Disk space plays an essential role in computer usage and user experience.
Certain applications and programs may come with specific disk space requirements for installation.
However, many people face low disk space issues due to mismanagement and lack of awareness around the proper usage of disk space.
Let’s take a look at what low disk space means and some actions you can take to avoid running into low disk space warnings all the time.
What Does Low Disk Space Mean?
Low disk space means that you have utilized most of your computer’s disk space and less space is available for data storage.
When this happens, the computer will prompt an error to bring your awareness and attention to the issue.
Typically, this error occurs when you have less than 200 MB of storage available in the disk space.
Your computer may prompt a low disk space error for two major reasons.
Less Storage Space On Your Local Disk
When you store any particular file on your local disk, it may prompt low data storage availability.
Suppose you have three local disks available, for example, Local disk F, Local disk E, and Local disk D.
Let’s say there is less than 200 MB of data storage available on local disk F.
Maybe you have good storage availability in the other two storage disks, but when you try to store something in Local Disk F, you will see a low disk space error.
Less Storage On The Computer’s Internal Disk
The second reason could be insufficient space in the computer’s internal storage.
Local disk C generally holds the computer’s important files and acts as the internal memory of the computer.
If you have filled the disk with too many software applications and program files, your computer will show you a low disk space error.
How To Fix The Low Disk Space Issues (9 Techniques)
Facing the disk space issue is very common as most people don’t know how to manage the disk space correctly.
If you are in the same boat, let us discuss nine primary techniques to fix the low disk space issue.
1. Extend The Disk Space With Partitions
One of the best ways to fix the low disk space issue is by extending the hard disk space through partitions.
It is one of the most cost-effective ways to get extra space on your existing drive without spending any money.
Take the following steps to extend the disk space on your computer.
- Search for Disk Management from the Start menu of the computer and open the file.
- Check out the file system type. If it is NTFS, you can extend the disk storage.
- From the available disks, right-click on the one you want to extend.
- Select the amount of space you want to extend (make sure it remains within the maximum space limit mentioned in the above menu).
- Click Next and confirm the extension.
- Wait for the computer to restart, and your issue will be resolved when you log back in.
When you follow all the steps listed above, your computer’s disk space will increase.
However, you need to ensure your extension request remains within the available limit.
If you ask for more than what is available, your request will be denied.
2. Free Up The Disk
Freeing up the disk space is another great option if you think your disk is inundated with unnecessary files.
You can individually remove files or format them entirely by following these steps.
- Right-click the disk that has low storage space.
- Click the General option located at the top of the dialogue box.
- Click Disk Cleanup located at the bottom.
- From the new dialogue box, check the files/folders you want to remove.
- Click Ok once you have selected all the unnecessary files.
The process will remove all the unnecessary files you want to remove at once.
However, this process is only feasible for the files that were installed from external sources.
The steps are slightly different if you want to remove some system-installed files from the internal disk.
- Right-click the internal disk.
- Select Properties.
- Click the General option available at the top of the dialogue box.
- Click the Disk Cleanup option located at the bottom.
- From the dialogue box, click the Clean Up System Files option located below the files option. This opens a new dialogue box with new options.
- Click Clean up from any of the two options that best suits you.
- The first one is for the unnecessary program, and the second one is for the removal of files you haven’t restored.
These steps will help you remove the system files, including the Windows and the drivers.
Make sure you have backed up your files before taking these steps as they may result in loss of data or lead to your computer’s software malfunction.
3. Extend Disk Space With Another Disk
The next option is a relatively expensive one and requires some hardware knowledge as well.
However, this is one of the most effective ways to get optimal storage depending on your requirements.
Install another hard disk on your motherboard to extend your computer’s disk space.
If your motherboard does not have space available, you need to add hard drive sockets based on the amount of space you are looking for.
We highly recommend installing more storage chips instead of hard drives since they consume less space and have a fast data transfer rate.
Choosing SSD is another excellent option if you don’t want to add additional drive sockets to your computer.
For this purpose, you need to replace the RAM with SSD.
4. Installing An External Storage
Installing external storage devices is a good option as well that doesn’t cost you much and is also reliable.
The three types of external storage devices you can use are:
- USB sticks
- Memory cards
- Portable USB hard drive
One of the significant advantages of using external storage devices is that you can easily remove them.
This means you can carry your computer’s data with you no matter what the size is.
To avoid any issues, make sure you are properly plugging in and unplugging your device.
Before using these devices, you need to be clear that these devices can’t store system data.
They are only a good option if you are running out of space for your external files and software.
5. Use Cloud Storage
Using cloud storage is another great option if you have suddenly run into a low disk space issue.
This option works fine for the long term as well.
Cloud storage can help you store unlimited data on the cloud depending on your purchased service.
You can utilize Google Drive if you want to store less data.
However, if the data storage limit exceeds a particular limit, you will face storage issues.
You can fix this by purchasing storage space for Google Drive or by creating multiple Google accounts.
If you think your data requirement is above the maximum allowable limit of Google Drive, you can also opt for certain third-party cloud storage services.
These service providers have much more affordable pricing and fast data transfer rates.
The three best cloud storage services are:
6. Network Storage
Another great option is to connect to another device’s storage through your WiFi connection.
This is one of the most popular technological advancements in the last decade as it allows you to access any system’s storage and use it to your advantage.
These devices can meet huge data storage requirements that will enable you to install them at your workplace.
After you purchase the device based on the storage you are looking for, simply connect them to your WiFi.
After connecting them to the router, your router will show open external space, and every device connected to the router will be free to use this space.
7. Run Disk Cleanup
Running disk cleanup is a great option to remove all the unnecessary files from your computer.
This utility also removes all the cache data installed on your Windows.
The steps for cleaning up the disk vary on different Windows versions.
For Windows 8 And 10
- Open the control panel.
- Click System & Security option and select the Administrative Tools.
- Select Disk Cleanup.
- From the dialogue box that appears, select the Hard Drive option, and click OK.
- Click the Delete option from the dialogue box.
This will start removing all the cache and unnecessary files from your computer.
Once finished, simply close the dialogue box, and confirm the completion.
For Windows 7
- From the Start menu, click All Programs.
- Click Accessories and select System Tools.
- Click Disk Cleanup from the new dialogue box.
- Select the disk you want to clean from the available options.
- Click OK and confirm the disk cleanup,
The process will begin the disk cleanup and once finished, you can confirm the deletion by clicking the OK option that appears in the dialogue box.
8. Compress Files
Another excellent option for reducing disk storage is the file compression feature.
You can easily compress additional files to .rar or .zip and reduce the disk space they use.
You can compress program files of the computer, including the drivers.
However, before compressing files, you need to make sure you have the compressing software installed on your computer.
Take the following steps to compress the files to reduce used disk space.
- Create a new folder and copy all the additional files to that folder.
- Right-click the folder.
- Select Add to .rar option.
These steps will compress the folder, and you will be able to reduce the file size, which means less data consumption.
9. Disable System Restore And Hibernation Option
Most computers have a default setting of system restoration, and their computer re-installs all the data once the computer faces any issue.
This means all the files you previously removed will be restored, resulting in more data consumption.
To avoid this issue, you will have to turn off the System Restore option.
- Go to Settings.
- Search System Restore in the search bar.
- From the dialogue box, click Configure option located at the bottom.
- Select Disable System Protection from the dialogue box and click OK.
This will turn off the default setting of data restoration, and your system will not restore any data you removed previously.
Another automatic restoration feature in Windows is Hibernation.
This feature restores all the cache when you stop taking any action on your computer for a short period.
The data stored during this time takes up a significant amount on the hard disk and your drives start losing space.
Take the following steps to turn off the hibernation.
- Search for Command Prompt in the start menu.
- Type powercfg.exe/hibernate off in the command menu and press enter.
This will turn off the hibernation option from your computer, and it won’t restore any cache automatically in the future.
How To Disable The Low Disk Space Warning
A low disk space warning is normal and occurs even if you have added an external disk.
This can be quite frustrating for some people, and they may want to get rid of this warning.
Take the following steps to disable the low disk space warning.
- Search for Regedit in the start menu.
- Click User Account Control.
- Select Yes from the dialogue box.
- This will take you to the Windows Registry Control.
- Scroll down to reach the following registry key.
- Click New on the right side of the explorer key.
- Tap Dword Value from the available option.
- Set the entry to 1 from the new dialogue box.
- Close the registry editor after taking all the above steps and restart the computer.
- Once the computer is rebooted, set the low disk space warning off from the dialogue box that appeared on the front page.
These steps will shut off the low disk space warning, and you won’t see it again.
However, you need to keep the actual disk space in mind and use the computer accordingly.
What Happens If The Computer Has Low Disk Space?
Insufficient disk space can result in too much lag and poor computer performance.
Also, the computer won’t allow you to install any additional software or download any other media files.
Your system will start underperforming, and you won’t enjoy the top speed and performance.
Below, we have listed some other effects that low disk space can cause.
1. Outdated Apps
One of the significant disadvantages of having low disk space is the lack of availability of updated versions of the applications.
Most applications require constant upgrading.
Some may even stop working if you fail to update them regularly.
Due to this, most applications ask the users to keep the auto-update setting option on.
2. Program Crashing
Program crashing is expected when using a computer with low internal storage.
Media files, program files, and applications require a significant amount of data to run smoothly.
If your computer does not have enough storage, you will witness crashes regularly.
3. Dysfunctional Tools
Due to low data storage, most internal tools don’t work correctly.
This can be unpleasant since they have already consumed a significant amount of data on the computer and still require some space to function correctly.
4. Problems In New File Installation
Since there is no free data available, you won’t be able to install any new files on the computer.
These files include anything that requires data consumption.
5. Not Updating Windows And Systems
If you are not updating your Windows and Systems, you will face issues with low disk space.
Your system also requires constant updates, and if you fail to update it regularly, the computer will start underperforming, and many other issues may arise.
How Much Extra Space Must Your Computer Have?
According to different experiments that we carried out, your computer must have at least 25% of your computer’s total disk space available.
However, if you are low on space, you can still survive with 15% of the entire disk space, but your computer will start underperforming if it goes any lower than this.
SSDs require more free data storage for better performance than mechanical hard disks.
If you have an SSD, it is better to plan for an alternative once your hard disk reaches anything below 20%.
The low disk space error won’t arise if you correctly plan your data storage.
However, it is better to schedule the drive spaces according to the requirements to avoid issues.