System hacks: More than enough to run efficiently

If your Windows 10 system is tight on space, you can ease the tension by freeing up disk space. In addition to the automatic reminders to delete files using Storage Awareness, cleaning up useless system files through Apps and Features, and moving files you don’t use often, as we have described before, there are a few other methods that are worth using.

1. Re-customize where you save new content

You can save a lot of space on your system by changing the location of files that take up a lot of space, such as applications, movies and TV shows, offline maps, etc., to a partition or removable media other than the system partition.


Select “Settings→System→Storage” from the “Start” menu, enter the system storage settings window, drag down to find “More Storage Settings”, and click “Change the location of new content” (Figure 1). Next, redirect certain commonly used categories of files to other partitions of the hard drive or to mobile devices by reselecting the target location and clicking “Apply” (Figure 2).


2. Set your own network drive to download files on demand

Windows 10 comes with a network drive, OneDrive, that automatically syncs data, and the accumulation of locally synced files can increase system space usage. You can reduce the space usage by setting two on-demand download options in the OneDrive software settings, either syncing only the folders you are using immediately or saving only the files you are using locally.

Right-click the OneDrive icon on the system tray and select the “Settings” command to enter the OneDrive settings window, first selectively sync files under the “Accounts” tab, and do not select to sync the ones you don’t use yet; then under the Under the “Settings” tab, check the “Download files as needed to save space” option under the “Files on demand” column (Figure 3).


After that, the file icons in OneDrive will appear in Explorer in three forms (Figure 4). If it appears as an icon with a cloud, it is only available online, so you can save local storage space in this way. If it appears as an icon with a check mark, you can change it to online only by right-clicking on the file and selecting the “Free space” option. This will save local space.


3. Clean up System Restore and Volume Shadow Copy files

Restore Point Restore and System Image Restore in Windows 10 System Restore are based on restore files or image files stored in your computer (such as volume shadow copies of files from restore points or old system backup images), which naturally create a footprint on your system space. By cleaning up the system restore and volume shadow copy files, system space can be freed up. This is done specifically through an option in Disk Cleanup. To clean up your C drive, for example, in the Disk Cleanup window, select the “Other options” tab and click the “Clean up” button in the “System Restore and Volume Shadow Copy” group to clean up the System Restore and Volume Shadow Copy files, thus freeing up more space (Figure 5).


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