Windows Tip: Reclaim Disk Space by Clearing Restore Points in Vista

I receive update notifications from Microsoft at least once every two days. I’m perpetually online so all I have to do is to allow the updates and let Windows Vista do its thing, mostly they’re Windows Defender updates anyway. The alarming thing is, everyday, I lose around 1.5 GBs of space since Windows automatically creates restore points before applying updates. Yup, that’s 1.5 GBs. So if you’re running on a 120GB hard drive (like me), I’m bound to lose space in about two months (I’ve subtracted the current disk usage for the OS and the apps). So to prevent this from happening, it’s wise to clear up old restore points.

We have posted the a similar guide for Windows XP months back. The process is pretty much the same but for illustration purposes, here’s the how to.

Fire up the Disk Cleanup by hitting the Start menu and typing “Disk Cleanup” on the Start search bar. Hit Enter.

Disk Cleanup

You will be greeted by the Disk Cleanup Options windows. If you’re running on an administrator account, it’s better to select the “Files from all users on this computer”.

Disk Cleanup Options

Next, the drive selection window will show up. Select the primary drive or partition where Windows Vista is installed.

Drive Selection

After the calculation window finishes, the Disk Cleanup interface will show up. You have two tabs here, the Disk Cleanup tab and the More Options tab. With the Disk Cleanup tab you can clear up space taken up by thumbnails, the Internet Explorer Cache, error reporting and other temporary files. You can actually clear these by clicking OK. But based on my experience, this would only take up a low-double-digit MBs. Besides, clearing thumbnails will just prompt Vista to re-do the process if you’re using the basic or Aero theme.

Disk Cleanup Main

The restore point cleanup option is under the More Options tab. Clicking on the Clean Up option will immediately delete the restore points and shadow files (shadowy if you ask me :p).

More Options

Word of warning, though, clicking on OK will also initiate the cleanup sequence of the disk cleanup components. In any case, doing this will reclaim a lot of the space that Windows doesn’t usually account for.

One thought on “Windows Tip: Reclaim Disk Space by Clearing Restore Points in Vista”

  1. Thanks so much for this, my computer has over 1tb of memory but has been losing cinsiderable amounts every week since i installed my games and i was so worried i had a faulty harddrive or something.

    Awesome advice :D

Comments are closed.