Problem: You are using a small SSD and wish to shrink the environment in order to get back more discspace but couldn´t delete any important files. What can you remove in order to get back some disc space?
Be carefully with the tips mentioned here. You might serious damage your OS and/or might put more read/write traffic to your SSD!
Solution 1: Run Disk Cleanup
This one is self-explanatory and should be obvious. Simply go to the start menu, type “disk cleanup”, start that program, and select anything that is taking up a lot of space and/or you don’t mind deleting.
You can also press on “Cleanup System files” to remove some windows OS files which might no longer be needed.
If you like you can preconfigure disk cleanup via “cleanmgr /dc /sageset: 1” in a CMD box
Solution 2: Disable tumbnail caching
Windows keeps a thumbnail cache in place on the disk (in the user profile). You can disable that feature in order
a.) in the run comand enter gpedit.msc
b.) switch to “User Configuration” -> “Administrative Templates” -> “Windows Components” -> “Windows Explorer” -> “Turn off Caching of thumbnail pictures”
c.) Set the option to “enabled”
Solution 3: Disable the hibernate
If you use a desktop PC for example then you might never use the hibernate feature and can disable that. Doing that would allow you to delete the hiberfil.sys file which is in the root from your windows PC.
a.) run a CMD with admin rights
b.) enter the following comand and press enter:
powercfg.exe /hibernate off
Solution 4: Turn Off System Protection for a Hard Disk
You might also disable the “System Protection” which store a kind of backup from your files / OS. However if disabled you will not be able to use such features like system restore points.
Solution 5: Remove the Servicepack backup file
Please read “How to cleanup the winsxs folder on Windows 7 (SP1)/ Windows 2008 R2 (SP1)“.
Solution 6: Delete System Backups
go to “Contro Panel” -> “All Control Panel Items” -> “Backup and Restore” and remove non used Windows backup files.
Solution 7: Delete Internet Browser files
Delete the temp. internet browser files in the configuration from your internet browser. Set it also to a lower value e.g. 200 MB.
Solution 8: Install and addon for the Disk Cleanup in oder to delete old Windows updates
Install KB2852386 (Windows 7 32 bit / Windows 7 64 bit) which allows to delete old no longer needed Windows updates from the PC via the buildin “Disk Cleanup” (see solution 1).
Solution 9: Disable WER (Windows Error Reporting)
Please read “Taming the WER (Windows Error Reporting) on Windows 7 / 2008“.
Solution 10: Remove unused drivers
Run a CMD as “run as admin” and then type in
pnputil -e > C:\driverexport.txt
Remove now every driver you do not need via:
pnputil.exe -d OemNUMBER.inf
replace NUMBER with your number from your example. You might try to use -F to force the uninstallation. Once a reboot is done the driver should be gone.
Solution 11: Remove old CBS = “Component-Based Servicing” files
Over time the Microsoft Modul Installer components (for example the System File Checker [=SFC]) might create some log files inside the %windir%\Logs\CBS folder. If you would like to reset that folder content (to save temp. some space), you can stop the “Windows Modules Installer” service (if its running, as it should be on manual). Then delete the %windir%\Logs\CBS folder and start the “Windows Modules Installer”, after that stop it again. This created a new CBS.log inside the %windir%\Logs\CBS. Additional to that you can click on the CBS.log file, then click on Properties and on the General tab, click Advanced. Check “Compress contents to save disk space” here and click on OK.
To be on the safe side create a backup from the folder before you delete it.
Solution 12: Remove old drivers via the DriverStore Explorer
Windows store old drivers as a kind of backup feature so if something went wrong, you can rollback the driver. However over the time there might be multiple no longer needed older versions from your driver. Especially a graphic driver might take a lot of space and is quite often updated. To remove the old driver you can use the DriverStore Explorer from here. Run the small tool as admin, press enummerate, sort the result by vendor and check which old version you can remove. If a driver couldn´t be removed, means you get an error message in the tool, it might be that the driver is still in use!
Some or all of the solutions above require a reboot from your PC!