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Trying to Reduce Used Space on My Windows 10 C Drive

Trying to Reduce Used Space on My Windows 10 C Drive

Trying to Reduce Used Space on My Windows 10 C Drive

(OP)
Hello,

I have the latest iteration of Windows 10 on my laptop computer. "Properties" for Local Disc C shows a capacity of 567 GB. The free space is just under one GB. Naturally, I want to reduce the amount of used space.

Most of my files are in my Dropbox account, synced to my laptop and other devices. My Dropbox account has two TBs of space.

I've tried several methods to increase the free space on the C drive, as indicated by what shows up in "Properties" for that drive.

For example, I've simply deleted files and removed them from the Recycle bin.

I've used Dropbox's "Selective Unsync" to unsync folders on the laptop.

I've moved folders from Dropbox into OneDrive with "Save space and download files to use them" selected, making them no longer visible in File Explorer and (supposedly) no longer taking up space on the C drive (I thought).

Sometimes when I take one of the above actions, the C-Drive Properties will temporarily show an increase in free space. But shortly thereafter, the amount will return to a bit below one GB.

Any suggestions?

Thanks,
Bill

RE: Trying to Reduce Used Space on My Windows 10 C Drive

I vote for TreeSizeFree or I bought the actual program TreeSizePro

RE: Trying to Reduce Used Space on My Windows 10 C Drive

(OP)
Thanks for the suggestions. I will look into these resources.

Meanwhile, I'm wondering if anyone can explain why there are no changes in the used space showing on my C drive after I remove several gigabytes of files from my computer. Does it have anything to do with the fact that most of my folders/files are in the Dropbox cloud as well as on my computer's hard drive?

In the last instance, I moved about 40 GB of files from Dropbox to OneDrive, using the option that should take them off my hard drive.

Bill

RE: Trying to Reduce Used Space on My Windows 10 C Drive

The obvious question is "how did you move them?".

Do they still show in the Dropbox folder on your hard drive (C:\Users\User Name\Dropbox)? If so, then they are still on your hard drive. If not, have you checked the recycle bin?

RE: Trying to Reduce Used Space on My Windows 10 C Drive

I would do the following:
1) uninstall unnecessary programs like games
2) remove unnecessary movies and pictures files
3) look how many space take my system restore settings (and change it if necessary)
see for example: https://www.groovypost.com/howto/reduce-space-wind...
4) look how many space take my virtual memory pagefile (and change it if necessary)
see fo example: https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/77692-manage-v...

RE: Trying to Reduce Used Space on My Windows 10 C Drive

Quote (bsquared18)

Does it have anything to do with the fact that most of my folders/files are in the Dropbox cloud as well as on my computer's hard drive?

Nobody knows until you know. That's why you need to run one of those free tools to assess where the bloat is. It takes less time to run one of those tools than to continue to speculate.

It is possible that it may have nothing to do with synchronized online storage. You could have a Windows 10 installation/upgrade/update filling up space in the background.

RE: Trying to Reduce Used Space on My Windows 10 C Drive

(OP)
Excellent suggestions.

I'll report back after following the leads you all have provided.

Really appreciate the help.

Bill

RE: Trying to Reduce Used Space on My Windows 10 C Drive

(OP)
Hi,

A quick update.

I've gone through most of the steps recommended in this thread. For example, I've installed WinDirStat and am viewing what appears to be a very well done YouTube tutorial video. I followed mikrom's four steps. Steps 3 and 4 don't appear to be an issue.

I realize now that WinDirStat or a similar program can help me find the "bloat" on my C drive. But the main problem is that when I delete several gigabytes of personal files and empty the recycle bin, the change will show up at Local Disk (C): --> Properties --> Free Space for a short time (a few minutes or so), but then the free space will jump back to about 1 GB.

I'm thinking malware. Does that make sense? Or is there another possible reason for this problem to occur?

I tried using Window 10's Defender Full Scan to look for malware or similar issues, but the program froze about two-thirds of the way through. I see now that using Custom might solve the problem, so I'll try it overnight tonight.

I'm also looking for a (preferably free) third-party malware program to install. Any suggestions?

Thanks again for everyone's input.

Bill

RE: Trying to Reduce Used Space on My Windows 10 C Drive

Good question for forum760: Virus/Spyware discussion but I would recommend MalwareBytes.

James P. Cottingham
I'm number 1,229!
I'm number 1,229!

RE: Trying to Reduce Used Space on My Windows 10 C Drive

Malware does not make sense as a culprit. Malware is typically based on profit. What profit motive is there for anyone to fill up your hard drive?

Quote (bsquared18)


But the main problem is that when I delete several gigabytes of personal files and empty the recycle bin, the change will show up at Local Disk (C): --> Properties --> Free Space for a short time (a few minutes or so), but then the free space will jump back to about 1 GB

To understand the difference, you'd need to observe the output of WinDirStat before and after this action.

Alternatively, you can monitor disk writes while you delete files...

https://www.nirsoft.net/utils/file_activity_watch....
https://www.nirsoft.net/utils/folder_changes_view....

RE: Trying to Reduce Used Space on My Windows 10 C Drive

(OP)
Thanks for the "Spyware Discussion" lead. I'll do that.

Great minds.... I installed MalwareBytes yesterday and will try it out today.

Overnight I ran Windows Defender Custom Scan for Drive C. No threats were found. This morning, I ran the Offline Scan, which, as advertised, took only about fifteen minutes. No threats there either.

And thanks, Spamjim. I saw your post after writing the above. I'll try your suggestions.

Bill

RE: Trying to Reduce Used Space on My Windows 10 C Drive

(OP)
Re: spamjim: "You could have a Windows 10 installation/upgrade/update filling up space in the background."

Finally got around to checking this out. I went to Disk Cleanup for C.
No Temporary Backup Files were shown. A total 5.34 GB of disk space is available to free up. Most of that space is OneDrive files.

Are the OneDrive files ones that can be safely removed without losing files I don't want to lose? Or not?

Thanks,
Bill

RE: Trying to Reduce Used Space on My Windows 10 C Drive

(OP)
Hi,

Re: spamjim: "To understand the difference, you'd need to observe the output of WinDirStat before and after this action."

I have WinDirStat open on my computer, showing all the stats. Below is my first attempt at an action plan for following your advice, spamjim. Please correct this approach as needed:

1. Take a screengrab of all the stats before deleting files of significant size. For example:



(Of course, more than one screengrab is needed to show the entire list.)

2. Delete some large files, noting how many GBs they are.

3. Click Refresh All in WinDirStat.

4. Take another screengrab of the result.

5. Compare the results.

Or is there a way to record or compare the results in a better way?

Looking forward to suggestions.

Thanks,
Bill

RE: Trying to Reduce Used Space on My Windows 10 C Drive

Quote (bsquared18)

I've moved folders from Dropbox into OneDrive

The screenshot from WinDirStat shows that the bloat is still in your Dropbox folder. So you did not move anything from Dropbox and it is probably still synchronizing files. This is not as difficult as you are making it. bigsmile

RE: Trying to Reduce Used Space on My Windows 10 C Drive

The concept of Dropbox (and OneDrive) is to synchronize files for safekeeping. You're defeating the concept of backups if you're using Dropbox as your only storage location. What happens to your valued data when Dropbox (or your access to it) ends unexpectedly?

These backup services are mostly pointless if you disconnect from them or limit what can be synchronized. So if you're paying for 2TB of Dropbox storage, it would make sense that you have 2TB of local storage available to you. Buy a second 2TB drive for under $100 to attach internally or externally to this computer...then set up your Dropbox folder on that. Any other configuration with this much stored data on a single tiny drive is asking for trouble.

RE: Trying to Reduce Used Space on My Windows 10 C Drive

(OP)
Re spamjom: "Buy a second 2TB drive for under $100 to attach internally or externally to this computer...then set up your Dropbox folder on that. Any other configuration with this much stored data on a single tiny drive is asking for trouble."

Very good points. Thank you!

Bill

RE: Trying to Reduce Used Space on My Windows 10 C Drive

(OP)
spamjim,

I want to give you a special shout out. I see that you are an instructor and you are no doubt well suited for that role because you stuck with me through thick and thin (or bloat).

I purchased a two TB external drive, as you suggested. It took a whole day for the computer to move the Dropbox files from C to F, but it was worth the time. Now my C drive has plenty of space, and the external drive is working fine.

One thing I have to remember is to be sure the external drive is connected to my laptop when I turn the laptop on. Otherwise, apparently bad things can happen.

Kudos again,
Bill

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