I've heard than when to much of your hard drive space is in use, it can cause speed and performance issues. I am using Windows 8. I have a 1TB hard drive, so what is the minimum amount I should keep empty?

closed as primarily opinion-based by Sathyajith Bhat Jul 31 '13 at 13:32

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 4
    Welcome to superuser. Answers to this question depend on your OS and the filesystem used. So please add this informations to get usefull answers. – Uwe Plonus Jul 31 '13 at 12:12
  • @JamesBrown - You want enough space so you can perform file operations. How much free space that requires determines the size of your largest file. Why don't you just simply use external storage or increase the size of the hdd in question? – Ramhound Jul 31 '13 at 12:41

When you store data, they don't necessarily get placed sequentially in the hard disk itself. Therefore, data fragmentation occurs overtime as you use your computer day to day. This can result in loss in performance when the disk gets heavily fragmented.

What you should consider doing is regularly defragmenting your hard drives. Basically, the system will try to arrange the data and move them around so they can be read and written quickly. However, you have to set aside some free space in your disk (~10%) in order for this to work. On Windows, it has a default schedule set in place (I forgot what it is as I've modified mine), although most of the time it kicks in only when you're not actively using your computer.


For Windows, defragmentation program, and experience, say at least 15% of your disk should be free (bonus if contiguous). For Linux I dont know sorry

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