Clean up Windows 11 computer space by moving files to External Storage

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So, if you used all the options for cleaning but you still need or do not have enough space on your computer, then you should connect an external drive to your computer and move files to it.
If you keep this external drive connected to the machine, you can even configure Windows 11 to directly save files on this, secondary storage.

Moving files to external storage

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Browse to the folder that you wish to move to external storage.
  3. Select items.
  4. Click the Cut button.
  5. Browse to the destination drive.
  6. Click the Paste button.

As you complete you can repeat the process to move more files onto an external drive.

Configure external storage as the new default location

You can configure Windows to save files automatically, or install apps automatically to a new, external drive.

Follow these steps to do it.

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on System.
  3. Choose Storage on the right side.
  4. Click Advanced storage under Storage management.
  5. Click Where new content is saved.
  6. Use drop-down menus and select the destination where to save files automatically for each type of content.
  7. Click on Apply button.
    You can use New apps will be saved to the drop-down menu to select the drive where future apps will be installed on.
  8. Click Apply button.

After you have completed the steps, apps and files will be directly saved to a new, external drive.

Move apps and games to external storage

Windows 11 does include the option to move apps from Microsoft Store and games to an external drive without having to reinstall anything.
You can use this feature to clean up some space on your machine.

To move existing apps and games to new storage, follow the steps below.

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Choose Apps.
  3. Installed apps on the right side.
  4. Sort by and choose Size (Large to small) so you can see which apps and games take up the most space.
  5. Click the three-dot menu item and choose the Move option.
  6. Select the new location on the new drive, external drive.
  7. Click Move.
    If an option is not available then the feature is not available for a particular app.
  8. Select the drive to move the game or app.
  9. Click Move again.

The external drive needs to be always connected to use this feature.

Repeat the above instructions for apps and games you want to move.

Free Windows 11 computer space by turning off Hibernation

Hibernation is there for a long time on Windows 11 computers, it’s a feature designed to save data in memory onto the system drive before shutting down to preserve the session for the next time you turn the computer on.

It is a useful feature, but it requires a few gigabytes to save memory contents on hiberfil.sys.

Disabling hibernation can clean up some space storage, here is how you can disable it.

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search Command Prompt, right-click, and choose Run as administrator.
  3. Type this command inside powercfg /hibernate off after this press Enter.

As you complete, Hibernation will be turned off, during this process computer will remove the mentioned file and it will clean up space.

You can always re-enable this feature if you need it in the future.

Read more on the blog.