What to do if 'C Drive Is Full on Windows 11'?

Is your C drive is full on Windows 11? And warning that the local disk C is running out of disk space, or you cannot download or install new updates for Windows 11? If so, please read this article to find the appropriate solution.


By Maggie Updated on November 9, 2023

Share this: instagram reddit

Why my C drive is full in Windows 11?

After using a computer for a while, we will inevitably encounter a situation where C drive full Windows 1. Why is the C drive of your Windows 11 full? Here is a list of some common reasons for you to see which case you fall into.

  • In most versions of Windows, all programs and downloads are saved in the local disk C by default. This is one of the major reasons for filling up the C drive space in Windows 11.
  • Virus or malware issues can cause your files to fill up system space.
  • Windows may have generated cache, temporary downloads or junk in the local disk C.
  • User data such as photos, downloads, or personal information may have been saved on local disk C.

What will happen if C drive is full?

In Windows 11, a full C drive can cause many problems in your daily work and life. For example, Windows works extremely slow, storage space is very small, the C drive cannot be used to install programs, or Windows cannot be updated, and so on. Don't worry, we have the solution for you, in this article, we will guide you on how to solve the C drive problem.

How to Fix Windows 11 C Drive Is Full Issue

After knowing the reason why the C drive is full-on Windows 11, you can try the solutions mentioned below, in turn, to see if you can fix the problem.

Method 1. Perform Disk Cleanup in Windows 11

Microsoft provides a built-in tool - "Disk Cleanup" to delete files from Windows Explorer. You can first try to use this tool to free up space on your C drive. Then solve the problem of full C drive on Windows 11.

  1. First press Windows + E to open the File Explorer. Click on This PC and then selecting the Local Disk (C:), click on Properties.


  1. In the Properties window click on General and then select Disk Cleanup.

Disk Cleanup

  1. Then you can select the files you want to remove from Disk Cleanup and select "OK". This method will allow you to delete unwanted files from your C drive and clear up a huge space in your C drive.

Select Files

Method 2. Delete temporary files in Windows 11

During the use of computer applications, some files and caches are automatically created in the background. Ideally, you should delete these files as soon as you finish a task. However, if you don't do this for a long time, they will accumulate into clutter and slow down the performance of your system. You can delete temporary files from your computer by the following method and then see if you can fix the problem of C drive is full on Windows 11.

  1. Press Win + R to launch the Run command. Type %temp% in the Run text field and press OK.

Open Temp Command

  1. This will then open the temporary folder, press Ctrl + A to select all files and choose the Delete option.

Delete Temporary Files

  1. This action may require administrator access. Click Continue to proceed with this process. It will delete all temporary files from your system.


Method 3. Emptying the Recycle Bin in Windows 11

When the C drive is full on Windows 11, you can free up space on your C drive by emptying the Recycle Bin. Windows will temporarily save all your deleted items in the Recycle Bin (with a time limit of 30 days) so that you can recover your items when you need them. If you have never emptied your Recycle Bin, it may have taken up a specific area of your C drive, causing the Windows 11 C drive to be full condition.

💜 Note: Before you start emptying your Recycle Bin, make sure there are no important files that you may need later. If there are, restore them to their original location before emptying the Recycle Bin .

  1. You can empty the Recycle Bin manually by opening it from the desktop. Select the Recycle Bin icon on your desktop. Click on Empty Recycle Bin.

Empty Recycle Bin

  1. A pop-up will then ask you if you want to permanently delete these files. Select Yes and all files will be deleted from your system.

Method 4. Transferring large files to an external hard drive

If you are experiencing a situation where your Windows 11 C drive is full, you can try transferring large files to an external drive, so you can free up some space on your hard drive.

With the help of third-party transfer software - AOMEI Backupper Standard, you can easily transfer files on your C drive to other locations, such as D drive or other drives, or external disks, USB drives, cloud drives, network locations, etc. You can also enable the automatic synchronization feature to run this task automatically, which is especially useful for long-term data protection. If a file is corrupted, infected, or deleted, you can easily recover it.

Please download and install the software before you transfer files from C drive to external hard drive. This can help you solve "C drive is full on Windows 11" issue. For server users, please try AOMEI Backupper Server.

Download FreewareWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download
  1. Launch AOMEI Backupper Standard after installing. Click Sync and then Basic Sync.

File Sync

  1. Then click Add Folder to browse files and folders from C drive on Windows 11. 

Add Folder

🎇 Tip: If you don't want to move all the files, Click Filter Settings (supported by AOMEI Backupper Professional) to exclude or include certain file types from selected folders. 

Click Filter

  1. Click the second box to select the external hard drive as the destination path. Then, click Start Sync to transfer the files from the C drive to the external hard drive.

🎇 Tip: To solve the situation that Windows 11 C drive is full, you can also create a cloud backup with this software. AOMEI Cloud, a cloud drive developed by AOMEI Tech, provides 1TB of cloud storage from the time you sign up for an AOMEI account to 15 days.


Final Words

After reading this article, you will learn about four solutions for C drive is full-on Windows 11. For long-term consideration, I suggest you move the large files on your C drive to another drive or to an external disk. You can easily do this with the tools mentioned in the fourth method. In this way, you can avoid the situation where your C drive is full.

What's more, AOMEI Backupper Standard can also help you migrate your system and data, which is very useful if you want to upgrade your hard drive on Windows 11. With its help, you will not experience problems such as data loss or inability to boot from the cloned disk. Download it now and try it out!

Maggie · Editor
Maggie is a technical editor from AOMEI and troubleshoots technical problems against data protection. She has received professional and systematic technical training. With a focus on user experience, security, and problem-solving, she always puts herself in the readers' shoes and provides them with valuable technical insights.