I use an SSD and am running Windows 10. I recently decided to download some games but, unfortunately, was not able to finish downloading them. Recently, I was running low on memory and decided to see what was taking so much space, but to my surprise, the properties show that the file size is 44.2GB (which seems about right) but the size on disk was showing 92.3MB.Properties Image Why is this happening? Should I just let it sit there since technically it isn't taking a lot of space?


Your downloading app reserves the total size of the download to make sure that the disk space will not run out while downloading. If you interrupt the download, most applications delete the file, but maybe your app allows resuming the download later, so it's still on your disk. The reserved space is not usable for other data. So if you need the space and don't plan to fully download the file you should delete it.


Obviously this is a "sparce file":

If you create a file with a certain size but you don't tell the OS about the content of the file, many types of OSs create such kinds of files:

The OS does not use any space on the disk for the parts of the file where you did not specify the content.

Maybe the reason why the download tool (for example Web browser) creates a file with the size of the download is the one mentioned in mgutt's answer: The tool wants to ensure that there is enough space free on the disk.

However, this will not work if the OS supports sparse files: Because the sparse file does not require any space on disk, creating the file with the desired size will not fail even if there is not enough space on the disk.

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