With the introduction of SSDs (solid-state drives) offering loads less space than traditional mechanical hard drives, in conjunction with games and applications requiring more and more disk space, your hard drive can easily become full. Download More Ram - A sub for tech fails. This is a satire tech subreddit, please treat it as such. Aug 11, 2009  No. Your hard drive is a physical piece of hardware in your computer. If you wish to get more space, you will have to install a new hard drive into your computer.

Hard drives are getting larger and larger, but somehow they always seem to fill up. This is even more true if you’re using a solid-state drive (SSD), which offers much less hard drive space than traditional mechanical hard drives.

RELATED:10 Ways To Free Up Disk Space on Your Mac Hard Drive

If you’re hurting for hard drive space, these tricks should help you free up space for important files and programs by removing the unimportant junk cluttering up your hard disk.

Run Disk Cleanup

Windows includes a built-in tool that deletes temporary files and other unimportant data. To access it, right-click one of your hard drives in the Computer window and select Properties.

(Alternatively you can just search for Disk Cleanup in the Start Menu.)

Click the Disk Cleanup button in the disk properties window.

Select the types of files you want to delete and click OK. This includes temporary files, log files, files in your recycle bin, and other unimportant files.

You can also clean up system files, which don’t appear in the list here. Click the Clean up system files button if you also want to delete system files.

After you do, you can click the More Options button and use the Clean up button under System Restore and Shadow Copies to delete system restore data. This button deletes all but the most recent restore point, so ensure your computer is working properly before using it – you won’t be able to use older system restore points.

Uninstall Space-Hungry Applications

Uninstalling programs will free up space, but some programs use very little space. From the Programs and Features control panel, you can click the Size column to see just how much space each program installed on your computer is using. The easiest way to get there is to search for “Uninstall programs” in the Start Menu.

Download More Disk Space

If you don’t see this column, click the options button at the top right corner of the list and select the Details view. Note that this isn’t always accurate – some programs don’t report the amount of space they use. A program may be using a lot of space but may not have any information in its Size column.

RELATED:Should You Use a Third-Party Uninstaller?

You may even want to use a third-party uninstaller like Revo Uninstaller to make sure any leftover files are deleted and not wasting space.

If you’re using Windows 10, you can also open the new PC Settings and go to System -> Apps & features.

This will let you remove either Windows Store apps or regular apps, and should also work on a tablet. You can, of course, still open the regular Uninstall Programs in the old Control Panel if you want.

Analyze Disk Space

RELATED:Analyze and Manage Hard Drive Space with WinDirStat

To find out exactly what is using space on your hard drive, you can use a hard disk analysis program. These applications scan your hard drive and display exactly which files and folders are taking up the most space. We’ve covered the best 10 tools to analyze hard disk space, but if you want one to start with, try WinDirStat (Download from Ninite).

After scanning your system, WinDirStat shows you exactly which folders, file types, and files are using the most space. Ensure you don’t delete any important system files – only delete personal data files. If you see a program’s folder in the Program Files folder using a large amount of space, you can uninstall that program – WinDirStat can tell you just how much space a program is using, even if the Programs and Features Control Panel doesn’t.

Clean Temporary Files

Windows’ Disk Cleanup tool is useful, but it doesn’t delete temporary files used by other programs. For example, it won’t clear Firefox or Chrome browser caches, which can use gigabytes of hard disk space. (Your browser cache uses hard disk space to save you time when accessing websites in the future, but this is little comfort if you need the hard disk space now.)

For more aggressive temporary and junk file cleaning, try CCleaner, which you can download here. CCleaner cleans junk files from a variety of third-party programs and also cleans up Windows files that Disk Cleanup won’t touch.

Find Duplicate Files

RELATED:How to Find and Remove Duplicate Files on Windows

You can use a duplicate-file-finder application to scan your hard drive for duplicate files, which are unnecessary and can be deleted. We’ve covered using VisiPics to banish duplicate images, and we’ve also created a comprehensive guide to finding and deleting duplicate files on Windows using free tools.

Or if you don’t mind spending a few bucks, you can use Duplicate Cleaner Pro, which not only has a nicer interface, but has tons of extra features to help you find and delete duplicate files.

Free Space On Hard Drive

Reduce the Amount of Space Used for System Restore

RELATED:Make System Restore Use Less Drive Space in Windows 7

If System Restore is eating up a lot of hard drive space for restore points, you can reduce the amount of hard disk space allocated to System Restore. The trade-off is you’ll have less restore points to restore your system from and less previous copies of files to restore. If these features are less important to you than the hard disk space they use, go ahead and free a few gigabytes by reducing the amount of space System Restore uses.

Nuclear Options

These tricks will definitely save some space, but they’ll disable important Windows features. We don’t recommend using any of them, but if you desperately need disk space, they can help:

  • Disable Hibernation – When you hibernate your system, it saves the contents of its RAM to your hard drive. This allows it to save its system state without any power usage – the next time you boot your computer, you’ll be back where you left of. Windows saves the contents of your RAM in the C:hiberfil.sys file. To save hard drive space, you can disable hibernate entirely, which removes the file.
  • Disable System Restore – If reducing the amount of space System Restore uses isn’t good enough for you, you can disable System Restore entirely. You’ll be out-of-luck if you need to use System Restore to restore your system to an earlier state, so be warned.

Bear in mind that you’ll never get as much space as a drive promises on the box. To understand why, read: Why Do Hard Drives Show the Wrong Capacity in Windows?

Image Credit: Jason Bache on Flickr

Regardless of whether you're using a Windows 10 tablet that has a small storage drive to start, or if you've managed filled up your hard drive, a lack of free space doesn't mean you have to miss out on important updates that fix bugs or add new features. Here's how to get around a lack of space for installing updates with just a pair of USB flash drives.

Of course, if you've got a decent-sized storage drive, you could try cleaning up your hard drive or temporarily moving some of your larger files (photos, movies, etc) onto an external drive. But if that's just not an option, here's how to get around a lack of space for installing updates with just a pair of USB flash drives.

How to install Windows 10 updates on low storage devices

In this Windows 10 guide, we'll walk you through the steps to install a new major update of Windows 10 on devices with low disk space.

Hardware you'll need

Download More Hard Drive Space

Before you can install Windows 10 on a device with low free storage space, you'll need a few things:

  • A second PC to create a bootable drive.
  • Two empty USB flash drives, each with at least 16GB in size.
  • Two free USB ports on your device.

    • If your device has a Micro-USB port, then you'll need a USB On-The-Go (OTG) cable to adapt the Micro-USB port to a standard USB port.
    • If you only have one free USB port, you'll also need a basic USB hub with a least two ports.

How to create an installation drive for Windows 10 updates

For this process, you'll need a USB flash drive with the latest installation files of Windows 10, which you can create using the Media Creation Tool.

Download More Hard Drive Space Windows 10

To create a bootable media, do the following:

  1. Connect one of your USB flash drives to a PC other than the one you're trying to upgrade.
  2. Head over to the Microsoft support website to download the Media Creation Tool.
  3. Click the Download tool now button.
  4. Double-click the MediaCreationTool.exe file to launch the utility.
  5. Select the Create installation media for another PC option.
  6. Click Next to continue.

  7. Select your language, edition, and architecture.

    Quick Tip: If you're trying to update a small tablet with low storage, it's likely to be using a 32-bit architecture. You can quickly check the device architecture by going to Settings > Devices > About and double-checking the System type information.

  8. Select the USB flash drive option.
  9. Click Next.

  10. Select your USB flash drive from the list.
  11. Click Next.

  12. Click Finish to complete the task.

How to install a Windows 10 update from a flash drive

To install feature updates of Windows 10, do the following:

  1. If necessary for your device, connect the USB OTG cable and/or the USB hub.
  2. Connect both the USB flash drive with the Windows 10 installation files and the other empty USB flash drive.
  3. Double-click the Setup.exe file to launch the Windows 10 installation from the USB flash drive.
  4. Select the Keep personal files and apps option to only update your system.

  5. If you get the 'Windows needs more space' option, click the Choose another drive or attach an external drive with 10GB available link.
  6. Select your empty USB flash drive to serve as temporary storage.
  7. Click Refresh.

  8. Click Install.

  9. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation process as necessary.

    Note: Some devices may only have a single Micro-USB port that is used for both charging and data transfer, which can make the battery-draining update process somewhat tricky when you also need that port to connect your USB drives. Your device will reboot during the installation process, after the first reboot you will no longer need either flash drive or the USB hub to finish, so you can unplug those and connect your power cable. Of course, if your PC has a dedicated power port, you can just leave everything (power included) plugged in throughout the whole process.

Vista Missing Hard Drive Space

After the installation completes and after a few black screens and reboots, you'll be back to your desktop once again. Because this is technically an upgrade, you won't need to go through the out-of-box experience to finish setting up Windows 10.

Do you have a Windows 10 device with low storage capacity that still didn't get the latest major update? Did this process worked for you? Tell us in the comments below.

More Windows 10 resources

Hard Drive Space Needed

For more help articles, coverage, and answers on Windows 10, you can visit the following resources:

Download More Hard Drive Space Free

This post may contain affiliate links. See our disclosure policy for more details.