The speed, durability, and compactness of SSDs have transformed the storage industry. However, despite these advantages, older SSDs often have limitations, such as limited storage capacity. The operating system requires approximately 20% of the SSD space to function properly. If you’re getting a “disk full” error message or experiencing poor performance due to running out of space on your SSD, you’re not the only one! Here are some practical tips and solutions to help you free up space on your SSD.

Find and delete large files
There are always files on SSDs that are too large or that you no longer need. One way to find these is to use the built-in disk cleaning tools in your operating system, such as Disk Cleanup on Windows, or third-party software that deletes files and frees up disk space. Most (if not all) operating systems have one. We recommend WinDerStat for Windows and GrandPerspective for macOS. They scan your SSD or just the directories within it and then display a graphical representation of the files. The larger the rectangle, the larger the file size. Then hover your mouse over the rectangle to see the file name and size.

The files in question can then be checked and deleted if they are no longer needed. Additionally, there is a manual method to free up disk space. Disk Cleanup may not recommend deleting documents, videos, pictures, or files in the Downloads folder. Therefore, you must delete them manually. Afterwards, don’t forget to empty the trash. If you have large files that don’t require direct access, consider moving them to an external SSD, network drive, or cloud storage. This can help free up space on the SSD while ensuring access to files.

Be careful when deleting files to make sure you don’t delete anything important. If so, here are some tips on how to recover deleted files on Windows and macOS.

Application management
You can also try checking the applications installed on your computer and uninstall any that you no longer use or don’t need. If you haven’t used it in a while, chances are you don’t need it. This can help reclaim disk space occupied by unnecessary software and improve your computer’s performance. All installed apps take up RAM space, uninstalling unused apps will clean up your memory and increase speed.

To check the applications installed on your Windows system:

Press “Windows + I” to enter Windows settings.
Click the “System” tab.
Click Storage to view your local C drive’s applications and features, desktop, videos, temporary files, and more.
Click “Apps & Features” and on the next page you will see a list of installed apps.
Here you can uninstall any apps you no longer use or don’t need.
Garbage collection and TRIM
SSDs are organized into cells, pages, blocks, chips, and dies. Writing occurs at the page level, but due to the nature of NAND flash, erasing can only occur at the block level. This means that the data on a specific page cannot be overwritten, instead the SSD firmware must perform what are called read, modify, and write operations. When data on a specific page needs to be overwritten, all old data is read and rewritten into new blocks. This process is costly in terms of write amplification and performance degradation.

TRIM is a command in the Advanced Technology Attachment (ATA) interface. It is designed to help SSDs identify unused data blocks and free them to make room for new writes. This can happen transparently in the background when files are deleted or moved. The NVMe equivalent of TRIM is the record management command.

Disable hibernation and system restore

Hibernation and system restore functions can take up a lot of storage space. To reclaim space used by hibernation files, you can choose to disable hibernation and, if necessary, disable allocated space to reduce disk space for system restore points. Note that disabling these features may limit your data recovery options or put your computer into sleep mode.

To do this in Windows; just press the Windows key, type Command Prompt application, click on it and select “Run as administrator”. Enter “Powercfg.exe /hibernate off”. Then type “Exit” and enter Enter to close the Command Prompt.

Upgrade your SSD

If you’ve tried the steps above and still need more storage, you can upgrade your SSD to a larger capacity drive. If your system allows it and you don’t already do so, an NVMe SSD might be the perfect upgrade. Not only do you get more storage, you also get faster speeds, improved performance, and superior power efficiency.

Kingston’s KC3000 NVMe M.2 SSD leverages the latest Gen 4×4 NVMe controller and 3D TLC NAND technology to deliver superior results. With upgraded storage, you can seamlessly handle demanding workloads and enjoy exceptional speeds of up to 7,000 MB/s read/write speeds. This SSD ensures optimized workflow for high-performance desktop and laptop computers. It’s designed for power users who just want the fastest speeds on the market.

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