How to free up the hard disk space used by Windows 10 on the PC

Many of the new features in Windows 10 are somewhat unknown because they do not match the graphical interface of the operating system. One of the novelties is not taking up so much space on the main drive of the PC, which allows its use in machines with less storage space.

Microsoft even altered the system recovery process to eliminate the need for a space-saving recovery image. Instead, when you need to reset the operating system, the files that are in the ‘winsxs’ folder will be used. This corresponds to a saving of 4 GB.

Despite these gains, there may be a need to recover even more space, especially on machines with very small capacity SSD. And here is where the ‘Compact OS’ functionality will come in.

Compact OS is a new mechanism that compresses all system files and applications that come pre-installed, causing Windows 10 to run from a compressed zone on the drive, allowing additional space to be freed.

In this tutorial, we will show you how to use the ‘Compact OS’ feature through the command line to reduce the space that the operating system occupies on your disk or SSD.

Compact OS replaces WIMBoot which offers similar advantages. You can still use it, but Compact OS is simpler to implement.

This tutorial can be used on machines with some time of use, or new ones.

WARNING: Although this process is safe, there is always a chance that something is going wrong so that before you can start accessing your files, we recommend that you make a complete backup of your data.

Open the Start menu

Type ‘cmd’, right-click the icon and choose ‘Run as administrator’.

Type the following command to see if your operating system is compressed or not. After typing, press Enter:

Compact.exe /CompactOS: query

If it is not compressed type this command and press Enter:

Compact.exe /CompactOS: always

After pressing the Enter key, the system will start to be compressed. This process can take up to 20 minutes.

The space taken up by Windows 10 will remain reduced because the system uses the compressed files directly and can even replace them if necessary, unlike the previous WIMBoot system, which created a compressed file where files.

If you are not happy with the result, you can always go back. The process is the same, but in the last step type the following in the command line window and press Enter:

Compact.exe /CompactOS: never

Further, reduce the space occupied by the operating system

Although using ‘Compact OS’ functionality is able to free up space on the PC’s storage system, there are other files attached to the operating system that can take up space that could be used for other files. This is the case of pagefile.sys (the system virtual memory file) and hiberfil.sys (the file where the computer’s hibernation information is stored). The space occupied by these files depends on the amount of RAM you have on your computer.

To save even more space, you can remove or reduce the size of the hiberfil.sys file:

Open the Start menu

Type ‘CMD’, right-click the icon and choose ‘Run as administrator’

Type the following command to reduce the file size and press Enter:

powercfg /h /type reduced

This command reduces the size of the hibernation file by 30 percent. If you want to remove the file completely, you can use the command:

powercfg /h off

If you want to reuse the default Windows 10 hibernation file, follow the previous instructions but use the command:

powercfg /h size 100.

If you need help, have doubts or concerns, do not hesitate to leave a comment in the comment box below and we will try to help you as soon as possible!

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