How to fool Windows and clean your C drive without deleting anything. Without Admin access.

How to fool Windows and clean your C drive without deleting anything. Without Admin access.

If you are a Windows user, chances are you have run out of space in C drive, at one point or another. This tutorial will help you clean up C drive using directory links aka NTFS junction point.

This lets Windows and all other programs believe that the specified directory exists but actually, it's just a pointer to the new path, which can also be on another drive.

It's like a shortcut but better.

Steps

Without further ado, let's see the code.

  1. Cut the folder which is taking up space. e.g.
C:\Satish\Some Folder
  1. Paste it in another drive. e.g.
D:\Can be another Folder
  1. Run the following command in Command Prompt
mklink /J "C:\Satish\Some Folder" "D:\Can be another Folder"

This will create a directory junction that points to the new path.

Now when you navigate to C:\Satish\Some Folder, it will show contents of D:\Can be another Folder, but Windows and other programs will be oblivious about that.

Limitations

Neither the Windows NT startup process nor the Windows Vista startup process support Junction points, so it's impossible to redirect certain system folders:

  • folder containing hiberfil.sys (if it's configured to be outside root directory)

  • \Windows

  • \Windows\System32

  • \Windows\Config

However, it is possible to redirect non-critical folders:

  • \Users

  • \Documents and Settings

  • \Program Files

  • \Program Files (x86)

Warning

  • Creating junctions for \Users and \ProgramData pointing to another drive is not recommended as it breaks updates and Windows Store Apps.[1]

  • Creating junctions for \Users, \ProgramData, "\Program Files" or "\Program Files (x86)" pointing to other locations breaks installation resp. upgrade of Windows.[2]

  • Creating junctions for "\Program Files" or "\Program Files (x86)" pointing to another drive breaks Windows' Component Based Servicing which hard links files from its repository \Windows\SxS to their installation directory.

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