How can I reduce the amount of hard drive space Windows 7 uses? I've got my Win7 cramped into a 10GB virtual machine, and with Office installed, I’m running out of space. The short answer 'use a bigger virtual HD' is not working out for me. The host (Mac) is also pretty low on space, and if we can save space, why not do so?

nLite/vLite do only seem to be available for WinXP and Vista. I've already obviously disabled the trashcan. I've disabled hibernate to avoid the use of a 4GB hibernate.sys file. Any other tips? I'm primarily interested in post-install methods, but if we can save enough space during the installation, it will justify a fresh installation.

EDIT: this question is allmost a duplicate of what stuff can safely be deleted/uninstalled from a fresh windows-7 install. My question is more wide, because I would like to see more tips like deleting cached/temp update files.


1 Answer 1


vLite works perfect with Windows 7 and is certainly the solution for you.

I have a Windows 7 VM (fresh vLited installation) using less than 3GB - plenty of space for Office etc on a 10GB VHD.

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Start with removing drivers and languages; that alone helps a great deal.

On my Eee 701 (4 GB SSD) I was testing an even more radical rip, resulting in 1.5GB used disk space (no virtual memory).

  • I think it's important to note that with the new iteration of the Win SxS system, if much software is installed/updated over the life of the OS install, you're going to start to have disk space issues due to the growth of the WinSxS folder on Windows 7.
    – phoebus
    Dec 29, 2009 at 13:59
  • true enough, but if you only have 10 GB at your disposal, you want to rip as much as possible in the first place.
    – Molly7244
    Dec 29, 2009 at 14:15
  • Agreed, I just want to make sure the OP knows what he's getting into with trying to squeeze Win7. ;)
    – phoebus
    Dec 29, 2009 at 15:05

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