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What to do when main SSD is full?

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  • 4 min read

With SSDs becoming cheaper and overall accessible by the day, it’s a great time to upgrade your storage to a much faster and more robust one as compared to HDDs. However, SSDs still haven’t caught up to HDDs when it comes to capacity, and that can be a problem. 

In this article, we’re taking a look at what you can do when your main SSD is full for seemingly no reason.

Also read: SSHD vs SSD vs HDD: 3 talking points 

Why is your SSD full?

There are a number of reasons why you might have a full SSD with no explanation. Some common causes include:

  • Hidden system files
  • Old Windows update files
  • Unused programs

How to fix this?

Here are four fixes you can try out. 

Perform a Disk Cleanup

Disk Cleanup is an integral feature of Windows. It can help iron out many issues that may otherwise impact your system’s performance, including repairing any processes causing the error. 

You can refer to this article for more information on Disk Cleanup

Clear the SoftwareDistribution folder

As an extension to the previous solution, corrupt Windows update files can also take up space on your SSD. Try removing them to see if that helps. 

Step 1: Press Windows Key + R to open the Run prompt. Type C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution and hit enter.

Step 2: Delete the contents of this folder.

Restart your PC and you should be good to go. 

Run an antivirus scan

Malware or virus infections on your PC can also cause bloated file sizes and take up unnecessary space on your drive. Here’s how you can run a full scan on your PC using Windows Security.

Step 1: Press the Windows key and search for Windows Security. Click the corresponding search result. 

Step 2: Click Virus & threat protection. 

Step 3: Click Scan options. 

Step 4: Select Full scan and click Scan now to start scanning your PC for malware. 

Remove unused programs

Finally, you can use Windows settings to check your storage and remove any unused programs or games that might be taking up space on your drive. Here’s how. 

Step 1: Press the Windows Key + I to open Windows Settings. Click Storage. 

Step 2:  You’ll be able to see an overview of where exactly your storage is being used and remove programs (or other data) accordingly. 

Also read: How to migrate the OS from HDD to SSD?

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here:

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