Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

how to move windows and user files off C:\

  1. #1

    Posts : 4
    windows 8.1

    how to move windows and user files off C:\

    Have an Asus 32Gb transformer. After all the Windows update downloads, I am left with approximately 1Gb of HDD space. I cannot activate Microsoft Office or download apps, because there is insufficient memory available.

    Can I free up space by moving C:\Windows files and C:\user files to the micro-SD drive?

    The C:\Windows\WinSxS directory has hundreds of folders, which I presume are update downloads. The C:\Windows\WinSxS folder alone takes up nearly 9GB of space. Can I move or remove some of that directory?

    Thanks for any help and advice.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2

    Sunnyvale, CA USA
    Posts : 283
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center (64-bit)


    Don't touch that.

    That ('C:\Windows\WinSxS')
    is the 'true' copy of your system files.

    The files in your system folder are hard links to these files.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3

    Posts : 1,875
    Windows 10 Pro Prieview x64

    You can't move WinSxs from the boot drive but you can move Users folder

    User Profiles - Relocate to another Partition or Disk

    You could try to reduce the size of WinSxs using this tutorial

    You could also turn off hibernation (type power cfg -h off) from elevated command prompt. That will remove your hyberfil.sys file after reboot.

    After that download TreeSize Free - Quickly Scan Directory Sizes and Find Space Hogs and see what you have - good luck

    A slightly more involved idea if you have 8.1 would be to re-install using WIMboot which will compress your Windows directory saving a lot of space - there is an overview here: Windows Image File Boot (WIMBoot) Overview and some interesting discussion here Windows 8.1 Update 1 WimBOOT discussion
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4

    Posts : 4
    windows 8.1

    Thank you for the suggestions. I will try the steps for cleaning up the Winsxs folder, and may try to re-install using WIMboot option.

    I got a little confused reading the "relocating the User folder" suggestions. I have upgraded from Windows 8 to 8.1 and have reset the tablet to factory default a couple of times, trying to gain more space. I think the steps for relocating the Users folder said it won't work if I have upgraded Windows or re-installed.

    Previously, I had moved all documents from the C:\User\ folder to the micro-SD. There is not much in the C:\User folder, except a copy of the files I have on OneDrive. If I could get rid of the copy of what is on OneDrive from the C:\User folder, that would save me another 4 Gb. Any advice about that?

    Thanks again.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5

    Posts : 1,875
    Windows 10 Pro Prieview x64

    When you are in file explorer right click on OneDrive and select the location tab and then move it to the SD card. Actually you can do this will all user folders (Documents, music etc) so moving the whole user profile may be overkill.

    You could also chose what OneDrive files and folders to keep on your PC at all.

    User Folders - Change Default Location - Windows 7 Help Forums
    OneDrive - Available Offline or Online in Windows 8.1

    Turning off Hibernation should save you 2GB as it is the same size as your RAM.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6

    Harrisonburg, Va.
    Posts : 10,488
    Windows 8.1.1 Pro with Media Center

    There is an option to free up disk space in 8.1.1---

    Click image for larger version
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7

    Posts : 4
    windows 8.1

    Got 6 Gb back by cleaning up the WinSxS folder. Also moved Onedrive to SD drive.

    This makes my Asus Tablet functional again. Thanks for all the suggestions.

    Thought I might try reinstalling and taking the WIMboot option, but I have one last question. There is a "Compress this drive to save disk space" option in the General C:\ properties. Will that do the same or similar to the WIMboot option?

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8

    Posts : 1,875
    Windows 10 Pro Prieview x64

    No, it is not the same. The compress option there (and in disk cleanup option David mentioned above) compresses little used files. You don't run Windows from a compressed image.

    WIMBoot lets you run windows from a compressed image (the same as the .wim file in the ISO which you install windows from). It was designed to let Windows run on tablets such as yours with not much storage space. I think you may have to re-do it if you install upgrades (as they will not be in the WIM) but I'm not too sure. I've not tried it - I just read about it and it sounded interesting.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9

    Posts : 4
    windows 8.1

    Went ahead and compressed the C: drive. It's going to take 2 1/2 hours, so I won't know for a while how it affects my system.

    Let's consider this query solved. Thanks to Adam and David for great help.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

how to move windows and user files off C:\
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