Have you ever got the feeling that you are losing space in your hard disk for no apparent reason? Have you tried finding out the sum total space occupied by all the files, and found that the available free space in the drive is lesser than expected (i.e. there is a certain amount of space which is occupied, but unaccounted for?) If you have, and are wondering where and what is occupying this space, read on.
Windows Vista has a utility called System Restore which is enabled by default. Periodically the operating system takes a snapshot of your computer and saves it as a Restore Point. This gives you the option to restore it back to this state at some point in the future, if you choose to. However, a vast majority of us do not utilize System Restore and are unaware that the restore points are occupying precious space on our hard disks.
A good practice to follow, provided your system is running smoothly, is to delete old restore points except the most recent one, by performing Disk Cleanup on a period basis.
This helps ensure the following dual advantages:
1. Unnecessary outdated save points are deleted
2. Retain the option to perform a System Restore to an earlier stable state if required.
Below is a step-by-step tutorial on how to delete these old restore points and recover some space in Windows. Administrator access will be required in order to perform this.
Step1: Navigate to the My Computer Screen as shown below
Step2: Right-Click and Open Properties for the “C” Drive
Step3: Click on Disk Cleanup and open the Disk Cleanup Window. Choose “My Files Only” or “Files from All Users on this Computer” as required. I normally use “Files from All Users on this Computer” as I clean up old files for all user accounts. Click on “Continue” in the Vista User Account Control Window
Step4: Navigate to the “More Options” tab, and click on the “Clean Up” button as indicated in the figure to delete old restore points to free up space. In the confirmation box, Click on “Delete”
Step5: Voila! It’s done. A certain amount of free space will be recovered upon deleting old restore points.
Disk Cleanup can also be utilized to delete:
-Temporary Internet Files
-Files in Recycle Bin
-Windows Error Reporting Dump Files
Disk Cleanup should be performed on a regular basis in order to maximize performance.