Fix Deleting Files Does Not Free Up Space Error in Windows 10/8/7

Tracy King updated on Apr 19, 2024 | Home >Computer Instruction

5 Ways to Fix Deleted Files But Disk Still Full

It seems that it's no longer a new problem for users to meet this issue that even when they've already deleted files, the drive still shows occupied with no extra available free space. So how to fix the file deleted, but space not released in Windows 10 and get free space back on your device? Relax! Just follow the below tips and you'll be able to fix the deleting files doesn't free up space error and free up space on Windows disk, external hard drive, USB, SD, etc devices with ease.

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Fix 1. Run CHKDSK Press the Windows key and type cmd. Right-click "Command Prompt" and...Full steps
Fix 2. Run CHKDSK Alternative DOWNLOAD EaseUS CleanGenius for Free and install it. Open the software and...Full steps
Fix 3. Back Up Data Run EaseUS Todo Backup and choose "File" on the main window...Full steps
Fix 4. Format the Partition Right-click on the Windows icon and select "Disk Management". Right-click on the...Full steps
Fix 5. Wipe the Hard Drive Select the HDD or SSD which you want to wipe. And right-click to choose "Wipe Data"...Full steps

Available Disk Space Does Not Increase After Deleting Files

"Hello, If I delete files on my drive F: on a Windows 10 machine, no new space shows for the drive. Looking at Storage, I see System & Reserved expands (now 177 GB) on my 207 GB drive F. So if I delete a 20GB folder, this will go up to 197GB.  

Have tried junk file clean up, examination with WinDirStat and Treesize (neither of which show these files even when run as Admin).  Tried researching what System and Reserved might be used for. Have deleted system restore points. Don't think indexing is on.

So I guess the question is really, how do I stop System & Reserved files from eating my machine."

why is my hard drive still full after deleting files?

Available disk space does not increase after deleting files. When a file is deleted, the space used on the disk is not reclaimed until the file is truly erased. To fix the error without losing data you can follow these solutions. 

Fix 1. Check and Fix Disk Error with CHKDSK

Free disk space does not increase after deleting files windows 10 error could happen if there are errors on your disk. Fix the disk error and let CHKDSK help.

Step 1. Press the Windows key and type cmd.

Step 2. Right-click "Command Prompt" and choose "Run as administrator."

Step 3. Enter the following command ("E" is the drive letter of the partition you want to check.)

chkdsk E: /f /r /x

run chkdsk to fix free disk space does not increase after deleting files windows 10

Fix 2. Run CHKDSK Alternative to Fix Space Not Increasing

If command line is not your ideal choice, you can apply this command-line alternative tool - EaseUS CleanGenius. Use this one-click tool to fix the file system error on your hard drive.

Step 1. Download EaseUS CleanGenius on your computer for free.

Step 2. Run the software. Click "Optimization" on the left panel, and then choose "File Showing" . 

select the file showing option

Step 3. Go to "Choose drive" and select the drive with a file system error. Check the "Check and fix file system error" option and click "Execute".

fix file system

Step 4. Wait the EaseUS CleanGenius completes the repairing process. After that, click the "here" to view the result.

fix file system

Fix 3. Transfer Data to External Device (Back Up Data)

In order to avoid unexpected data loss issues while freeing up space on your devices, back up important data or remove saved files to other spots. You can manually copy your disk or partition data to your external device or use third-party backup and recovery software. EaseUS Todo Backup can back up operating systems, personal files, and the whole partition or disk with easy steps. Follow these steps to back up files to an external device.

Step 1. Click "Select backup contents" to initiate a backup.

create file backup step1

Step 2. There are four data backup categories, File, Disk, OS, and Mail, click File.

create file backup step2

Step 3. Local and network files will be displayed on the left side. You may extend the directory to choose which files to back up.

File backup

Step 4. Select the location where you want to store the backup by following the on-screen instructions.

File backup step4

Click "Options" to encrypt the backup with a password in "Backup Options," and to setup a backup schedule and choose to initiate a backup at a certain event in "Backup Scheme." There are a variety of other customization options available for the backup process.

Backup options

Step 5. You may save the backup to a local disk, EaseUS' online service, or a NAS.

file backup step4

Step 6. EaseUS Todo Backup enables customers to back up data to a third-party cloud drive and its own cloud drive.

If you want to back up data to a third-party cloud drive, choose Local Drive, scroll down to add Cloud Device, add your account, and then log in.

Backup to cloud
You can also save backups to EaseUS's cloud storage service. Sign up for an EaseUS Account and log in after clicking EaseUS Cloud.

backup to easeus cloud

Step 7. To begin backup, click "Backup Now" Once the backup process has been finished, it will be shown as a card on the panel's left side. To further manage a backup job, right-click it.

File backup step7

Fix 4. Format the Partition to Free Up Space

After you have made a backup, you can try to format the drive with space not increasing error. Windows 10 offers users a built-in disk management tool to create, delete, extend, shrink, and format partitions. The easiest way to format the hard drive is by using Disk Management:

Step 1. Right-click on the Windows icon and select "Disk Management".

Step 2. Right-click on the target drive or partition and click on "Format".

Step 3. Select the file system and set the cluster size.

Step 4. Click "OK" to format the drive.

format hard drive to fix file deleted, but space not released windows 10

Fix 5. Wipe the Hard Drive If It's Still Full After Deleting

If this error still exists, you can consider wiping this disk to fix "deleting files doesn't free up space". EaseUS Partition Master can permanently erase data on the disk(s) or partition(s). What's more, you can delete a partition, merge partitions, and format a partition with this software. Follow these steps to wipe your hard drive with ease.

After data erasing, you can use EaseUS partition software to partition the hard drive and restore the backup to your drive.


When you delete files, use right-click and then select delete. When files are deleted they get moved to the recycle bin. Once you deleted them from the recycle bin space is cleared. If a file deleted, but space not released on Windows 10, try the five ways demonstrated in this tutorial.

Deleted Files But Hard Drive Still Full FAQs

It's really frustrating when you deleted files from your hard drive but it still says no free space. You can fix them with these steps above. If you still have problems, you can read these frequently asked questions to get additional help.

Why is my hard drive still full after deleting files?

Available disk space does not increase after deleting files. When a file is deleted, the space used on the disk is not reclaimed until the file is truly erased. The trash (recycle bin on Windows) is actually a hidden folder located in each hard drive.

Are deleted files ever really gone?

When you delete a file from your computer, it doesn't simply disappear from existence. Even if you immediately empty the Recycle Bin or Trash folder, all your deletion does is earmark the space that file takes up on your hard drive as vacant.

Is Disk Cleanup safe for SSD?

Yes and if you don't use system restore often, turn that off too, especially if you own an Intel SSD, they recommend it be off for their SSDs. However that doesn't mean that you should never use it.

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Updated by Tracy King

Tracy became a member of the EaseUS content team in 2013. Being a technical writer for over 10 years, she is enthusiastic about sharing tips to assist readers in resolving complex issues in disk management, file transfer, PC & Mac performance optimization, etc., like an expert.

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