Fixed: Windows 10 Recovery Partition or Drive Almost Full (5 Ways)

Learn 5 effective ways to fix Windows 10 recovery partition almost full and a better way to protect system and data on it.


by Ivy Updated on October 17, 2022

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User case: Windows 10 recovery partition almost full

The recovery partition is a special partition on the hard drive, which contains all the required files for Windows installation. Thus, you can easily reset or repair the computer if it becomes unbootable. It usually has a very low space, maybe several hundred MBs in size. And sometimes, you may receive a notice, saying "you are running out of disk space on Recovery", just like in the following case. 



I got a new laptop a couple of months ago. Now I started getting this message telling me that the recovery partition is almost full. And it asks me to clean up some unnecessary files, but no suggested files. Thus, what can I do when the recovery partition is almost full?  Leave it till full up, or is there any way to recycle data or increase disk space? Please assist, thanks!

- Question from Microsoft


Please don't leave it full, if you do so, you may encounter serious problems when you need to perform system recovery with it. The best way is to free up space on Windows 10 recovery drive or create a system image and bootable media as alternative, preferably a scheduled task. It will keep the operating system, system configuration and drivers, non-preinstalled programs, personal data, etc. Thus, in a disaster, it will minimize data loss. 

How to fix Windows 10 recovery drive almost full

The Windows 10 recovery partition almost full may caused by too many personal files or apps or Windows update. And this provides you with 4 efective ways to fix it. Also, you can directly create a system image and bootable media in the next part.

Way 1. Manually delete unnecessary files

If your Windows 10 system recovery is taking up too much space, you can manually delete some unnecessary files.

Step 1. Open File Explorer > View tab. And then select Option > Folder Options button.


Step 2. Click View and select Show hidden files, folders, and drives. Then remove Hide protected operating system files option. Then you can click Apply and OK.


Step 3. Then double-click your Recovery drive and open it. Select files you previously stored in it or related to a backup programs you use and then delete them. If you want to keep them, please copy files to another drive and then delete.

Important tip: 
Do not delete any files that are associated with system recovery, including $RECYCLE.BIN, boot, hp, preload, Recovery, RecoveryImage, system.sav, bootmgr, BT_HP.FLG, CSP.DAT, DeployRp, HP_WSD.dat, HPSF_Rep, language, or RPCONFIG! It helps you reinstall Windows 10  if your computer does not work. 

Way 2. Run Disk Cleanup to free up space

Step 1. Press Win+R to open run dialogue, type cleanmgr, and press Enter.

Step 2. Then, you will be ask to select the drive you want to clean, select Recovery partition and click OK.


Step 2. Wait for Windows to calculate how much space you will be able to free. Then, in the Disk Cleanup window, select files you want to remove, Previous Windows installation(s), for example. Also, you can choose to clean up system files


Way 3. Run SFC scan and remove temporary files

If you cannot find any files to delete or remove, just like in the case I mentioned above, you can try this way to remove files.

Step 1. Type cmd in the search box and run as an administrator.

Step 2. Type sfc /scannow and press Enter. And this command can scan all protected system and replace corrupted files. You need to wait for a moment.


Step 3. After the SFC scan is completed, you can also type the command: chkdsk [drive letter]: /f /r /x to repair the bad sectors.

Step 4. Then you can clean up temporary files follow the guide of Way 2.

Way 4. Disable System Protection to save disk usage

Besides, you can choose disable system protection of recovery drive to fix the recovery image drive is almost full issue. 

Step 1. Open System Protection with the following way:

#1: Through search box. Type restore point and select the best match result. 

#2: Through About window. Press Win+X and then click System. Then, you will be taken to the About window, scroll down to the Related settings section and select System protection.


Step 2. You will be navigated to System Properties window, select System Protection and click Configure if the recovery drive shows On.  

Step 3. In the System Protection window, click Disable system protection > Apply and OK. It will delete all the restore points automatically. 

Also, you can go to Disk Space Usage setion, adjust the max usage or click Delete button to delete all restore points for recovery drive.


Way 5: Extend Recovery Drive with Disk Management

You can also extend partition size of Recovery Drive to fix recovery image drive almost full.

Step 1. Open the Run window, type diskmgmt.msc and hit Enter. It will direct you to the Disk Management window.

Step 2. Find the disk containing Recovery Drive, right-click it and select Extend Volume.


Step 3. Click Next and you will be asked to specify the size of unallocated space you want to add. Just do so. 

Better way to protect Windows 10 safely (No data loss)

Recovery Drive is a good assistant to recovering your computer quickly in a disaster, but it only leaves you with a fresh system and all the preinstalled programs. You need to waste much time reinstalling programs, configuring settings, drivers, Windows Update, etc. The biggest problem is your data, it's deleted during the reinstallation process.

To avoid these problems, you could consider creating a system image with AOMEI Backupper Professional. Its System Backup will include everything on the system partition, so you don't need to worry about data loss after recovery. If you run this task automatically (daily, weekly, monthly), all the changes made later will be included.
And it helps you minimize backup disk almost full issues with different features, such as, incremental and differential backup, automatic backup cleanup, normal or high compression, automatic splitting or custom size, etc. Among them, the most effective way is to delete old backup images regularly with backup cleanup.

To get started, please download this software and have a try! 

Download Free trialWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

(PS: The free trial version can only be used within 30 days, to always protect system and data safe, it's suggested to upgrade pro trial now or later. And this page offers a 10% discount.)

Step 1. Launch this software and click Backup > System Backup


Step 2. It will automatically choose system and boot-related partitions for you. Then, you just need to choose a destination path to store backup image. You can backup Windows 10 to USB drive, external drive, network drive, etc.


Step 3. With Schedule Backup, you can enable it and automatically backup your system with different frequencies. You have 5 options, daily, weekly, monthly, even trigger or USB Plug in. 

The USB plug in feature is strongly recommended if your backup drive is USB. It will automatically run this task when USB drive plugged in. 


Step 4. Then turn to Backup Scheme, there are three backup methods: full/incremental/differential backup, and the last two methods backup only changed files. And you can enable automatic backup cleanup. In this way, it will automatically free up your disk space while keeping the newest backup images.

The incremental backup is based on previous backup, thus it's more demanding for recovery and requires one full backup and all the linked incremental backups, otherwise the restore process will fail. To enhance success rate, try differential backup. 


Step 5. Now click Start Backup. Please kindly wait for the backup process to complete and then click Finish button.


Now you may already have a copy of a system partition and you can use it to restore computer to an earlier date. But if you want to use it for emergencies, it's suggested to create a bootable USB or CD/DVD to boot computer when it fails. 

Switch to the Tools tab and select Create Bootable Media, then you will be asked to select bootable type and media, just select it and then click Next to create the creation of bootable media.

Create Bootable USB

FAQs of Windows 10 recovery partition almost full

Q1: Why is my recovery drive full?

In fact, recovery drive is not an actual and physical drive, it’s a partition of your main hard disk. And if you store files on it, it will be full.

Q2: Is it safe to delete a recovery partition in Windows?

Yes. Removing a recovery partition will not affect the Windows operating system. But after removing the recovery partition, you cannot use "Reset this PC" feature for troubleshooting.

Q3: Will a full recovery partition slow down my computer?

The answer is absolute NO. A full recovery partition will not slow down your computer.


This tutorial provides you with 4 ways to fix Windows 10 recovery partition almost full and you can try them one by one. Besides, you can choose to create a system image and bootable media as alternative. It not only achieve the same effect as Recovery Drive, but also included non-preinstalled programs, personal data, and all the previous settings. 

And it provides you with multiple features to reduce disk space usage, and some features you don't even need to set manually. For example, this software will backup only changed files if you set a scheduled task. At the same time, normal compression, intelligent sector backup, and normal compression are enabled by default. You can try it for the long-lasting computer protection.

Ivy · Editor
Ivy is an editor of AOMEI Technology, she covers backup & restore,hard disk & partitions management and cloud files transfer and so on for AOMEI. She is an outgoing girl and enjoys helping people find solutions to their problems. She loves traveling, eating, reading and so on. She usually hangs out with friends at her leisure time.