12 best ways to free up hard drive space on Windows 10

6. Free up space transferring files to external drive

If you cannot clear enough space, you can connect an external drive to move files to the new location. You can even configure the system to make the external storage the default location to save files.

Relocate files to external drive

To transfer existing files to an external storage, connect the drive you will dedicate to the computer, and then use these steps:

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Browse to the folder with the content taking the most space.
  3. Select the items to move.
  4. Click the Move to button from the "Home" tab.

(Image credit: Future)
  1. Select the Choose location option.
  2. Select the external storage as the new destination.
  • Quick tip: If you want to keep files organized, you can use the available option to create a new folder to store the files in the new location.
  1. Click the Move button.

(Image credit: Future)

After completing the steps, you may need to repeat the instructions to move additional files and folders to a new location to reduce the storage usage in the drive running out of space.

Configure external drive as new save location

To allow the system to save files and install apps on an external drive automatically, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on System.
  3. Click on Storage.
  4. Under the "More storage settings" section, click the Change where new content is saved option.

(Image credit: Future)
  1. Use the drop-down menus and select the new location to save files automatically for each content type.

(Image credit: Future)
  1. Use the "New apps will be save to" drop-down menu to select the drive to install future apps by default.
  2. Click the Apply button for each setting.

Once you complete the steps, files, and apps from the Microsoft Store will save in the new location you specified.

Relocate apps and games to new drive

You can also move most apps and games from the Microsoft Store already installed on the computer to an external drive, which can help reduce storage usage.

To transfer existing apps and games to another drive on Windows 10, connect the external storage to the computer, and then use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Apps.
  3. Click on Apps & features.
  4. Use the "Sort by" filter and select the Size view to quickly identify the apps and games using the most space.
  5. Select the item to relocate.
  6. Click the Move button. (If the option is not available, the transfer feature is not available for that particular item.)
  7. Use the drop-down menu to select the new location.

(Image credit: Future)
  1. Click the Move button again.

After you complete the steps, you may need to repeat the same instructions to move additional apps or games to the new location.

The external drive must always be connected to the device when using this feature. Otherwise, you won't be able to launch the apps or play those games you moved to the new storage.

Mauro Huculak is technical writer for WindowsCentral.com. His primary focus is to write comprehensive how-tos to help users get the most out of Windows 10 and its many related technologies. He has an IT background with professional certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA, and he's a recognized member of the Microsoft MVP community.