How I gained a significant amount of disk space

Yes, the disk drive capacities have enormously increased in the past years and maybe you don’t have problems with the disk space. But I do, and here is the solution how I managed to release pretty much of disk space on a Windows 10 PC.

One PC and several user accounts proved to me as a very economical and maintainable home solution. However several Windows user accounts on a SSD drive may require much of disk space, especially if you have several children all installing different games …

Windows 10 improved on how it manages and displays used disk space e.g. by offering analytic tools/dashboards. However it demonstrated to have some limitations, e.g. if an application isn’t installed properly it isn’t showed in the analytics. Beside, much of space is required by data and not by applications itself.

Win_Diskspace
Windows 10 disk space analytics (Slovene version)

The solution

To release some disk space I’ve primary used a common  ‘cleaning tool’ but I wasn’t satisfied with the results. So, I googled for suitable tools, where two free applications crossed my way: TreeSize and PacthCleaner.

TreeSize is similar to Windows Explorer with a slight but useful difference, it shows (calculates) how much space is allocated in a folder / sub-folder, etc. So you instantly see which folders spend the most space and you can proceed with the analysis in a hierarchical manner, until coming to individual files. With TreeSize, I was able to identify huge amounts of unused application files (mostly remainings of games).

TreeSize
TreeSize Free

Via TreeSize, I found huge amounts of used space (50Gb+) in Windows installer directory in form of library files,  however I found challenging to identify orphaned files where I was once again lucky to identify a proper tool for this task – PatchCleaner.

PatchCleaner
PatchCleaner

PatchCleaner scanned the windows installer directory and identified 24GB of orphaned files. Just in case I’ve selected the option ‘move  orphaned files’ (in case I would have any problems with the future use of the operating system). However after a week everything still operated normally, so I was able to delete unnecessary files.

Results

When Windows started alerting me I had approximately 5 GB of free disk space on my 256 GB SSD (2%). After doing some uninstalls with the help of windows analytics I’ve managed to increase the free space up to 20 GB. But here it comes now. With the help of the above two tools, I’ve managed to increase my free space up to 110 GB and this with no additional application or games uninstalls. So again there was no need for changing the hardware.

Is is hard to generalize this results but in my case the method with aforementioned tools proved as very effective (I also repeated the process on my notebook, and got similar results). And nevertheless, I take no responsibility for applying the method and aforementioned tools.

And what are your preferred methods and tools for gaining free disk space?

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