Why Do I Have 80 GB of Mysterious Crap on My Computer?

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


A little while back I noticed that I had run out of room on my backup drive. That seemed kind of weird, since I don’t have a huge amount of stuff on my primary (Windows 7) drive. So I looked around to see what was up.

Long story short, I have about 150 GB of stuff on my primary drive. Several different methods confirm this. However, it turns out there’s another 80 GB of mysterious dark matter there, which (apparently) gets compressed into 75 GB of backup dark matter on my backup drive. I’m flummoxed. What is this stuff? As near as I can tell, I’ve accounted for everything: hidden files, system files, swap files, hibernation files, etc. etc. But there’s still 80 GB more. What can it possibly be?

UPDATE: Mystery solved! It was 80 GB of restore points accumulated since the day I bought the PC, because that was the default setting my machine came with. I cut the maximum down to 15 GB and that restored 65 GB of free space. Thanks, everyone!

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate