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Windows error "There is insufficient disk space to complete operation" - Steps to fix it

Sometimes in the process of performing an operation such as copying a file or folder in Windows 10, users experience an error such as "There is insufficient disk space to complete operation".

Here at Outsource Path, as part of our Technical support Services, we regularly help our Customers to fix Windows related errors.

In this context, we shall look into the main causes of this error and how to get rid of it.

Nature of Windows error "There is insufficient disk space to complete operation"?

This error could occur as a result of lack of disk space, corrupted disk and so on. In such cases, this error usually pops up when you move or copy a file or folder to a particular location.

How to fix Windows error "There is insufficient disk space to complete operation"?

To resolve this Windows error, you can try to run the "Storage Sense" or "Disk Cleanup" or try copying or moving the file in a "Clean Boot State". 

Also, you could also try formatting the given partition to NTFS. 

Now let us apply some tips to fix this error.

1. Try to delete the temporary files

The error could be caused by some temporary or junk files in your computer and so you need to clear them up to fix the problem. You can achieve that using the Storage Sense feature.

i. Open Setting > System > Storage from the WinX Menu.

ii. From there, you will see a list of all the local and connected storage device along with the details on the free space. Make sure that Storage Sense is on.

iii. Next, find a link that says “Free Up Space” and click it to open.

iv. After that, a screen which is the built-in program in Windows 10 will appear and will scan your computer for the following junk files so you can free up disk space:

a. Windows Upgrade Log Files

b. System created Windows error Reporting Files

c. Thumbnails

d. Temporary Internet Files

e. Previous Windows Installation Files

f. Delivery Optimization Files

g. DirectX Shader Cache

v. Choose the files you want to get rid of and then click on the remove files option. Note that you’ll have an idea of the total size as you select any of the junk files listed above.

vi. Now go to the “Free Up Space Now” section and click the Clean Now button. This will get rid of all the temporary or junk files in your computer and should hopefully fix the “There is insufficient disk space to complete operation” error.

2. Restart your computer in a Clean Boot State

If the first options didn’t work and you still see the “There is insufficient disk space to complete operation” error when you copy folder or files, you can try put your computer in a Clean Boot State and then again.

To do this, follow the steps below;

i. Log onto your PC as administrator.

ii. Type in msconfig in the Start Search to open the System Configuration utility.

iii. From there, go to the General tab and click “Selective startup”.

iv. Clear the “Load Startup items” check box and make sure that the “Load System Services” and “Use Original boot configuration” options are checked.

v. Next, click the Services tab and select “Hide All Microsoft Services” check box.

vi. Click Disable all.

vii. Click on Apply/OK and restart your PC. (This will put your PC into a Clean Boot State. And to configure Windows to use the usual startup, just simply undo the changes.)

viii. Now try to connect copy the folder or file once more and check if the error is now gone.

3. Try formatting the given partition to NTFS

Even though this option may take a lot of your time, it is proven to fix the “There is insufficient disk space to complete operation” error as reported by many users who also went through the same dilemma. So if the removable disk is showing the same error message no matter which computer you insert it, you might have to format the drive with the help of Command Prompt. But before you do that, you must know that all the contents of your drive will be permanently deleted after you format it.

Do the following;

i. Tap Win + R to launch Run.

ii. Type in cmd and then tap Enter or click OK to open the Command Prompt.

iii. And in the elevated window of Command Prompt, type in the following command:

format F: /fs:ntfs

In the command given above, “F” is the drive letter and “ntfs” is the file system you want. Just remember to replace “F” with the drive letter you want to format as well as the file system you prefer. Brace yourself as this process might take quite a while even if you only have a 4 GB USB drive – so you must not close the window under any circumstances as the drive might get corrupted and wait for the process to finish.

[Need urgent assistance to fix Windows error? We are available to help you.]

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