6 ways to reduce disk usage on Window 7

Are you lacking valuable disk space? Don’t want to, or maybe you cannot, buy more?

There are some magic tricks that you can pull out of your magic memory hat to reduce the disk usage. Here are some of these tricks that you can do…

  • Uninstalling applications
  • Reducing the size of the winsxs folder
  • Reducing the size of the Pagefile.sys file
  • Reducing the size of the Hyberfile.sys file
  • Reducing the size of the windows\installer folder
  • Performing some good old fashioned disk grooming

Keep on reading to to see how to do it…

What take up so much space?

First of all, you need to understand what take up space on your disk. There are many applications that can be used for this but I down loaded and used a trail version of FolderSizes to get an understanding which folders and files that was using up the most disk space.

Uninstall applications

First of all, uninstalling all applications that you don’t use will free up some space. It should be noted that it is not only the size of the actual application that matters. Some applications uses a lot of disk space to save data. Take this into consideration when uninstalling applications.

As an example, if you are using an application like Dropbox by uninstallning it and then removing the remaining Dropbox folder you can save a lot of valuable disk space.

Winsxs

Winsxs stands for windows side-by-side and is Windows attempt to handle the so called dll-hell.

Googling winsxs I found some good tips (here and here) on reducing the size of the winsxs folder.

By running the following command in a command prompt I managed to reduce the size by almost 5 GB!

dism /online /cleanup-image /spsuperseded

Pagefile.sys

The pagefile.sys is Windows virtual memory swap file. It seems like this file is configured by default to be as large as your RAM. So, reducing the size of the pagefile.sys can save you a lot of space. Here is one guide on how to do it.

Hyberfile.sys

The hyberfile.sys is used by Windows to store the the current state (memory) of the PC in hybernate mode. Once again, a quick google resulted in a trick to save some more disk space.

Executing the following command makes magic happen and some more disk space is saved.

powercfg -h off

Windows\Installer folder

The windows\installer folder is used by (some) applications to store files for uninstallation.

Googeling on how to reduce the size of the windows\installer folder for windows 7 resulted in number of interesting tips.

I ended up using the disk cleanup utility.

By running the following command you can remove the windows installer ”baseline cache”.

rmdir /q /s %WINDIR%\Installer\$PatchCache$

Defraggler & CCleaner

Running both ccleaner and defraggler resulted in freeing up 1-2 GB or so.

Summary

In total, performing all these activities resulted in reducing the used size by more then 36 GB. Not to bad! Most of this came from uninstalling dropbox and similar data intense applications. But still a lot of space where also saved by performing system optimizations.

What do you think? How do you manage your disk space? Let’s us know and leave a comment!

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