot to mention the software is not free, however you can evaluate it for 30 days.

    • Alan Trinder
      August 22, 2012 at 1:10 am

      thanks, very helpful download.

  10. Rani
    August 19, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    Turn off hibernation. That'll free up a bit of memory from your hard drive. Depends on your ram too. If you have like 6gb of ram, then turning off hibernation will free up to about 6gb of ram. If you have 16gb of ram, it'll free up to 16gb of memory. Another thing you could do is get yourself another hard drive (Internal or external) and move all your music, videos, and such to that hard drive.

  11. sam
    August 19, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    most likely just like most of them said, it's the system restore, i have seen the system restore taking all Hard drive space in windows 7, just disable it. but make sure you have a backup of your system

  12. Tony
    August 19, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    Well, you can install Tree Size Free and scan your C drive with it, and tell us what's taking up all that room.

  13. Ananth
    August 19, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    you can choose to use Wise Disk cleaner (or) Fcleaner (or) iolo System Mechanic to clean a big problems. It will removed downloaded unwanted windows updates and also do full program check for unwanted extension,temp files and also junks.

  14. Ryan
    August 19, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    Use spacesniffer, note usage in temp folders and check out old dlls (http://superuser.com/questions/330286/safely-remove-files-from-windows-7-system-folders)

  15. Virgil F?tu
    August 19, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    Defragging is one thing, cleaning junk files is another.
    First tip for you....use Revo uninstaller instead of the windows built in.It will remove all files and regitry entries related to the app being uninstalled.

  16. Alan Wade
    August 19, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    Three things to check:
    1) Pagefile size, consider moving it to another partition.
    2) Recycle Bin allocation, reduce the 'C' drive allocation.
    3) System Restore allocation, re4duce it to a more reasonable size.

  17. Hani Zureikat
    August 19, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    1st you need to find out what is filling your drive before deleting it, defragging has nothing to do with what you want, there are two ways to do it, 1. use windows search and ask windows to search for files bigger than 50MB, arrange the result by size. 2. you could use a tool like disk space fan, I think there is still a free version but don't upgrade it, it will show you your drive folders as pie-chart, you click on the biggest slice and it will show you another pie-chart for the sub-folders, you keep doing that and you will find out what folders has the biggest size and you can deal with them as you wish or at least know why. tip: sometimes video recording programs hide or store uncompressed video files inside windows directory, recording a couple of minutes of video with no compression could total to many GBs and eat your drive space in minutes, you need to find that folder and delete things, camStudio did that to me.

  18. YoshieMaster
    August 19, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    Use WinDirStat to easily see what files are taking up the most space.

  19. Emmanuel
    August 19, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    Try tuneup utilities to clean up extra space taken by windows restore files.

  20. Brainbug2k
    August 19, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Chrome is a big resource hog but you mentioned you use CCleaner so that's out. If you use hibernation mode that can chew up a LOT of drive space. You'll see the file as 'hiberfil.sys'.

    You can delete that file safely by opening a command prompt and issuing the following commands:
    powercfg -h off
    powercfg -h on

    You should now have reclaimed several gigs of drive space.

    Source: http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/819-hibernate-enable-disable.html

  21. Craig Says
    August 19, 2012 at 1:36 pm
  22. Mike
    August 19, 2012 at 9:55 am

    I can't recommend deleting any file in the user folder unless you are certain they are left-overs. Otherwise you will most likely end up having another problem.

    Are you using some media manager e.g. iTunes? Maybe it is set to copy all music and videos into it's library folder. In that case you could move the Media folder or the entire Library to another partition.

    Chrome also installs itself into the user folder and stores it's data there. Unless you regularly clean it's cache it will most likely fill up fast:
    1. click on the wrench symbol
    2. select tools > clear browsing data
    3. at best select "the beginning of time" and check at least "clear browsing history" and "empty cache"

    Other then that I suggest to run a tool like WinDirStat to see where your space is exactly used up

    In general I believe 50GB is borderline for the C-drive in Windows 7. The Windows folder itself can easily get up to 20GB, adding the Programs directory with all the software installed and the user data you will keep running out of space over and over.

    Disable hibernation (will free up several GB depending on your amount of RAM)

    Move the Paging file to another partition

  23. ha14
    August 19, 2012 at 7:28 am

    scan you hard drive to see which are the biggest files
    then you can take the necessary action

    some space are taken by hibernation file

    • Ric
      January 27, 2013 at 7:51 am

      ty so f***ing much i cant describe how thankful i im right now tree size fix my HD space Ive been struggling to find something to fix that prob. for years and its all thx to you

  24. Bruce Epper
    August 19, 2012 at 6:27 am

    The biggest chunk of space consumption is most likely System Restore. If your system is running reliably, you should be able to safely remove all but the latest restore point from your system using CCleaner.

    • Alan Trinder
      August 19, 2012 at 10:55 am

      Hi Bruce, ccleaner doesn't list anything in system restore

      • Rick van Dijk
        August 19, 2012 at 1:51 pm

        Or just disable system restore, enable it again and make sure it makes a new restore point :)

      • GrrGrrr
        August 19, 2012 at 6:19 pm

        somehow CCleaner does not lists all the system restore points.
        You have to manually disable system restore, then enable it back and create a new restore point.

        also adjust the space for system restore.

  25. josemon maliakal
    August 19, 2012 at 6:04 am

    The best thing you can do is use some disk space analyzers to know what data is inside that then you can clean up them if unnecessary check this out

  26. sachiny009
    August 19, 2012 at 5:42 am

    Since you are using windows 7 ultimate as your OS.....it uses a large amount of space for its windows installation and moreover every time you update the size of windows folder increases....you need to check for unwanted programs and uninstall all your unwanted programs or which you rarely use....also i recommend that you keep your my documents downloads and other similar folders as well as your desktop to a bare minimum as these will use up your c drive space

    • Alan Trinder
      August 19, 2012 at 6:10 am

      Thanks for that, I see my users folder has a huge amount of files/space, can these be deleted.
      i keep all working documents, photos, videos, on a d or e partition and back the lot up onto a 1tb drive.

      • sachiny009
        August 19, 2012 at 6:18 am

        glad could be of help..if this has solved your query mark the question as resolved......

      • Ravi Lamontagne
        August 19, 2012 at 1:37 pm

        if you don't need them then yes u can delete them. also if u have a web server like apache or a program like xampp to test ur websites(that is if u test websites) that may take up some space as well.

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