Windows folder too big in Windows 11/10 (2023)

If the Windows folder is too big on your Windows 11/10 computer, use the suggestions provided in this article to decrease its size and free up disk space.

Windows folder too big in Windows 11/10 (1)

By default, the Windows operating system is installed on the C drive. If you open your C drive, you will see many folders there, including Windows, Program Files, Program Files (x86), etc. The Program Files and Program Files (x86) folders contain files required by the programs you install on your system. Hence, the size of these two folders depends on how many programs are installed on your system. In most cases, the Windows folder occupies the largest space on your disk. The size of the Windows folder can also increase with time.

The size of a folder depends on the files stored inside it. You can view the size of any folder by opening its Properties. An empty folder shows a size of 0 bytes because no files are inside it. As you start storing your files inside a folder, its size starts increasing.

What is the Windows folder?

The Windows folder is the folder that contains essential Windows operating system files. These files are required by the operating system to function properly. Deleting this folder is obviously not recommended – and even if you did try to delete it, it would not normally be possible.

But what if the Windows folder size is too big? On my computer, the size of the Windows folder is around 20 GB. Its size could vary depending on your Windows version, programs installed, etc.

If you open the Windows folder, you will see many different subfolders. All these subfolders have different sizes. In most cases, the WinSxS, System32, FileRepository, DriverStore, etc., folders occupy the most space on the C drive.

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When a folder is huge, the simplest way to decrease its size is to delete the unnecessary files inside it. The same thing also applies to the Windows folder, but you cannot delete any random file inside the Windows folder. This is because it contains the most crucial files required by the Windows operating system to operate properly. Therefore, you should know which files are important in the Windows folder before you start deleting them. Moreover, if you do try and delete files here, you might not be able to as they are system-protected.

This article will guide you on what you can do if the Windows folder is too big in your Windows 11/10 computer.Before we begin, let’s see some essential subfolders in the Windows folder.

  • System32: The System32 folder is an essential folder that contains crucial system files, including drivers, DLL files, etc.
  • Fonts: The Fonts folder contains your system fonts. Any custom fonts that you install are also located inside this folder.
  • SystemResources: As the name implies, the SystemResources folder contains the important files used by the Windows operating system to manage system resources. Deleting this folder can cause Windows to malfunction.
  • WinSxS: WinSxS stands for Windows Side by Side. It stores multiple copies of DLL files, exe files, and other system files that let multiple applications in Windows run without any compatibility issues.
  • DriverStore: The driver files are stored in the DriverStore folder. The FileRepository is a sub-folder here.

Use the following suggestions if the Windows folder is too big on your system.

  1. Use TreeSize or another similar software
  2. Run the Disk Cleanup utility
  3. Delete the unnecessary files inside the Windows folder
  4. Check the size of the CBS folder
  5. Cleanup WinSxS folder
  6. Cleanup DriverStore folder
  7. Use Compact Windows OS

Let’s see all these fixes in detail.

1] Use TreeSize or another similar software

Windows folder too big in Windows 11/10 (2)

TreeSize is free software that analyzes the disk space on a computer system and shows the tree view of the files, folders, and subfolders along with their sizes. It will make it easier for you to know which files and folders inside the Windows folder are eating the most space on your C drive.

Once you know this, you can move to the next step which is to delete unnecessary files and folders inside the Windows folder.

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SpaceSniffer and WinDirStat are other portable disk analyzer software to help you.

2] Run the Disk Cleanup utility

Windows folder too big in Windows 11/10 (3)

The right thing to do is never delete anything directly from the Windows folder at all. If anything takes up a lot of disk space in that folder, the best way is to use Disk Cleanup ToolorStorage Sense. Run the Disk Cleanup tool as administrator to see more options, and make sure you delete all but the latest system restore points too.

3] Delete the unnecessary files inside the Windows folder

Though the Windows folder is a crucial folder that contains important system files, it also contains some files that you can delete. Deleting such files will not affect your system. Files inside the Temp folder, Downloaded Program Files folder, Prefetch folder, SoftwareDistribution folder, unwanted Fonts, Hibernate File, etc., are some files you can delete from the Windows folder.

4] Check the size of the CBS folder

Windows folder too big in Windows 11/10 (4)

CBS.log file contains logs about Windows system files, System File Checker, etc. Its size can also increase with time. Some users have found that the CBS.log file was consuming a huge space on their disk, around 20 GB. It is located inside the Logs folder. The complete path of the CBS.log file is:


Because the CBS.log file is located inside the Windows folder, its huge size also contributes to the size of the Windows folder. Check the size of the CBS.log file on your computer. If it is taking up a huge space, delete it. Deleting this file will not cause any adverse effect on your system.

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5] Cleanup WinSxS folder

Windows folder too big in Windows 11/10 (5)

WinSxS stands for Windows Side by Side. It is a folder that contains essential files required by the Windows operating system.

You cannot delete this directory or move it elsewhere. Nor is it advisable to delete anything here, as such a step could probably make your applications un-workable or even break your system.

Windows automatically keeps reducing the size of the WinSxS folder by using different techniques, such as uninstalling or deleting the packages with components that have been replaced by newer versions of components. Windows keeps previous versions of components for some period of time. After that, these components will be removed automatically.

WinSxS folder is the main contributor to an increased size of Windows folder. Hence, performing a WinSxS folder cleanup will result in a significant reduction in the Windows folder size.

Read:System32 folder is too big in Windows 11

6] Cleanup DriverStore folder

Windows folder too big in Windows 11/10 (6)

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The Driver Store is a trusted collection of third-party driver packages as well as native device drivers that ship with the system, which is maintained in a secure location on the local hard disk. Before a driver can be installed, it must first be injected into the driver store which is located underC:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository. All files that are in the driver package are considered critical to the device installation.

Follow this post to safely clean up the DriverStore folder.

7] Use Compact Windows OS

Windows folder too big in Windows 11/10 (7)

Use this command only if you know what you are doing. This command helps you reduce the overall storage space of Windows installation. Termed as Compact OS, once executed, the system will run from compressed files, similar to WIMBoot.

Read: Folder is empty but has files and shows size in Windows.

General tips to free up more disk space:

  • Runcleanmgr /sageset:1. You will see more cleanup options
  • Removeprevious Windows installations/Windows.old
  • Make Disk Cleanup Tool delete ALL temporary files, including those created in the last 7 days.
  • Delete previous System Images and Backups.
  • Delete $Windows.~BT and $Windows.~WS folders.

Why is Windows folder 20 GB?

The size of the main folder is the combined size of files and subfolders stored inside it. If the Windows folder shows a size of 20 GB, it may be considered as normal for a day-to-day Windows 11/10 PC. Most of these files are essential parts of the Windows operating system. Hence, these cannot be deleted. But some files can be deleted from the Windows folder, and this action does not cause any harm to your computer.

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TIP: Go here to find out more ways to.

How do I reduce folder size in Windows 11?

To reduce a folder size in Windows 11, delete the unnecessary files inside that folder. If the folder contains essential system files, you cannot delete these files to reduce the folder size. Doing so will make your system unstable.

Read next: AppData Packages folder huge in Windows.


Windows folder too big in Windows 11/10? ›

Use DISM in Command Prompt. The WinSxS folder can hold large storage space and accounts for the large Windows folder issue. You cannot directly delete it from the C drive as it contains critical data for the OS. In this case, you can try DISM command line to reduce the folder size.

Why is system files so big on Windows 11? ›

The system file is where restore points are stored. A large one usually means lots of restore points. Delete some/all as you see fit, and size will be much reduced.

Why is my Windows folder 20 GB? ›

It should be normal if Windows consumes 20 GB space. It may be due to Older Windows update cache and other Windows Installations.

How can I reduce the size of the Windows folder? ›

To compress a folder, do the following:
  1. right-click on the folder.
  2. select Properties.
  3. click on Advanced...
  4. check the "Compress contents to save disk space" option.
  5. click OK twice.
Jan 15, 2012

How big should Windows 11 folder be? ›

The Windows 11 install size is not fixed. In general, a fresh Windows 11 install can take up about 27 GB of space on your disk. But why Microsoft requires more for Windows 11 upgrade? The Windows 11 requirement on disk space of 64 GB is to ensure a successful upgrade.

How do I reduce folder size in Windows 11? ›

To zip (compress) a file or folder

Press and hold (or right-click) the file or folder, select (or point to) Send to, and then select Compressed (zipped) folder. A new zipped folder with the same name is created in the same location.

Why is my C drive suddenly full Windows 11? ›

C drive is usually the default location for software installation. If you install a lot of software on the C drive, this will undoubtedly take up a lot of space. It is recommended to uninstall useless software or move the programs on the C drive to another hard drive of your computer to make room for the C drive.

Why is Windows folder taking up so much space? ›

On Windows 10, WinSxS is an essential folder under the Windows folder, which contains most of the components to customize and update the current installation. The folder will get larger once there's a new quality update installed.

Why is my Windows folder so big? ›

As mentioned above, system restore point and backup can be one of the reasons why your WinSxS folder too big. You can delete it and temporarily fix the low disk space issue on your computer. But it's not recommended. Anyway, you need a system backup to ensure the data security of the computer.

Why is my storage almost full Windows? ›

Personal files such as videos, music, photos, and documents can take up a lot of space on your device. To see which files are using the most space: Select File Explorer from the taskbar and find the files you want to move. Under This PC in the menu on the left, select a folder to see what files are saved in it.

Why is my C users folder so large? ›

Your Temp file of Windows maybe too large. You can manually delete this temp every time from C:\Users\Username\AppData\Local\Temp. (Note that AppData is a hidden folder, so you need to check hidden files to view). Or modify the temporary storage path and put it on another disk.

How do I clean up Windows folders? ›

Disk cleanup in Windows
  1. In the search box on the taskbar, type disk cleanup, and select Disk Cleanup from the list of results.
  2. Select the drive you want to clean up, and then select OK.
  3. Under Files to delete, select the file types to get rid of. To get a description of the file type, select it.
  4. Select OK.

Can we delete Windows folder in C drive? ›

You will not be allowed to delete C:\Windows, that is the operating system and if you did succeed, your PC would cease to function. If you have a folder named C:\Window. old, you can delete that safely once you know you have all your files somewhere else . . .

Does Windows 11 take too much space? ›

Delete Temporary Files

Temporary files unnecessarily clutter your system; the best way to deal with them is by deleting them for good. The steps to removing temporary files on Windows 11 are pretty simple: Launch the Settings app and navigate to System > Storage > Temporary files.

Is Windows 11 faster than Windows 10? ›

Windows 11 does a lot under the hood to speed up a PC's performance. The same PC will generally run faster on Windows 11 than Windows 10. But no matter how zippy your Windows 11 may be, it can run faster.

How many files can be in a folder Windows 11? ›

You can put 4,294,967,295 files into a single folder if drive is formatted with NTFS (would be unusual if it were not) as long as you do not exceed 256 terabytes (single file size and space) or all of disk space that was available whichever is less.

How do I delete a system file in Windows 11? ›

If you need to free up more space, you can also delete system files:
  1. In Disk Cleanup, select Clean up system files.
  2. Select the file types to get rid of. To get a description of the file type, select it.
  3. Select OK.

Why is system taking up 100% disk space? ›

What causes high disk usage? If you're at 100% disk usage in Windows 10, the issue could result from Windows itself or a variety of other programs. From Windows Superfetch, to a virus or malware, to outdated drivers or firmware, there are many causes. Often, your problem will be the result of several issues.

Why is my system taking so much GB? ›

It could be a result of updated apps as most apps after being updated take on much space and if all other updates from different apps add up then it's would result to it taking too much space. It's could also be a result of large files stored on your phone. Is the OnePlus 7 Pro a stock Android?


1. How to Find the Largest Files in Windows 10 - How to find Large Size Files on Windows
2. How to Set Default Folder View for All Folders in Windows 11
(Tech Review)
3. How to Set a Default Folder View for All Folders in Windows 11/10
4. How to Find Large Files In Windows 11
(The Geek Page)
5. Save space and Compress files or folders on Windows 10 and Windows 11
6. Fix Windows folder too big in Windows issue
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