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7 Ways to Free Up Disk Space on an SSD in Windows 7

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7 Ways to Free Up Disk Space on an SSD in
Windows 7
Over the last years computer processors have become very powerful, so powerful that most of
the time they do nothing but waiting your hard drive to throw some data at them. Fortunately,
disks have evolved, too and a new generation of super fast disks called Solid State Drives (SSDs)
has appeared. With an SSD your computer will become noticeably faster and reliable and will
consume less power. The problem is that SSDs are too expensive, so you will have to get one
which is considerably smaller than a regular mechanical hard drive. Smaller drive means that
rather sooner than later you will face the "not enough free space" problem. In this article I'm
going to show you how to free up gigabytes of disk space on an SSD in Windows 7.
Disable hibernation - will free up disk space equal to the size of your RAM
Hibernation is the process of saving the content of your computer's memory to the hard disk,
which helps start if faster. Having Windows 7 installed on an SSD means that it will boot in
seconds, so you won't need hibernation anymore. To turn it off you should do the following:
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Click the Start button and type "cmd"
Right click the item that appears and select Run as administrator
In the opened DOS command prompt window type powercfg –h off and press Enter
The hibernate.sys file that is used by the hibernation process will be then deleted and you
will gain disk space on your SSD equal to the size of your RAM.
Decrease the size of the page file - will free up disk space almost equal to the size of your RAM
The page file represents an area of your hard drive, which is used by Windows 7 in case your
computer runs out of memory (RAM). If your desktop/laptop has enough RAM (4 GB or more),
you can safely decrease the size of the page file. Some people even advise to disable the page file
completely, but I don't recommend this, as some programs need it and may crash if it is disabled.
Here's how you can decrease the size of your page file in Windows 7:
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Click the Start button, right click Computer and then click Properties
In the left pane click Advanced system settings
In the window that opens click the Settings button in the Performance group box and
select the Advanced tab page.
Click the Change button and select the drive where you page file currently is (by default
C:)
Select Custom size and fill the initial and maximum size of your page file to be the same
amount of space - 512 MB is more than enough if you have more than 4 GB of RAM (see
the image on the right)
When ready click Set and then OK.
Upon restart, your computer will use a page file with the size you have set, not one with the size
of your RAM, which will free up gigabytes of space on your SSD.
Turn off System Restore - will free up a few gigabytes of disk space
System Restore creates backups of your most important system files, so that in case something
goes wrong you can restore the system to a point back in time. However, this approach is not
very effective. It is best to use a disk clone utility (e.g. Acronis True Image, Norton Ghost, etc.)
for disk backups. The System Restore service usually uses a lot of disk space, so here's how to
turn it off:
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Click the Start button, right click Computer and then click Properties
In the left pane click System Protection
Select the disk you want to turn off System Protection for and click Configure
Select Turn off system protection, click OK, and then click OK again
Perform a Disk Cleanup regularly - will free up from several megabytes to hundreds of
megabytes of disk space
Disk Cleanup is a tool integrated in Windows 7, which frees up disk space by emptying the
Recycle Bin and deleting various temporary files, which are no longer needed. I recommend you
run it once a month. To perform a disk cleanup do the following:
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Click on the Start button and then on Computer
Right click on your SSD disk (by default "C:") and select Properties
Click on Disk Cleanup to start the disk cleaning utility
It will analyze your system for a while and will show a list of files that can be safely
deleted. Select what you want to delete and click OK
Use a third party disk cleaning tool regularly - will free up megabytes of disk space
If you want to delete even more temporary
files, you can use a third party tool. One that is very good, simple to use and I've never had any
problems with is Piriform CCleaner. I recommend you install it and run it once a month. When
you start it:
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Select the types of files you want to delete using the check boxes
Click Analyze to see the list of files that are going to be deleted
Click the Run Cleaner button to delete the files
Uninstall programs you do not use - will free up from several megabytes to several gigabytes of
disk space
Do not forget from time to time to check the list of installed program on your computer and
uninstall the ones you do not use. Here's how to do this in Windows 7:
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Click the Start button and then Control Panel
Click Uninstall a program
Select the program you want to remove and click the Uninstall button from the toolbar
Disable File Content Indexing - will free up from several megabytes to several gigabytes of disk
space and will also speed up your computer
One of the things SSDs are most noticeably faster than
mechanical hard drives is file access. Because of this search on an SSD is much faster than on a
traditional hard disk and you don't need the content of all your files to be indexed in order to do a
fast file search. Disabling the indexing service will not only free up space on your SSD but will
also boost the performance of your computer as it will no longer index any file that is written to
disk. To disable the indexing service for your SSD do the following:
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Click Start and then Computer (or press Windows + E from the keyboard)
Right click on your SSD (e.g. "C:") and select Properties
Uncheck the "Allow files on this drive to have contents indexed in addition to file
properties" (should be as in the image to the right)
Click OK
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In the dialog window that appears select to apply this to the drive, subfolders and files
and click OK
Repeat the process for any other SSD disk partitions, too
Decrease the size of the page file - will free up disk space almost equal to the size of your RAM
The page file represents an area of your hard drive, which
is used by Windows 7 in case your computer runs out of memory (RAM). If your desktop/laptop
has enough RAM (4 GB or more), you can safely decrease the size of the page file. Some people
even advise to disable the page file completely, but I don't recommend this, as some programs
need it and may crash if it is disabled. Here's how you can decrease the size of your page file in
Windows 7:






Click the Start button, right click Computer and then click Properties
In the left pane click Advanced system settings
In the window that opens click the Settings button in the Performance group box and
select the Advanced tab page.
Click the Change button and select the drive where you page file currently is (by default
C:)
Select Custom size and fill the initial and maximum size of your page file to be the same
amount of space - 512 MB is more than enough if you have more than 4 GB of RAM (see
the image on the right)
When ready click Set and then OK.
Upon restart, your computer will use a page file with the size you have set, not one with the size
of your RAM, which will free up gigabytes of space on your SSD.
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