Disk space for Windows developers

While I gladly finished my Windows development detour a while ago, it can’t hurt to share some stuff. It always puzzled me how fast gigabytes of disk space disappear through ordinary Windows usage as a developer. So here’s my non-exhaustive list of places to reclaim disk space:

Temp folders

Windows has plenty of them. In fact, each one surpasses the size of my Linux root file system🙂 Let’s start simple:

  • C:\Users\$USER\AppData\Local\Temp

Office caches (mostly Lync data and random crap):

  • C:\Users\$USER\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Office\
  • C:\MSOCache

Whatever that is:

  • C:\ProgramData\Package Cache

SQL Server also has an update cache too:

  • C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\110\Setup Bootstrap

Don’t forget the System Center Configuration Manager Cache. That’s the thing that your sysadmin fills for you :

  • C:\Windows\ccmcache

Windows Installer Cache

This one can grow really fast.

  •  C:\Windows\Installer

However, you shouldn’t touch that manually. Otherwise all hell may break loose. Instead, use the official Windows Installer Cleanup Utility (deprecated but still usefull)or it’s successor Microsoft FixIt.

TFS-Mappings

In case you still rely on Team Foundation Server, regularly check your mapping folders. Build artifacts tend to pile up there even after removing branches, etc.

Resharper Cache

Visual Studio is useless without, so you’re likely using it too. I was unable to configure the cache size but you can safely delete it once in a while:

C:\Users\$USER\AppData\Local\JetBrains\ReSharper\$VERSION\SolutionCaches

.NET Caches

As with all serious software on Windows, the .NET framework has caches too. Depending on which version you care for (choose between 32bit and 64bit) you may exercise your delete keys in subfolders of:

  • C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework
  • C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework64

As an example, drop these for .NET-4.5-something:

  • C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework64\v4.0.30319\SetupCache
  • C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework64\v4.0.30319\Temporary ASP.NET Files

The pagefile

Yes, a classic! Windows loves to have a big pagefile because it always tries to get as many dirty pages on disks as possible. So in my case it had a (Windows-managed) size of 17GB. Feels like quite a lot. So depending on personal taste you may want to adjust this here:

pagefile

Suspend to disk

As expected, suspend to disk needs space too. Windows uses a dedicated file, usually around the size of your built in RAM:

  • C:\hiberfil.sys

If Suspend to RAM is good enough for you, you may want to disable it. Open up cmd.exe and issue “powercfg -H off“:

susp

TL;DR

With these rather simple measures, I managed to reclaim around 40GB on a Workstation at work. This can make quite a difference if you’re on a small-ish SSD.

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