Hard Disk Free Space Reduces Automatically in Windows Vista and XP

by Abhishek Bhatnagar on July 31, 2008



Many of our readers write to us complaining that the free disk space on their Windows Vista or XP computer is reducing automatically.

One of our readers Ananya says

My hard disk free space reduces automatically almost daily. I have tried restoring memory by deleting backup files, but the next day memory reduces again.


Free disk space reduces

The free disk space reduces automatically on computers in case of most of windows XP and Windows Vista computers. This is quite a common problem and there are two simple reasons behind it.


Lets see the problem and the fix in detail.


The two main reasons for reduction in free disk space are:

  • Indexing of NTFS Drives for Windows Search
  • System Restore Data Accumulated over time

What is drive indexing and how to stop it?



Indexing is a way of storing the important keywords of the files locations and content in a index space. This way, when you search some file or folder, windows will look in the index of the drive first of all and will not look into the real files and folders at that moment. This makes the searching fast. The Indexing data created for the NTFS drive for Windows search consumes noticeable disk space. You can stop the indexing service, this will free up the space consumed by the index but it will make searching a bit slow.



To stop Windows Indexing for a drive, right click on the drive and in general properties of the drive, un-check the options "Index this drive for faster searching" and click OK.

Turn off Disk indexing for Windows Vista and Windows XP

Now we are half done, lets see the rest half, its also very easy, read on.


How to remove old system restore data?



From time to time, especially when you install new softwares etc on your computer, Windows will create System Restore Points, so that your computer can be restored to a previous state in case some problem comes. You should delete very old restore points which you are very unlikely to use. See step number 3 mentioned in this post to delete the same.


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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Pavan Kumar July 31, 2008 at 6:16 pm

Also one more thing related with that, reduce the firefox history from 90 days default to some 10-15 days. That works better. Instead of having many profiles in firefox, limit it to one. They consume much.

Using ccleaner is most recommended…

amit June 25, 2009 at 2:25 am

i m facing similar problem, but with me, it takes some 4-5 mins for my drive with OS to get reduced to few MBs from 3GB ..
i guess its a virus, but my anti virus is not able to detect it.
can you please help me as to how can i remove it without formatting my drive

KANE June 28, 2009 at 9:07 am

im also facing the same prob.. plllzzzzzzz help me out my comp.. space keep increasing???!!! i did everything i even formatted!! its my new latop :(!! im using vista its a really bad virse ppllzz plzz reply asap….

Jason July 1, 2009 at 9:02 am


I’m also facing the same kinda prob… tried formatting… still no gud! It reduces to few MB’s no matter how much GB of space u free-up 4 dat particular partition! Plz.. help me find a remedy.
Thanks in advance!

khushi October 23, 2009 at 8:23 pm

Before some SMPS problem my hard disk space was 80GB but now it is 32GB. How can I get my lost space ?

Shadownian December 23, 2009 at 9:53 am

I have the same prob. Im running windows 7 and until recently been fine. Then the other day I installed a 2 games i had sitting i wanted to play again. (Aion, Call of duty world at war) After the installation I noticed my hard drive space went from about 100g used to 350g used!! I then got rid of my xp install(i had dual os installed) and moved more disk space to windows 7 using easeus partition manager. Giving me another about 100g. I uninstalled call of duty and next thing i know i have about 458g used with about 900mb left!! I also am having a prob with ccleaner as well. I deleted a file…a disk image…and even though its not showing in my recycling bin when i run ccleaner it thinks its there and takes about 4 hours to delete it. I run it again…and that same file is back??!! Maybe they did something recently to windows 7 that i dont know about thats causing a problem…i dont know…but this just started out of nowhere. Oh and btw…I never had system restore on just for this reason(used hard drive space) I double checked just in case.

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