First World Problems: low disk space under Windows (all versions) (UPDATED)

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I like Windows, really. I work under Windows using Visual Studio and many other software developed and running only (unfortunatelly) on this platform. What I really hate in that is my fastly growing data usage on my hard drive and I want to share some thoughts about it.

When we in SICC bought ourselfs a new Macbooks Pro 13″, we decided to choose 256 gigs SSD hard drives and split them between Mac and Windows to use it both: for work and fun. The funniest thing after our “new purchase” was the fact that the first thing what we have done after this was the Bootcamp Windows 8 installation 🙂 I was always “scared” of Mac, but I fastly change my mind after using it for some longer time. Mac OS is really clean, fast, intuitive and beautiful – that’s all true. But what amazed me the most – battery usage on Mac vs. the same on using Windows. I was able to work on Mac for even 6 to 8 hours without charger around me. It was something not so usual in my “IT journey” before and after switching to Windows on my Macbook.

So.. getting back to complain – I had 120 GB for my fresh Windows 8 installation. What a smile was on my face when I installed all my “work stuff” and still had so much free disk space to be not worried at all. Not for so long… I understand when someone install too much software which is not in use at all or use their build in hard drives to store multimedia etc. – then it’s totally understantable, but not in other situations. The used space on hard drive is growing too fast!!! I decided to dig in this topic and try to go through the causes, possible solutions and find a reasonable one. The breaking point is shown on screenshot below (and that was after a CCleaner Cleanup):


I cab strongly recommend a tool called: WinDirStat (You can download it from here: It’s simle tool helping analyze a space used on specific hard drive. You can see how many of these files you are really using and how many of them are just a system files about which you won’t even know.

After I found some database files using a lot of space, old executables used to install some tools and software and go to dead spot, when I can’t uninstall anything more, delete anything else I found a nice blog post on Scott Hanselman‘s blog. Feel free to visit this post:

Of course there’s a lot of totally obvious (from my perspective) solutions, but it’s good to go through them and find your own solution for this problem. In my case, I decided to get rid of Hibernate mode. Windows is using a lot of space for hibernating and keeping memory “in place” for that. In my case I get back around 5-6 GB and I am now only use sleep mode for my laptop or switching him off totally. 5-6 gigs + previously not used space and I’m back on my track to use it efficiently again! 🙂 We will see for how long… Figers crossed Windows.


UPDATE 22/09/2015

Finally found the best thing what could happen for each Windows user… WICleanup (!

As the authors describes: “WICleanup is an application used for scanning and clearing away the unused, unwanted Windows Installer redundancy (junk) files inside system (MSI and MSP files in the “\Windows\Installer” folder), with full name “Windows Installer UnUsed Files Cleanup Tool”.

They could improve the UX of the app by allowing to select all and remove all, but after the manual process I have finally over 20 gigs of free space. Time for champagne! 🙂

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