How to Free Up Storage Space in Windows

Windows • Ryder Cragie • 30th September 2022Article Short Link:


This article includes steps on how to delete temporary files. Although temporary files shouldn't contain any personal data or documents, I am not responsible or liable for any data loss that may occur. Follow these steps at your own risk.


If your Windows PC is low on storage space, here's how to free it up by removing unnecessary and temporary files.

Install Any Pending Windows Updates

The first thing you should do is install any pending Windows updates. These update files, once downloaded, can take up quite a bit of space on your machine. Installing these updates will give you that space back.

Windows will then look through the update files downloaded to your machine, and show all of the updates currently available to install.

Delete Personal Files You No Longer Need

If you're not very organised, your PC has probably accumulated quite a bit of junk including old Documents, Downloads and Desktop items. As simple as it sounds, you may be surprised at how much you have lying around that you haven't looked at in a long time. Go through your files and delete what you no longer need.

The folder paths I recommend going through are as follows. Copy and paste them into the path bar at the top of File Explorer.

Temporary Files

What are Temporary Files?

Temporary files can be created for many reasons. For example, when you download, install and set up an app, temporary files are created to allow this process to complete. However, after this process is complete, these files don't always get removed. Although they are called "temporary files", Windows doesn't have a rule on what duration of time it takes for the files to be deleted, so these files can accumulate over time and take up quite a lot of storage space - unless the relevant app developer implements a method of automatically deleting the files after use.

Even after deleting these files, they will reaccumulate over time as you use apps and perform other activities on your computer - so I recommend deleting these temporary files at least once every three months. Temporary files typically aren't needed after use, however, if they are they will be recreated.

Delete Temporary Files

Disk Clean-up Tool

The Disk Clean-up application will automatically close when the process is complete.

Storage Sense Settings


Hopefully, this helped you get some space back! If not, maybe you need a bigger hard drive or SSD. I also advise rebooting your PC after following these steps. For further help, please see the official Microsoft documentation.