Solved: What Is Taking Up Space on My Hard Drive in Windows 10/8/7

Tracy King updated on Jul 28, 2020 to Partition Manager | How-to Articles


How to See What Is Taking Up Space on Hard Drive in Windows 10/8/7
How to Free Up Disk Space on Windows 10/8/7 [7 Methods]

Q: Something is eating my hard drive space in Windows 10, help!

"About three weeks ago, my 500GB hard drive suddenly became extremely slow and had only 50GB left. Now the hard drive only has just 100MB left, and I can't even open the drive to use a file quickly. It looks like something is eating my hard drive space, but I don't know what it could be. 

How can I find out what's taking up space on my hard drive and resolve this issue? Can anyone help? I'm using Windows 10."

Your hard drive may get full suddenly without a specific reason. If the hard drive is a system disk and is nearly full, the Windows will be affected and slow down. If you are experiencing disk space is used up, follow along to figure out what's taking up space on your hard drive and then address the problem and free up your disk space.

How to See What Is Taking Up Space on Hard Drive in Windows 10/8/7

There are two steps you can do to find out what is taking up space on your hard drive:

Step 1. Show hidden files on the hard drive

We have provided a complete guide with three methods to display hidden files on the hard drive. You can refer to this page for a guide: How to Show Hidden Files on computer hard drive.

Step 2. Analyze hard drive and find what's eating up hard drive space

Here we'll use Windows 10 as an example to show you how to see what's taking up space on the hard drive. This method can also be applied to Windows 8.1/8/7:

1. Right-click on the Windows icon and select "Settings".

2. Click "System", then click "Storage" on the left-side panel. 

Open Storage settings.

3. In the Storage window, you'll get a view of the space usage situations on all your hard drive partitions as shown in the image below:

Storage situation of hard drive

4. Then click on a nearly full hard drive partition. You'll be able to see what's taking up the most space on PC, including apps and features taking up storage. 

Find out what is taking up space on hard drive.

Now that you've known that what apps and features are taking up storage on your PC, you can manually clean up your hard drive by removing temporary files, useless apps, etc.

Click each hard drive partition, figure out what's taking up space. Click each category and remove useless apps, files, etc..


If you don't like to remove files manually, how to thoroughly and automatically free up disk space and make the computer fast? Read on, and you'll learn all the practical methods to free up disk and speed up Windows 10.

7 Effective Ways to Free Up Disk Space on Windows 10/8/7

After checking out what's is taking most space on your hard drive in Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 10, you can follow the provided approaches here to free up space for important files, programs, and improve computer's performance.

1. Remove Junk Files/Useless Large Files 

If you've found that the hard drive space is taken up by many temporary files or useless large files, EaseUS Tools M is an ideal tool. It's a free and light program to solve many tough problems, including remove write protection on USB, SD, the internal, and external hard drive in Windows 10/8/7. 

It also supports cleaning up all hard drive partitions with its System Optimize Tool by cleaning up junk files and large files. Install it on your PC now to quickly clear up space on your hard drive and improve the computer performance. 

Step 1. DOWNLOAD and install EaseUS Tools M. Select "System Cleanup" on the main screen.

click system cleanup

Step 2. Select the type of junk files you want to scan and click "Analyze".

analyze junk files

Step 3. Identify and select useless files and click "Clean up" to remove those files from your PC or laptop.

click clean up to remove junk files

You may also choose "Clean Large Files" to remove useless large files, which is also useful to clears out a lot of free space.

2. Run Disk Cleanup to Clean Temporary Files

Unlike disk defragmentation, which rearranges the files, Disk Cleanup works to remove temporary files and other unimportant data on the hard drive and help to reclaim your disk space.

Step 1. Open This PC, right-click on your system drive and choose "Properties".

Step 2. Click "Disk Cleanup" under the "General" tab, and the utility will start scanning your drive and calculating how much space you can free.

Step 3. When it is done, choose "Clean up system files" in the window to let the tool scan your disk again.

Step 4. After the scan completes, click "OK" in the new window. Then you will see a notification asking you, "Are you sure you want to permanently delete these files?". Click Delete Files. Since these operations just remove unnecessary files in your system, you don't need to worry about losing important files.

If disk cleanup is not working in Windows 10, learn how to fix it first here.

How to make Windows 10 faster - clean up disk

3. Uninstall Unused Bloatware Software

Many PCs come with multiple pre-installed programs you don't want or need, which are in large size and cause your computer in low disk space. To free up space on your hard drive and make your Windows 10 run faster, you can uninstall the bloatware.

Right-click the Start menu, choose "Control Panel" > "Programs" > click "Uninstall a program". Select the programs you no longer need and click "Uninstall" at the top of the list.

Remove bloatware application to make Windows 10 faster

4. Free Up Space by Storing Files on Another Hard Drive or the Cloud

If you have some important large files that are occupying big space on a hard drive, you can try one of the tips below:

Tip 1. Add a new disk to your PC, move and store files to the new disk.

Tip 2. Store files to an external storage device.

Tip 3. Store files to a cloud account, such as OneDrive.

Tip 4. Back up big files into an image with a compressed format, which will save almost a half-space on your disk.

5. Transfer Programs, Apps, and Games to External Hard Drive

If your internal hard drive on Windows is full of installed programs, applications, and games, you can change the install location of these programs. You can free up space on your hard drive by moving programs to an external hard drive and make sure that you can run the program on any other computer. How to do that? Use EaseUS PCTrans to accomplish app migration with a few clicks. 

Step 1. Connect your external hard drive to your computer. Open EaseUS Todo PCTrans and select "App Migration > Start".

select app migration

Step 2. Find and choose the applications (marked as "Yes") that you want to transfer. You can select multiple apps. 

Click "Browse" and select your external hard drive as the destination to store the apps. 

select app migration

Step 3. Then, click "Transfer" to move your programs to an external hard drive

transfer app to external hard drive

6. Disable Hibernate

When you hibernate your system, it saves the contents of its RAM to your hard drive. This allows it to save its system state without any power usage – the next time you boot your computer, you'll be back where you left off. Windows saves the contents of your RAM in the C:\hiberfil.sys file. To save hard drive space, you can disable Hibernate entirely, which removes the file.  

If you are using this feature and it's useful for you, don't turn it off. It's up to you.

Step 1. Click on Start, and open Control Panel then click on "Power Options". On the left side, click on "Change when the computer sleeps".

power option in Windows 10

Step 2. Now click on Change advanced power settings. In the Advanced Power Options window, expand the "Sleep". Then expand "Hibernate after" and change the minutes to 0 to turn it off. 

Step 3. Or you can specify the amount of minutes you want to pass before it goes into hibernation. Click "Apply" and "OK" then close out of the remaining screens.

disable hibernate to free up disk space

7. Upgrade to a Larger HDD/SSD

If none of the above options will free up enough free space on your hard drive on Windows 10 or Windows 7, the most thorough solution is to replace the old hard drive with a larger new hard drive. Cloning is the best way to replace a hard disk drive, because cloning can migrate your old disk to the new one exactly, without any data loss, and it's very convenient.

EaseUS Partition Master, an ultimate partition management tool, enables you to clone an entire disk to another even the destination partition is smaller than the source, which means you can clone larger HDD to smaller HDD.  

Download this easy-to-use disk management program to clone hard drive to HDD or SSD with simple guides.

Download Now

 Windows 10 is supported


Step 1: Select the source disk.

Open EaseUS Partition Master. Right-click the disk that you want to copy or clone. Then, select "Clone".

select the disk that you want to copy

Step 2: Select the target disk.

Choose the wanted HDD/SSD as your destination and click "Next" to continue.

choose a suitable destination

Step 3: View the disk layout and edit the target disk partition size. 

Then click "Continue" when the program warns it will wipe out all data on the target disk. (If you have valuable data on the target disk, back up it in advance.)

confirm to continue the cloning process

You can select "Autofit the disk", "Clone as the source" or "Edit disk layout" to customize your disk layout. (Select the last one if you want to leave more space for C drive.)

Adjust disk layout

Step 4: Execute the operation.

Click the "Execute the operation" option and click "Apply" to start the disk cloning process.

Except for disk cloning, EaseUS Partition Master provides more one-stop disk partition features, such as resize/move partitions to solve low disk space issue, merge partitions, create/delete/format partition, wipe partition data, and disk/partition conversion.

Download Now

 Windows 10 is supported

Final Verdict

Now you've learned how to see 'what is taking up space on my hard drive Windows 7/8/710' and how to free up space on the hard drive with seven feasible fixes. However, there is no one-for-all solution. High disk space usage frequently occurs, even if you've upgraded to a larger hard drive.  So remember to use these disk space cleanup methods to clear up your disk regularly.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why Choose EaseUS Partition Master?

"I've used Partition Master Professional many times to create, delete, format, move, rename, and resize partitions."PCWorld

"Partitioning tools have come a very long since the days of complicated command line utilities and EASEUS Partition Master is one of the most advanced programs available."TECH ADVISOR

"I love that the changes you make with EaseUS Partition Master Free aren't immediately applied to the disks. It makes it way easier to play out what will happen after you've made all the changes."Lifewire

Will the "Migrate OS" feature transfer the Windows system files only or the whole C drive?

To ensure that the migrated system will boot normally, the Migrate OS feature will transfer all the files in the system and the boot partitions. Generally, the boot partition is the C drive so the transfer will include all the files in C.

Does EaseUS Partition Master license apply to multiple computers?

The license of Partition Master Professional and Server editions can be used on 1 computer only, while that for for the Technician and Unlimited editions can be used on multiple machines.

What is the difference between EaseUS Partition Master Trial version and the Free version?

Free is for home users only, with most basic functions available such as partition resize and clone. While trial can help you understand how this product works and test what a full license can do on a business or server OS machine.

Will it cause any data loss after resizing the partition in EaseUS Partition Master?

Generally, it will not cause any data loss or boot issue by resizing a partition. However, in order to protect your data, we suggest that you backup the partition before resizing, in case of any unexpected situations such as power outages, computer hardware failures, etc. You can use EaseUS Todo Backup to backup the partition and its trial version is fully functioned for 30 days.

What should I prepare before resizing the partition?

On the partition that is going to be operated, there might be some files being occupied by other programs. To ensure a successful operation, we suggest that you close all the unnecessary software before resizing that partition. Otherwise, EaseUS Partition Master will detect the partition being locked by the other software and require a reboot to resize the partition under boot mode.

About EaseUS Partition Master

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Video Tutorial

How to Partititon a Hard Drive on Windows 10/8/7