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How to make the System Volume Information folder smaller

Here’s how to reduce the size of the System Volume Information folder to stop it using up too much space on your hard drive.

Windows has built-in protection against unwanted changes to the files on your hard drive. This means that if a software update causes your PC to crash, you can restore Windows to an earlier point in time when you know it worked. Such ‘Restore Points’ are created automatically when you install a new application, game or install new drivers. See also: How to use Refresh and Reset in Windows 8

Some space is automatically allocated on each hard drive (for which system protection is enabled) for storing all the data for each restore point. This might be as little as 5 percent but it could be 15 or even 20 percent. The bigger the percentage, the more space is set aside, and the more disk space you’ll lose when the folder is full. A bigger allocation means you can keep more restore points, while a smaller space means fewer can be created before older ones are automatically deleted.

To configure the amount of hard drive space used, search for Advanced in the Start menu, then choose ‘View advanced system settings’. This also works in Windows 8.

A window will open on the Advanced tab, but switch to the System Protection tab:

You’ll see a list of drives and whether or not system protection is enabled. Select a drive where it’s enabled and click the Configure button. You can turn off protection entirely which will save the most disk space, but you leave your computer vulnerable so it’s not something we’d recommend.

How to reduce the size of the System Volume Information folder

Use the slider to reduce the space used to a level that’s acceptable for your drive. After clicking OK, you should see that your System Volume Information folder is taking up less space.

Note that it’s a hidden folder, so you won’t see it at all unless you disable ‘Hide protected operating system files’ in Control Panel under Folder Options. Even then, you cannot access the contants of this folder and you may not be able to see how much disk space it is occupying. However, you should see under Computer (or My Computer) in Windows Explorer that the amount of free disk space has increased.

How to reduce the size of the System Volume Information folder

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