Windows Server 2016 free up disk space on system C: drive

C drive is running out of space and getting full automatically in most of Windows 2016 server. Thus, there is not enough free space to install Windows update and applications. If C drive becomes almost full, some Windows services stop working, the server may reboot unexpectedly or even crash. In this situation, the first thing you should do is freeing up disk space on C drive. By doing this, you can reclaim disk space and get more free space in C drive. However, few server can free up enough free space. As supplementary, you can expand C drive by adding free space from other drives. In this article I’ll introduce how to free up disk space in Windows Server 2016 and how to increase C drive free space.

Benefits to free up disk space

By freeing up disk space in Windows 2016 server, you can delete the junk and unnecessary files to reclaim disk space. As I said above, low disk space is dangerous to a server, if you can reclaim precious free space, the server will keep running in the right way. Even if you cannot get large amount of free space, you can install some applications to help solve this problem. Cleaning up disk is very useful especially to the server that never did this operation.

Imperfection of freeing up space

  1. To free up disk space in Windows Server 2016, there are many choices, such as Windows built-in Disk CleanUp utility, 3rd-party optimization software or delete files by yourself. Except Disk Cleanup utility, there may be potential risk of losing data.
  2. It may cost a long time to complete the task.
  3. As I said above, not every server can reclaim large amount of free space. That means, C drive will become full again shortly.

How to clean up disk space on C drive?

I have used the built-in Cleanup utility in most of Windows versions many times. I my opinion, the native Disk Cleanup tool is well enough. It is able to remove most common types of junk files fast and safely.

Steps to free up disk space with Windows Server 2016 Disk Cleanup tool:

Step 1: Open Files Explorer, right click C drive and select “Properties“.

Step 2: Click “Disk Cleanup” and OK to continue. (Another way is pressing Windows + R keys together, type cleanmgr and press Enter)

Disk Cleanup

Step 3: In next window, click the check-box in front of the files you want to clean up.

Select files

Step 4: Click OK and confirm this operation.


Step 5: Switch to More Options tab, where you can uninstall program and delete System Restore/Shadow Copy files.

More option

How to increase C drive free space

As I said above, most of servers cannot reclaim large amount of free space on C drive. To completely solve this problem, you’d better add more free space from other partitions. With safe disk partition software, you can shrink other large partition to release free space. These free space will be converted to Unallocated and can be moved to C drive. Except partition size, everything is the same with before.

Important step after cleaning up C drive in Windows 2016 server:

Step 1. Download and install NIUBI Partition Editor, right click volume D and select “Resize/Move Volume“.

Select Resize

Step 2: In the pop-up window, drag left border towards right to shrink this partition.

Shrink d drive

Drag to shrink

Click OK and back to the main window, part of free space in D drive is converted to Unallocated on the left.

Unallocated created

Step 3: Right click C drive and select “Resize/Move Volume” again. In the pop-up window, drag the right border towards right to add this Unallocated space.

Extend C drive

Extend C

Step 4: Click OK and back to the main window, C drive is extended by adding this space. Click Apply on top left to execute, done.

C drive extended

If there is not enough free space in the contiguous partition D, you can shrink any nonadjacent volume on the same disk.

Watch the video how to add more space to C drive:

Besides shrinking and extending partitions, this programs helps you do many other disk partition management operations. BTW, you’d better run Windows Server 2016 Disk Cleanup to free up disk space on C drive monthly to delete new generated junk files.

Learn More Download