How to free up disk space on a Samsung PC

Samsung Galaxy Book S with storage symbol in the background

Having problems with low storage space? There are a few different ways you can manage and free up disk space on your PC. You can empty the recycle bin periodically, or uninstall programs that you aren't using. If you’d like to save some of your data for later, transfer it to an external storage device or use a Cloud storage option. Find the method that works best for you and your PC.

Check storage or disk space on your PC

Note: It is normal for the size of the hard drive shown in Windows to be slightly less than the actual size of the hard drive. This is because of space reserved by Windows that optimizes performance and helps with backup and recovery.

Viewing the storage on your PC is a good way to analyze how much free space you have left to use. You'll also be able to check which apps and programs are taking up the most space on your hard drive, so you can decide the best method for freeing up space. 

If you’d like to view your PC’s current storage, click the Start icon, and then click Settings. Click System, and then click Storage.

The settings screen will display the amount of storage currently being used by apps, features, and temporary files. Turn on the switch next to Storage Sense to automatically clear the space that is being taken up by temporary files that you don’t need.

System window with the Storage tab selected

Click Apps and features to view the list of apps on your PC by storage type and amount. You can search for specific apps using the search bar above the list. Click Temporary files for a list of downloaded files and system error files that are being stored. You can remove any of these files by selecting them, and then clicking Remove files.

Uninstall an app

If you aren’t using certain programs or apps regularly, you may want to uninstall them so they aren't running in the background and taking up storage space.

Navigate to Start > Settings > Apps. You can search by name, or sort or filter the results. Select an app to remove, and then click Uninstall. Click Uninstall again to confirm.

A list of apps with one displaying the Uninstall option

Empty the Recycle Bin

Your PC’s Recycle Bin will temporarily store deleted files and documents until you decide to permanently remove them. If you’ve accidentally sent a file to the Recycle Bin, you can recover it immediately. You can also remove files from the Recycle Bin to free up additional space.

To retrieve a deleted file, open the Recycle Bin and find the file you need. Right-click the file, and click Restore to recover it. It will be moved to its original location on your PC so you can access it again.

To permanently delete files, open the Recycle Bin, and select an individual file. Right-click the file, and then click Delete. Or click Empty the Recycle Bin to permanently remove everything in it.

The Recycling Bin menu with Empty Recycling Bin highlighted

Use external storage

If you’d like to transfer data from your PC so it can be accessed at a later date, you can use external devices like hard drives, SD cards, and USB drives. If your external storage device was previously used with a different kind of computer, such as a Mac, it may need to be formatted in order to work with your PC. However, if the storage device was used with another PC and the drive is big enough, you can continue adding files and don’t have to worry about formatting.

Remember, formatting an SD card or USB drive will erase all of the card's stored data and will then assign a new file system.

Insert the device into the available slot on your PC. From the Home screen, open File Explorer. Click This PC on the left sidebar; the external device should appear here. From File Explorer, you can begin moving files by dragging and dropping them onto the external device. If you need to format the device, right-click its name, and then click Format. Click Start to begin formatting, and then click OK if prompted to erase all data.

Device options with Format... highlighted

Use Cloud storage

If you don't want to use a physical storage device, you can use a Cloud storage service, such as Google Drive, Dropbox, or Microsoft OneDrive to store your data. You can transfer your data back to your PC at any time.

Cloud storage involves saving your data on a server that is maintained by a provider of your choice. You will need to set up a username and password so that your data remains secure. If you choose to store your data this way, it can be accessed from anywhere as long as you have an internet connection.

Google Drive screen with My Drive selected

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