Do you feel that Windows 10 is starting to run out of steam and the hard drive is running out of space? Here is how to earn several tens of GB, only using Windows tools and without installing any superfluous program.
You’ve probably noticed it: over the course of updates and application installations, Windows 10 keeps getting heavier. In a few months, it is not exceptional to see the OS “enrich” with several tens Go. So much so that free hard drive or SSD space is shrinking, that you can run out of space on a small configuration, and that the system sometimes experiences slowdowns for no reason.
Sure, there are dozens of softwares out there that clean the hard drive and the system, but not all of them have a very good reputation. Some are sometimes ineffective (but make you believe the opposite by showing you biased statistics), sometimes you install adware without warning. Even the highly regarded CCleaner has had a bad time, he who was accused in 2018 of spying on his users.
On our side, to carry out our major cleaning operation, we have decided not to use any additional software. Especially since, basic, Windows 10 has everything necessary to effectively clean the hard drive. It will be a shame to do without. Therefore, say goodbye to obsolete, unused files and old Windows installations. Here’s how to earn several tens of GB and clean up your hard drive.
- We will not insult you by advising you to empty your Trash, it is certain that you have already known how to do it for ages. On the other hand, Windows 10 benefits from an important novelty, next to which many users pass. The system embeds a tool allowing you to erase all unnecessary files in a few clicks. To access it, click on the start menu, then select the icon Settings (the one symbolized by a toothed wheel). In the window that appears, go to the option System, then click Storage.
- Meeting on Temporary files. There, you should find that a significant amount of data is taking up your hard drive, especially if you have never run the Storage Assistant before. First, you should see a section titled Previous Windows installation (s). This space can occupy several tens of GB on the hard drive, as shown in the capture below. It can come from an older version of the system (Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1) or from a previous installation of Windows 10.
Windows 10 benefits from a major update that is now annual, but keeps on the disk all the files necessary to uninstall this same update in the event of a problem. Therefore, it keeps 4 or 5 GB of files corresponding to the old installation of Windows 10. Finally, last case: you are part of the Windows Insider program, which consists of testing all beta versions of Windows 10. Again, all previous editions are kept, unless you decide otherwise. And it can go fast! In any case, and if you judge the current version of Windows 10 to be sufficiently stable, you can delete all these files, in order to save space on your hard drive. You can therefore check the Previous Windows installation (s) section.
- We do not recommend that you check the Downloads section, especially if you are the type to use the corresponding folder to store all the programs, documents or photos that you are sent. This section is brought to disappear during a next update of Windows 10. However, you can check the options Delivery optimization files, as well as Windows Upgrade Log Files.
- The last sections Miniatures, Temporary Internet files, DirectX Shader Cache and Windows Error Reporting and Comments and diagnostics can also be checked, but they shouldn’t save you a huge amount of hard drive space. Once all these sections have been checked, go back to the top of the Temporary Files window, then click on Delete files. After a few seconds, you should already have gained several GB on the hard drive.
1. As soon as it is set up, Windows 10 installs more than twenty games and applications which you do not necessarily need. In some cases, this may be a simple shortcut, not the entire application, which only takes 16KB. But in other cases, it’s the setup file, or even the full app, that Windows 10 saved. Bubble Witch 3 Saga, Candy Crush Soda Saga, Disney magic kingdoms… What do you do with it? Always from the module Settings > System > Storage, click on Applications and Features (you can also go to this same section by selecting the functions Settings > Applications).
You should see a list of all the apps that you installed yourself, but also those that were installed when you installed Windows 10. Select the ones you want to delete, click on Uninstall, and everything is done. Note that you can categorize these same apps by size rather than by name, which makes it easier to spot the most hungry.
- You can have Windows automatically erase certain files on a regular basis. Windows 10 has its own self-cleaning system. To do this, go back to Settings > System > Storage. Click on Configure Storage Assistant or run it now.
- Make sure the Storage Assistant is set to Enabled. In the game Run the Storage Assistant, you can determine when it should be launched: either when you run out of space on your hard drive, or at regular intervals (daily, weekly or monthly).
- In the Temporary files section, you can also set how often these same files are deleted. Daily deletion may not be useful, but you can at least set it to 14 days.
- Finally, still from the settings of the Storage Assistant, you also have the option of adjusting the space allocated to OneDrive on your hard drive. If some files are never viewed locally, you can have them erased from the hard drive, while still being kept online. From the OneDrive function of the Assistant, you can set the frequency of their local deletion (every day, every 14 days, every 30 days or every 60 days). Finally, if you really do not find any use for OneDrive, know that you can also easily deactivate it, or even uninstall it.