How to free up disc space on Microsoft Surface PC running Windows 10

We have  Microsoft Surface computers with a small SSD for our pupils to use. Very often the kids, curious as they are, click on the pre-installed apps to see what will happen, resulting in disruption of class as they suddenly realize that they are about to install something, or that we find them not listening as they are happily playing a pre-installed game, etc. For this reason, and in order to reclaim disc space, we would like to find ways to free up as much disk space as possible, but in a way that does not risk Windows 10 stability, etc. I have read on several different websites that it is possible to reduce Windows 10 footprint in various ways. Below I have listed some ways I have found on the Internet, and I would very much appreciate if you could comment on any of these suggestions if they are wrong or if the will create a more unstable system, or if there are better, alternative ways of reclaiming the disc space, and finally, if there are additional ways of getting more free space on your tiny SSD? Thanks!

* Use Disk Cleanup

* Uninstall default apps and bloatware that are shipped with Windows 10. For example, 3D Builder, Flipboard, Mail, Microsoft Edge (I will use Chrome). Some of these I can uninstall from the Control Panel, to remove some I seem to have to use PowerShell. Or should I use PowerShell for all apps and bloatware I do not need? And are there any apps that should not be uninstalled because it will make Windows not functioning properly?

* Use STORAGE SENSE in Windows 10 Control Panel to get rid of previous versions of Windows updates

* Disable (Delete???) hiberfil.sys file - I never use Hibernate or Sleep when shutting down Windows, If this is a good idea, should I do it via Command Prompt and type: "powercfg.exe -h off" (without quotation marks) or is there a better way?

* Additional ways to free up disc space?
Dag WoltersAsked:
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McKnifeCommented:
If hibernation is not used, you should turn it off using the command you quoted. If you are on a domain, simply include it in your domain startup script for those computers. The hiberfile, although compressed, may be as big as half of your RAM size, so most probably several gigabytes.

You can use powershell to uninstall apps for all users and tutorials and command are quickly found - should be done to avoid distraction by games, saves some MB as well.


Disk cleanup can be automated using scheduled tasks. Look at cleanmgr.exe command line options /sageset and /sagerun - maybe nowadays, storage sense offers to automate some of those as well, but the command line way is a proven method.


For further advice, I'd need to see where the space goes, as it can't be generalized. Some people use outlook and have large mail boxes being placed on the machines as a local copy (.ost file) for example, which can be turned off (set to network access only), freeing up potentially several gigabytes per user, for example. Use a tool like treesize free to localize the big chunks and, if you are unsure how to proceed, return with its output.
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Dag WoltersAuthor Commented:
Thanks a lot McKnife! I more or less just wanted to verify that I had not missed anything or misinterpreted advice I have found resulting in a screwed up the Windows 10 installation. But it seems as I have got most of it right then!
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