How to free up disk space in Windows Server 2008 R2

Updated on: May 22, 2021

When low disk space warning pops up on Windows Server 2008, it means that system C drive becomes full and there is not enough free space. In this situation, you’d better try to solve this problem as fast as possible, because Operating System runs much slower immediately. It may cause server reboot unexpectedly, system crash or data loss. When Low Disk Space warning message pop up and disk space is running low, 2 steps are most important – free up disk space and expand C drive as large as possible.

Windows 2008 Server low disk space

Today’s hard drives feature jaw-dropping amounts of space, but no matter how big your drive, you’ll be amazed at how quickly application/Windows update installs, browser caches, and temporary files can eat up your free space and clutter your system.

Windows 2008 low disk space

About “Low Disk Space” alert

Windows created the “low disk space” warning to alert computer users when their hard drive is running low on available disk space. Windows 2008 Server low disk space will cause many problem, such as:

  • You cannot install Windows updates or any applications.
  • System runs much slower.
  • Users cannot connect to this server.
  • System crash if there is few space in C drive.

So you’d better fix this problem as fast as possible.

How to free up space in Windows 2008 Server (R2)

It is easy to free up disk space in Windows Server 2008 r2 and there are many methods, here I introduce 6 common ways.

1. Delete Temp files to free up disk space

Click Start > Run, input “%temp%” or open directory step by step “C:\Users\Administrator\AppData\Local\Temp”

2. Delete old Shadow Copies

Open “My Computer”, right-click C drive, select Properties, switch to “Shadow Copies” tab, delete old volume copies.

Delete shadow copy to free up

3. Empty Recycle Bin and decrease the disk usage size

Empty Recycle Bin to delete the unused files, but before this, you’d better check again wether these files can be deleted permanently.

To decrease the Recycle Bin disk usage size:

Right-click Recycle Bin > Properties, you can easily custom size.

Free up disk space 2008

4. Empty or Decrease your Web Browsers disk usage for Cached files

Every web browser has a preferences or options area to adjust the temporary internet files and cache usage.

5. Remove Old Stuff

Just go into Add/Remove Programs or Programs and Features and tidy up. There’s likely a pile of old crap in there that’s taking up space.

6. Run Windows Disk Clean utility

To free up disk space in Windows Server 2008 r2, the best option is running Disk Cleanup which is a Windows native tool. It is able to remove most of junk and unnecessary files from your server fast and safely. Of course you may use third party system optimization software, but in my opinion, Disk Cleanup is well enough to accomplish this task.

Steps to free up disk space in Windows Server 2008 r2 with Disk Cleanup:

  1. Click Start -> Run -> type cleanmgr -> press Enter.
  2. Select C: drive and click OK.
  3. Click the check-boxes in front of the files that you want to delete.
  4. Confirm this operation.
  5. Repeat step 1 and click Clean system file in step 3.

If you cannot free up over 10GB free space, C drive may become full again in a short time, because new junk files are generated continuously. To completely solve this problem, you’d better continue the following steps:

  • Install programs to a separate partition, do not throw everything into C drive.
  • Change default download and cache path of the applications.
  • If you turn on Windows backup and restore point, don’t set it too large.
  • Delete caches and temporary files with Windows cleanup utility regularly.
  • Change partition size and extend C: drive if it is created as too small.

Expand C drive as large as possible

To extend C drive in Windows 2008 server, you’d better make a backup in advance and run safe disk partition software. Better than other tools, NIUBI Partition Editor has unique 1-Second Rollback, Virtual Mode and Cancel-at-well technologies to protect system and data. To resize partition and expand C drive, you just need to drag and drop on the disk map. After that, everything (except partition size) keeps the same with before.

Video guide to extend volume on Windows Server 2008 (R2)

Besides resizing partition and increase C drive space, NIUBI Partition Editor helps you do many other disk partition management operations.