How can I reduce the space Windows 7 takes up on my hard drive?

Amit Kashyap October 3, 2010
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I got a new laptop few months back. It is Intel T4400 – 1 GB RAM,160 GB Hdd. It had Windows 7 preloaded and I was a Windows XP user and so was easily impressed by the new look Windows 7.

Now I learned about Linux and dual booting with Windows 7. I went about implementing it. I formatted my hard drive and kept a 16 GB partition for my Windows 7 as advised by Microsoft.

I installed Windows 7 Professional. After installation on first boot I saw that it had take up some 4 GB space. I installed a few apps and now I have only 1 GB of space left. I get low disk space errors and my Windows 7 freezes. On examining I found that 3 folders on my Windows partition were the space hogs. 1) System 32 2) AppData 3) Winsxs. Winsxs is a whooping 8 GB + folder.

How do I optimize these three folders to have a better experience? Please guide as I don’t want to mess up by deleting files in these folders as I don’t know their implications

  1. Sethumadhavan
    March 13, 2012 at 7:52 am

    After installing windows 7, I found that the total space is reduced by 11GB
    But windows files/folders occupy 8.5 GB .Pl help

  2. vaibhav gajur
    October 5, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    Thanks for this good knowledge even I had read VSS from some other source but I did not know about the space that took when the hibernate option is ON. And when I turned this option OFF  I did not know exact free space I had got but something around I saved upto 1to2 GB space.

  3. Alexandra Lawrenz
    October 19, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    Limited disk space is still a major problem for PC users. Luckily, there are a number of ways to get rid of tons of gigabytes of unnecessary data on your hard disk, like temporary files, ancient backups, age-old system restore points and other huge data hogs. Once you remove that clutter, you’ll be able to enjoy full performance and more storage space for your programs or personal files. You can try using the “hidden” Windows Disk Cleanup tool, cleaning up third-party apps, getting of Windows features you don’t need and uninstalling programs you don’t use. I put together a guide on how to use these tips if you need more information:

  4. Anonymous
    October 3, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    HiWell its not recommended to reduce windows os size unless to have an expert that can prepare for you a shrinked windows os 7 cd.You can or instance delete restore points, or just disable that function. But unfortunately this Hibernate feature in Windows Seven and Windows Vista takes upto 8 Giga bites (GB) in your hard disk. Click Start, and then click Run. Then in the open box, type ” cmd ” without quotes and then click OK.From an administrative command prompt, type “powercfg -h off” to get that space back.So this trick will help you to increase up to 8GB hard disk space.To determine how much disk space System Restore is using, the following command can be used:vssadmin list shadowstorageFor the above command to run you must use elevated privileges:1 – Click on the Start menu then click All Programs / Accessories.2 – Right Click on the Command Prompt option and from the drop down menu click on the Run as Administrator option.3 – At the command prompt type:vssadmin list shadowstorage and press EnterAfter the vssadmin has executed you will see results similar to the following:Used Shadow Copy Storage space: 250 MBAllocated Shadow Copy Storage space: 400 MBMaximum Shadow Copy Storage space: 2.50 GBThe output above shows space used on the C: drive by System Restore is 250 MB.The maximum space allocated for System restore is 2.092 GBTo view the number of restore points you currently have on your Computer run the following commandvssadmin list shadowsNext, to reduce the allocated space used by Vista's System Restore, use the following command:vssadmin resize shadowstorage /on=[OnVolumeSpec:] /for=[ForVolumeSpec:] /maxsize=[MaxSizeSpec]Where:OnVolumeSpec: is the drive letter, for examaple CForVolumeSpec: is the drive letter, for example C MaxSizeSpec: is the maximum size you want System Restore to use, example 1GBExample: vssadmin resize shadowstorage /On=C: /For=C: /Maxsize=1GBWhen decreasing the space allocated to System Restore, you will loose the earlier system restore points. The advantage is gaining extra free space. If you are concerned with losing the previous restore points, wait until you do not need them anymore before reducing the allocated space.

    read more on WinSxS folder

    you can try this guide
    Windows 7 Safe WinSxS Removal With Vlite