Windows Needs More Space

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Windows Needs More Space Alerting

Windows needs more space is an alerting message usually appears during Windows update since there is not enough free space on C drive system partition. The warning message often shows: "Windows needs more space…" (See following image)

From the Windows update window, you can know following information:

1. It will tell how much free space it needs on C drive for Windows update.
2. Suggestions to fix the low disk space problem, namely,

  • Use Disk Cleanup to free up space
  • Choose another drive or attach an external drive with enough space available

In addition to the obvious information you can get from the alerting message, this article will share reasons why it pops up the message and tells more useful solutions for the problem.

Why PC Reports It Requires More Space?

In most of the time, PC reports it requires more space when it realizes that there is no sufficient space for system updating. Why this problem happens? Well, below are possible causes:

1. System Partition Runs out of Disk Space

The most common reason is that there is insufficient space on system partition, which leads the computer to alert that Windows requires more space for system updating. Probably, you have installed too many programs or saved lots of other files on the C drive, in which situation the space is occupied by those files. Or you did not allocate enough available space for C drive, so the free space is eaten out during daily usage of your computer by cookies, internet temporary files, etc.

2. Virus infection occupied the free space

Another possible reason is that the hard drive is attacked by virus, in which situation the free space has been occupied by virus or Trojan. Although you might be unable to view those virus programs, the available space becomes not sufficient even there is not much data or software being installed on the partition.

What to Do When Windows Wants More Space?

After knowing the reasons why Windows wants more space, you can take effective measures to resolve the problem. Whatever the reason is! You can follow the guide below to fix the issues:

Step1. View the Space of C Drive on Windows

When you receive the alert message saying Windows requires more space during system update, you had better go to check how much available space has left on C drive.

It is easy to check the space of any partition on Windows with either of following methods:

Method1: Open Properties of C drive in Windows Explorer

Double click "My Computer" (or "This PC") on desktop of Windows > Right click C drive and select "Properties" to view its capacity and free space.

Method2: Open Disk Management to view Properties of C

Right click "My Computer" (or "This PC") on desktop of Windows and click "Manage" > select "Disk Management" under "Storage" > right click C and click "Properties" to see its space

Step2. Check Problems on Windows or Hard Disk

If you found that there is enough free space on C drive after viewing its Properties, it is necessary to check if there is any problem with the system or hard disk drive.

1. Run antivirus software to check if the hard drive is attacked by virus.

2. It might cause system crash if you get the Windows installed package from unsafe place instead of Microsoft official sites or if you have installed pirated version of Windows system on your computer.

Make sure your PC runs in a safe and clean environment and install copy-righted version of Windows system.

How to Get More Space for Windows?

When Windows requires more available space, you may want to get more space for it. Then, how can you get more space for Windows updating? First of all, you should know how much free space it needs for Windows updating.

How Much Space Do You Need for Windows Update?

For installing different versions of Windows updating packages, the available space it needs is different. It is necessary to know how much free space it needs for updating Windows.

Here is some basic knowledge for Windows installation:

Windows installation requirement:

  • Windows 10 Hard disk space storage minimum: 16GB for 32bit version, 20GB for 64bit version
  • Windows 8 hard disk space requirement: Approximately16GB for 32bit version, 20GB for 64bit version 
  • Windows 7 HDD storage requirement: 25GB for 32bit version, 50GB for 64bit version

To ensure the normal and safe running of Windows OS, you had better keep enough free space on system partition. Therefore, it is recommended to keep more than 50GB available space on C drive no matter which Windows OS you install on computer. If the hard disk is large enough, it will be better to allocate more free space (more than 100GB) to system partition.

When computer gives warning message saying Windows needs more space, it will tell how much available space it needs for system updating. If you are not sure how much available space you should allocate for C drive, you can refer to that warning message.

Backup data

It is necessary to backup very important data before making space for Windows in case of unexpected data loss due to mistaken deleting or other reasons. To backup data, you can copy it to another drive / device or use backup / clone software to backup / clone the drive.

To get more space for Windows, you have two choices – Free up disk space and choose another drive.

5 Ways to Make Available Space on Windows PC

To make available space for Windows computer so that you can successfully install the Windows update, you can use any of following methods:

1. Free up disk space on C drive using Disk Cleanup tool

You can free up disk space on C drive to get more available space. To free up disk space, you can run Windows Disk cleanup tool and follow the guide below:

Step1. Right click C drive in My Computer and select "Properties" > click "Disk Cleanup" button

disk cleanup

Wait patiently when Disk Cleanup is calculating how much space you will be able to get free on C drive. It usually takes a few minutes to complete.

disk cleanup is calculating

Step2. When the calculating is finished, it will show how much space you can free up. Select the files to delete and click "OK" button to delete some temporary files, recycle bins, etc.

files to delete

If it does not free up enough available space after deleting the files selected in Step2, you can continue.

Step3. Click "Clean up system files" button > click "More Options" tab, under which you can clean up "Programs and Features" and "System Restore and Shadow Copies".

clean up system files

Pay attention:

Think it carefully before deleting system files from your computer. If you delete the previous system backup files, you will be unable to restore system back to previous version when you meet any problem on Windows system. Of course, you can delete those system files if you are sure that you no longer need them.

Apart from Windows built-in Disk Cleanup tool, you can also use some professional disk cleaner to free up space.

2. Delete Unnecessary Files or Move Files to another Drive

Open C drive and delete unnecessary files stored in it. It is highly recommended not to save other files to C drive except for system related files. If you have some personal data being stored on C drive, you had better move it to other drives or external disk.


You can set to show hidden files to see if there is some hidden but not important data being saved on this partition. If there is some hidden unimportant data, just merely delete it.

3. Uninstall or Reinstall Programs

If you have installed all programs to C drive, you had better uninstall those unused applications or you can reinstall them to another drive instead of C drive.

  • To uninstall program on Windows 10 / 8:

Step1. Type "Control Panel" in Search box to find and open Control Panel.

windows 10 control panel

Step2. Click "Programs and Features"

programs and features

Step3. Select the program you want to uninstall and click "Uninstall".

windows 10 uninstall program

  • To uninstall programs from Windows 7:

Step1. Click "Start" button and click "Control Panel"

windows 7 control panel

Step2. Click "Uninstall a Program"

uninstall a program

Step3. Select the program you want to uninstall and click "Uninstall" and then confirm to uninstall it.


Step1. Click "Start" > "Settings" > "Control Panel"

windows xp control panel

Step2. Click "Add or Remove Programs"

add or remove programs

Step3. Click the program you want to uninstall and click "Remove"

remove program windows xp

4. Reformat C drive and reinstall system

If it is not able to install Windows update since it requires more free space, you can reinstall system and reformat C drive.

5. Repartition hard drive to reallocate more space to C drive

On Windows 7, 8, 10, you can run Disk Management to extend C drive so as to allocate more space for it. The detailed steps are:

Step1. You have to move all data from D drive to any other place and then delete this drive under "Disk Management".

Step2. The deleted partition will show as unallocated space behind C drive. Right click C and click "Extend Volume" to add the unallocated space to C drive.

extend c

C drive will be extended when the "Extend Volume" is completed by following the wizard.

1. You must make sure that there is unallocated space showing contiguous to the C drive in order to use Disk Management to expand its space.

2. Windows XP does not have the function of extending partition with Disk Management. Therefore, you may need to use partition software in order to increase the size of C drive.

Choose another Drive or Attach an External Drive

In addition to make more space for C drive, you can also choose another drive or attach an external hard drive to resolve the problem when Windows requires more space.

1. Choose another Drive

By default, people like to install Windows system on C drive. If C drive has insufficient space for installing Windows update, you can choose another drive such as D drive, E drive, or F drive, etc to install the update package.

2. Attach an external drive

You can connect an external hard drive to the computer to complete the Windows update. Make sure that the external hard drive works normally and has been plugged to PC properly, you can select the external drive to finish the Windows update installation when PC shows message "Windows needs more space".

3. Add new hard disk

You can also add a new hard disk to desktop, in which situation you will find two disks showing under Disk Management. When there is no enough space for system installation on one disk, you can choose another disk to install the update.

Hard disk has different capacities from 120GB to 4TB. Hard disk which has capacity less than 2TB has MBR partition table, while hard disk that is larger than 2TB has GPT partition table. When you add new hard disk to your computer, it is necessary to know this point.

Windows Asking for More Space vs. Low Disk Space Warning

In general, Windows asks for more space when there is low disk space on system partition. However, Windows asking for more space has some difference compared with low disk space warning.

Windows Requires More Space

This warning message usually shows when there is not enough available space for system installation. For example, even if there is 20GB available space on C, it would ask to make more space when you attempt to install system package that is larger than 20GB. Windows would not pop up this warning as long as you do not install any program that is larger than its free space.

Low Disk Space Warning

This alert message often appears when C drive is running out of disk space. The message says "You are running out of disk space on Local Disk [drive]. To free space on this drive by deleting old or unnecessary files, click here."

low disk space

PC begins to pop up this warning when the free space on a partition that is less than 200MB. The times to show this message becomes more frequently when the free space is less than 80MB, in which situation Windows will automatically delete previous system restore point to free up space. When the available space is less than 50MB, Windows will report low disk space warning about every 4-5 minutes until you take measures to get more space. Otherwise, Windows will delete will previous system restore points automatically to free up disk space.

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