Managing Disk Space on Windows

Disk Space limitations should be a thing of the past; they’re not. On this topic, I’ll cover out how you can cleanup your SSD and free up that precious space you need for downloading games (cause like, what else do you use a SSD for?).

Windows Disk Cleanup Utility

The first and foremost utility at your disposal is Disk Cleanup, or cleanmgr.exe. Open up the utility, and identify the drive you wish to scan for space:


From the tool, you will be able to select the following types of files to remove:

  1. Download Program Files;
  2. Temporary Internet Files;
  3. Offline Webpages;
  4. System Created Windows Error Reporting;
  5. DirecX Shared Cache;
  6. Delivery Optimization Files;
  7. Recycle Bin;
  8. Temporary Files and;
  9. Thumbnails.

All these files are temporary system files, or generated files, that are not needed by the system – they’re safe to mark for deletion.

Note: If you have an excessive (Greater than 10GB) System Created Windows Error Reporting files, you could be suffering the Windows bug documented here.

Cleaning Temporary Files

Understandably, cleanmgr should clear these files out, but let’s go ahead and be extra sure! Open up Command Prompt or PowerShell as admin:

cd %tmp%
takeown /f *
del *.* /f

Assuming you have ownership of the files and administrative rights, this should delete all files not in use, and leave the rest pending reboot.

$tempfolders = @("C:\Windows\Temp\*", "C:\Windows\Prefetch\*", "C:\Documents and Settings\*\Local Settings\temp\*", "C:\Users\*\Appdata\Local\Temp\*")
remove-Item $tempfolders -force -recurse

That’s how you could do it in Powershell, if you prefer it.

Desperate for space?

Uh I know, they’re so clingy.

Things such as iOS Backups and OST files can be a large portion of your issue, plus your WinSxS folder.

The official method to removing the WinSxS files are as follows:

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search. (If you’re using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, and then click Search.)
  2. Enter Control Panel in the search box, and then select Control Panel.
  3. Select System and Security, and then select Schedule tasks under Administrative Tools.
  4. Select the arrow next to Task Scheduler Library, select Microsoft, select Windows, and then select Servicing.
  5. Select StartComponentCleanup, and then select Run under Selected item.

However, if you’re not sure what’s responsible for the file size, I would recommend you install WinDirStat.