I have an SSD with ~125GB formatted, and it claims ~99GB are consumed. It has been rapidly consuming storage space for weeks. I have found many instances of unexplained SSD consumption online, none of which seemed to have my answer. SSD Data Loss Over Time

My user's directory has been properly moved to another HDD with a junction so that none of my normal data storage is done on the SSD. Windows and Program Files are still present.

However, the strange thing is that I only have 46GB of data on the drive as confirmed by directory tree listings and Total Commander viewing hidden and system files. Display with Hidden Files

WinDirStat, manual inspection, and any other storage consumption analysis tool report 46GB of data on the drive when launched from a copy of Windows running on the SSD. Storage Analysis This is a big discrepancy from the ~99GB consumed. Where is all my free space?

  • This is really not a question but an explanation of something I didn't find explained elsewhere before finding the answer myself. Please tell me if this doesn't belong here. – user1695505 May 20 '15 at 9:54
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    @user1695505 Format it as a question then add the solution as an answer. Also add "answered" or "solved" to the title and accept your own answer. Then it is clear. – Ctrl-alt-dlt May 20 '15 at 9:55
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    You need to run WinDirStat as admin so it finds everything. Also, as you've noted this is not a question at all. You could break this up into a question and an answer, but there are lots of duplicates on this very site and so it would get closed anyway. @JamieWilletts: No point really. – Karan May 20 '15 at 9:56
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    @JamieWilletts: Please do not ask people to add "answered" or "solved" to the title. This is not a forum. – Karan May 20 '15 at 17:21
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    @JamieWilletts: The way to do that on SU is to accept your own answer (need to wait 2 days after the question was asked to do that). – fixer1234 May 21 '15 at 4:08

If you did not run WinDirStat as admin, it would only be able to report on space used by files that it is allowed to see.

Run it again as administrator, and it should start showing you the total picture of where the space has gone.

  • I tested it with admin and without with a folder with a hidden folder inside, with a hidden file inside, it displayed the total size including hidden files without and with admin privileges. – Santropedro Nov 28 '18 at 23:16
  • This helped me troubleshoot a users PC. Without running as admin it showed the hard drive using 50 GB when it was in fact using 45 GB. The culprit files were MSSQL files. – leeman24 Oct 7 '20 at 18:42

So what is taking up all this space? System restore. I was able to determine this by loading the drive through another computer and viewing hidden/system files.

In my case System Restore was currently configured to consume 50% of the storage space of the drive, thus this massive System Volume Information folder. To reconfigure, [Right Click]Computer --> Properties --> System Protection (on right) --> Configure Culprit

  • This is the thread's official answer and will be accepted in 2 days time when allowed. – user1695505 May 20 '15 at 10:03
  • This is a "question," not a "thread." Threads have "discussions" with "replies" but questions just have "answers." Check out this question: Is Stack Overflow a forum? – Kevin Panko May 21 '15 at 14:35
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    @user1695505, I work for Microsoft and by a popular opinion should therefore know how Windows works. Well, this question saved my day anyways :D Could you please already select it as accepted, even though the 2 days passed almost 5 years ago? – Danek Mar 7 '20 at 10:23

Running WinDirStat as any admin may not help in certain cases, in my case for files which were created by aborted XBox game pass downloads. These will only be seen by WinDirStat if it is started from the (built in in Windows but usually disabled) Administrator account.

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