Free (SSD) disk space on Windows machine

Having a SSD drive is a good thing when we talk about performance, but when we talk about disk space we always want more :) To free some disk space you can:

Run “Disc Cleanup”

Disk Cleanup Running Disc Cleanup will free max 2-3GB of space. This will help you, but won’t solve low disk space problems… After a while this file will be back again and we will need to do the cleanup again and again…

Uninstall unused applications

Uninstall applications Uninstall unused applications is always a good idea. Doing this you will probably gain some free space, possibly you will speed up your PC too.

Turn off/Minimize System Protection

System Protection If you use any other system backup tool you can turn Windows System protection off, otherwise you can set max disk usage for system restore points.

Hibernation and Virtual Memory

If we have a large amount of installed RAM, we should take care of this 2 files:

  • hiberfil.sys
  • pagefile.sys

Each of this 2 files size is the same as the amount of installed RAM.

What is hiberfil.sys file?

From Microsoft Support:

The Hiberfil.sys hidden system file is located in the root folder of the drive where the operating system is installed. The Windows Kernel Power Manager reserves this file when you install Windows. The size of this file is approximately equal to how much random access memory (RAM) is installed on the computer.

If we don’t use hibernation we can remove this file. To do this we need to disable hibernation. This can be easily done with this command in command line (as Administrator):

powercfg -h off

If you want to re-enable hibernation again just run:

powercfg -h on

What is pagefile.sys file?

Again, from Microsoft Support:

RAM is a limited resource, whereas for most practical purposes, virtual memory is unlimited. There can be many processes, and each process has its own 2 GB of private virtual address space. When the memory being used by all the existing processes exceeds the available RAM, the operating system moves pages (4-KB pieces) of one or more virtual address spaces to the computer’s hard disk. This frees that RAM frame for other uses. In Windows systems, these “paged out” pages are stored in one or more files (Pagefile.sys files) in the root of a partition.

We can manualy set the size of pagefile.sys file or we can disable it. To do this:

  • Right click on “Computer
  • Click on “Properties
  • Click on “Advanced system settings
  • Under “Performance” click on button “Settings…
  • Select “Advanced” tab
  • Under “Virtual Memory” click on button “Change…
  • Change the file size or disable it and click on button “Set

Virtual Memory

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