Hard drive showing wrong free space in Windows 10

Imagine a situation when your a disk in your system is showing high space utilization while you haven’t installed many applications. Upon checking the actual volume occupied by the apps inside the drive, you realize that they aren’t occupying a lot of space. This means that the hard drive is showing an incorrect value for the free space on your Windows 10 system.

Hard drive showing wrong free space

Hard drive showing wrong free space in Windows 10

While this condition might pass off as a harmless system bug could be a serious problem. Hidden files and folders could be occupying space. Since these are files are associated with system applications, you might never realize the problem unless you actually check the folder in depth.

The most common causes of the issue are as follows:

  1. The system information folder might be utilizing a lot of space. If you wonder where the information for the system restore points is stored, they are stored in the system information folder which in turn is stored in the drive as a hidden file.
  2. An issue with system maintenance could cause the problem.
  3. Malware or some other software might have created an undetectable hidden file.
  4. Space could be occupied by the trashbin folder.

These hidden files could occupy significant space in the folder, thus slowing down the system and impacting its performance. If you face this issue, try our suggestions and see if they help you.

  1. Use Disk analyzer software to identfy what is occupying space
  2. Run ChkDsk
  3. Clear all Junk files
  4. Reduce the space occupied by the system restore points
  5. Run the System Maintenance troubleshooter

1] Use Disk analyzer software to identfy what is occupying space

If all of the above-mentioned steps have failed, it could be possible that a large hidden file is utilizing the space. At times, Windows cannot detect it, however, third-party tools can. To take a look at such files, you could use a third party disk space analyzer software.

2] Run ChkDsk

Run the CHKDSK command

The hard disk stores important information, and if it gets corrupt, any data stored in it will be lost. However, the condition of the hard disk detoriates gradually, and you face issues like “hard drive showing wrong free space in Windows 10” whileit happens. To quite an extent, problems with the sectors of the hard disk can be detected and corrected using a CHKDSK scan.

3] Clear all Junk files

Junk files occupy a lot of space on drives, especially C: drive. To clear these files, you could use the Disk Cleaner tool in Windows. Alternatively, you could use the CCleaner tool to clear junk files from your system and recover the space utilized by them. These tools would helpin clearing System restore points, hibersys files, etc. and emptying the Recyle Bin.

4] Reduce the space occupied by the system restore points

System restore points occupy significant space on the system. The restore points are stored in the System Information folder. To check the size of the System Information folder, unhide the hidden files and folders and click on the folder. The size of the folder will be displayed on the right-pane.

To resolve the problem of the System Restore points occupying too much space on your drive, you could either delete all old System Restore Points and Previous versions of files or you could restrict the disk usage by System Restore Points.

5] Run the System Maintenance troubleshooter

If the issue has been caused due to system maintenance, the System Maintenance troubleshooter could help in fixing it. The procedure to run the System Maintenance troubleshooter is as follows:

Search for ‘control panel’ in the Windows search bar. Double-click on Control Panel to open it.

Go to the path Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Troubleshooting\System and Security.

System Maintenance troubleshooter

Select the System Maintenance troubleshooter and run it.

Restart the system once the process has completed.

Hope this helps!

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Karan Khanna is a passionate Windows 10 user who loves troubleshooting Windows problems in specific and writing about Microsoft technologies in general.

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