Is your PC’s hard drive almost full? Google “My hard drive keeps filling up for no reason with Windows 11,” and you’ll find a lot of frustrated users. What’s the cause of the problem? While there are several, one of the biggest is that Windows fills itself up by creating a backup file of windows installation and update files. The system also creates a backup file for the older versions of the drivers.
You may also have noticed that after installing Windows 11 in your system, storage space has slightly gone down in your hard disk, it is not because Windows 11 installation took a lot of space than Windows 10. Instead, it is probably due to the backup files of older versions of Windows.
Backups are helpful, but not when you run out of space. A full drive leads to frustration: your computer will run slow or stop altogether, you won’t have anywhere to store new files, and no further backups will be possible.
What should you do? Delete the backups? Keep them? Do something else? Read on to find out.
Reasons for decline in storage space in your hard disk
First, let’s take a moment to understand what’s going on. What backups exactly has Windows been making that fill up your hard disk?
- Well, your system automatically creates a backup for all versions of drivers that you have installed or updated on your computer.
- If you have recently updated your Windows 11 for example, then your system will make copies of the older versions of your Windows 11. It happens every time you update your Windows operating system.
- If you have been using your computer for a while now, there may even be old backups dating back to Windows 7!
- All of the temporary files left by applications and Windows itself.
All those backups use a lot of space. Here’s how to get your hard drive under control.
Modify File History to manage the storage space
File History is a feature that allows you to create a backup of your system files. You can find this feature in Control Panel described like this: “File History saves copies of your files so you can get them back if they’re lost or damaged.” It prefers to use an external hard drive to save these backups.
This utility takes screenshots of all the files and documents and creates multiple backups of those files. For example, if today is Wednesday and you want to access the files which were present on your PC on Monday, then File History will make sure you get that.
Well, that is useful. But, windows will make a copy of every version of every file. And here’s the problem, it will suck up storage space more rapidly than you anticipated.
I don’t recommend eliminating backups from the PC. That’s a decision you’re likely to regret one day. Instead, you can tame File History’s settings or choose to use a different backup app. In this section, we’ll show you how to do the former and link to some other backup apps at the end of the article.
Here’s how you can limit the amount of space File History uses.
1. First, open the Control Panel.
2. Under the System and Security heading, click Save backup copies of your files with File History.
3. I do not use the Microsoft backup program, it’s tuned off on my computer, you can also turn it off here if you want to use another application to back up your system files. However, if you want to limit the storage space the program uses, you can click on Advanced Settings.
4. Here, you can adjust how often it saves copies of your files and how many copies to keep. I recommend you choose the Until space is needed option. If you prefer, you can choose to keep backups for a specified period from one month up to two years and click save changes.
How to delete old windows 11 system backup?
Step-1: Press “Windows logo Key + I” to open Settings.
Step-2: Choose System.
Step-3: Then, Scroll down to get the option ”about”.
Step-4: Click System Protection.
Step-5: On the System Protection tab, click configure.
Step-6: Click Delete.
Step-7: Click Apply Then, OK.
How to delete temporary backup files through settings?
Windows 11 temporarily keeps the temporary internet files, copy of all the images, videos & documents, and keeps the backup of the older versions of the drivers as well as Windows, if you have recently updated them. These backup files can take a lot of space in your hard disk and can make your PC slow. Here’s how you can get rid of those files:
1. Press Windows Logo Key + I to open Settings.
2. Navigate to System and then to Storage.
3. Click on Temporary files. Now, click on the checklist of all the unnecessary files you want to get rid of.
4. Then, click on remove files.
Creating Backup using OneDrive
If you are running out of storage space and you want to create backup of your files and folders. Then, OneDrive can come in handy.
OneDrive allows you to Sync folders across your devices. Your backup files will be protected even if you somehow lost all your files. Further, you will be able to save storage space on your hard disk.
You can access your backup files from anywhere at any time from any device. You just have to login to your Microsoft OneDrive account. Here is how to do it:
1. Press Windows Logo Key + I to open Settings.
2. Navigate to Accounts and click on Windows Backup.
3. Now click on set up syncing.
OneDrive allows you to save backup files, folders and images across Microsoft servers. Free storage of 5GB is available. You will need to subscribe monthly for additional storage. You can checkout this article on How to sync files on OneDrive for further information.