Disk space matters a lot, if you are running short of disk space then its important that you should consider removing unnecessary files, programs, and features, so as to avoid consuming more space. Let me share some common ways to free up space in Windows 7 without using any third party tool.
Run Disk Clean Up
This is the first thing you should do to get plenty of disk space free, right click the drive, choose Properties and hit the Disk Cleanup button, you will free up a lot of space in this way, as windows removes lots of files which are stored in the temporary location. Are you a Firefox user? Try adding Clear Firefox Cache option in Disk Clean Utility.
Remove Unwanted Programs
Please have a look at your installed programs, you might find many in the list which are no longer needed or they don’t work according to your needs, remove such programs.
Disable Page File
The page file works in communication with the virtual memory and if the page file is enabled then some of your disk space is being consumed. So if you don’t have much hard drive or you are running short of disk space then it is better to disable the Page File.
In order to disable the page file, Right click Computer and choose Properties, then choose Advanced System Settings, the System Properties dialogue box will be displayed. Once it is loaded, click the Settings button.
In the Performance Options Dialogue box, click the Advanced tab and then click the Change button under the Virtual Memory option.
Now in the Virtual Memory dialogue box, uncheck the Automatically manage paging file size for all drives option, and choose No Page option.
Disable System Restore
System Restore is a very useful feature of windows, but it consumes some space according to your system settings and installed programs. On a low disk space system, it is better to keep this feature disabled. You can read the full details about disabling System Restore here.
The Hibernate feature is enabled by default in Windows 7, you can find it located with the Shutdown option.
If hibernate is enabled, then you will find the Hiberfil.sy file present in the system which consumes a lot of space, even up to 1GB. So if you are not using the Windows Hibernate feature, then its always better to disable it. The simplest way to disable hibernate is to open the command prompt and run the following command.
powercfg -h off
Remove Unwanted Windows Features
Microsoft installs few features by default. But if you are an average computer user, there is a high chance that you don’t need most of the extra features. You can disable the components that you don’t need, thus saving a large amount of disk space.
In the screenshot below you can see that both Games and Internet Explorer 8 are disabled to save disk space and speed up the computer. To learn more about it, go here.
That’s it, we have listed some common ways to free up disk space on your Windows 7 computer. These tips are also applicable in Windows Vista as well. If you know of any other way, feel free to share it. Enjoy!
Editor’s Notes: I would never recommend disabling System Restore and Page File since both are critical for the system. You can however follow the other four steps to free up the disk space. Disabling System Restore and Page File is only for those users who are in urgent need to free up disk space, but they should later enable them both back.