How to free up space in Windows Server 2008?

Updated on: June 18, 2020

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, the first thing you need to do is freeing up disk space with Windows clean up utilities, change applications’ settings and then extend the system C: drive.

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.

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

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”

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

2. 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

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. Run the Windows Clean Manager

Windows comes already with a built in cleaner that does simple basic tasks to free up disk space.
To access it click Start -> Run -> type cleanmgr -> press OK.

After these steps, you can free up some disk space in Windows 2008 Server, but generally speaking, these tools take a long time to run and cannot free up large amount of free space, they just help you disable Windows 2008 Server low disk space alert temporarily.

To completely solve this problem, you’d better continue the following steps:

  • Change the way you use your hard drives. Many geeks like to keep their data separate from the operating system. This makes it easier to make backups of the data on the D: partition, and easier to replace or reinstall the operating system on C:
  • 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.

Increase partition size after freeing up disk space

If you cannot free up large amount of free space or C drive was created too small, you’d better expand C drive, otherwise you’ll see C drive full issue in near future. With partition resizing software, you can increase partition size safely, Operating System, applications and all data keep the same after resizing partitions, except the partition size changed.

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