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

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Tracy King updated on Jan 18, 2021 to Computer Instruction | How-to Articles

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 Tools M 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 you don't have any technical know-how and want to minimize data risks, using third-party software could be a better choice. The Command line is suitable for computer professionals since wrong commands can cause severe problems. Therefore, we strongly recommend you try an automatic command line alternative.

EaseUS Tools M is a practical computer fixing tool that is safe and light-weighted. It's a perfect alternative to CHKDSK command. Use this one-click tool to solve your computer issues.

To fix file system error or disk error:

Step 1: DOWNLOAD EaseUS Tools M for Free and install it.

Step 2: Open the software and select the "File showing" option. 

Step 3: Choose the drive and wait for repairing. After the operation completes, click the "View" button to check the drive. 

select the drive and check off file system error

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. Run EaseUS Todo Backup and choose "File" on the main window.

choose file backup

Step 2. On the "File Backup" window, you can choose almost every type of files from many directories via the "User Defined" mode.

But it's faster using the "File Type" mode when you only back up some specific file types such as documents, pictures, videos, music, and so on. So, use the proper way to choose the target files you want to backup.

choose files you want to backup

Then add the plan name or text description to the file backup and then choose a backup location.

To backup files to an external hard drive, click "Browse..." in the "Destination" area.
Expand the "Computer" and choose the external hard drive you've correctly connected to the computer. Click "OK".

choose external hard drive to backup files

Also, if you're interested in getting more backup features, go and find them by clicking "Schedule", "Image-reserve strategy" and "Backup options".

schedule file backup

Step 3. After settings were all made, click "Proceed".

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.

Step 1: Install and launch EaseUS Partition Master.

Select the HDD or SSD which you want to wipe. And right-click to choose "Wipe Data".

select wipe data

Step 2: Set the number of times to wipe data.

You can set to 10 at most. Then Click "OK".

set the times

Step 3: Check the message.

A message tells you that the computer would restart after disk erase is recommended. Then click "OK".

check the message

Step 4: Click "Apply" to apply the changes.

Click "Execute the operation" and then click "Apply" to start wiping data.

start wiping data

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

Conclusion

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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