Sunday, 11 August 2013

Free up some more hard drive space on your Windows 8 installation

I've been using Windows on my mac quite often recently, and although I had budgeted 65 GB of my precious SSD space to windows, it seems like Windows has already managed to consume 90% of that space! So, I wanted to figure out a way to reduce the hard drive space without deleting too much of my personal "my documents" content. Naturally, a good way of doing this was to delete unused system files. Although this installation is fairly new (about 5 months or so) there will still some old files remaining on the hard drive.

Here's how I went about gaining some more space:

Step 1: Run Disk Cleanup - the usual place you should start for reclaiming some hard drive space (you'll need admin access for this of course)

1. From the Start screen type in "Control Panel" and go to the control panel
2. Type in disk clean up in the "Search" bar at the top right hand corner
3. Click on "Free up disk space by deleting unused files"
4. Select your hard drive and click OK
4.5 If you feel like your system has been running fine for the past few weeks, you can also delete back up "system restore" files by clicking on "Clean up  system files button", then clicking on the More options tab that appears and clicking "Clean up" under System Restore and Shadow Copies, then go back to the disk cleanup tab
5. Check all the files that you think you don't need and click OK

Step 2: Run Windirstat to check for large files that you can delete

Step 3: I noticed a folder called WinSxS that was really large (about 12 GB), 

and looked it up to see if I could delete it. As expected, it was back up copies of all the updates that were installed, and links to other files so it would be catastrophic if anyone were to delete the installation. However, I found a little tip online that you can try to remove system files that have been superseeded if you had installed the latest service pack.

From the start screen type "Command Prompt", right click on the app, and click "Run as Administrator" on the bar that pops-up below. Then copy and paste the following into the window and hit enter:

DISM /online /cleanup-Image /spsuperseded
This will remove any old and unused files from the previous service pack and hopefully save some space on your hard drive.

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