How much space should be kept free on hard drives?

dthomas

I’ve heard people say that a wide range of space should be left free on a hard drive for best performance - anywhere from 5%, which seems too low, to 50%, which seems too high. So if I have a 2 TB drive, there should be 1 TB of free space? Riiiiiiiight. Is there actually a rule of thumb to follow on this?

Topic: Storage
Answer this Question

Answers

2 total
jimlynch
Vote Up (25)

No, I don't think there is a solid rule of thumb because it probably depends on your operating system, and also what you actually do with your computer. If you are having problems, then you might want to leave more space to see if it helps. But if you aren't then you shouldn't spend any time worrying about it.

MrsMith
Vote Up (16)

50% free is more than necessary. Of course the drive will get slower as it gets close to full, but that is excessive. Even 15% or so should still be enough free for everything to load and work. That’s just a guess though, as jimlynch noted there are a lot of variables in OS, drive architecture and so on. For expample, some space is already allocated by Windows for page files, etc.  

Ask a question

Join Now or Sign In to ask a question.
The price will make or break this drive, because it really does call into question the need for an HDD.
As it introduces new products over the next year, Apple's consumption of mobile DRAM will jump from 16.5% to 25% in 2015.
3TB pro drives from Seagate and WD are failing faster.
Microsoft's playing off iOS 8 upgrade woes by offering to double your free OneDrive storage space--but only if you act fast.
Dropbox makes a series of improvements to its datastore API, including shared datastores, local datastores, and better webhooks.
Box foresees a significant jump in usage of its iPad and iPhone app resulting from one of the new extensions Apple will launch with the new iOS 8.
Micron is shipping its latest client SSD that offers up to 1TB of capacity at a cost of just 45 cents per gigabyte.
If you're upgrading to iOS 8 on Wednesday, you must resist the urge to upgrade to iCloud Drive if you want to continue to sync your phone to your Mac. Why? Well, iCloud Drive only works with iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite. And you all know which OS we're still waiting on.
SanDisk's new 512GB SD card sports write speeds up to 90 MB/s.
Facebook is releasing mcrouter, its software for turning many cache servers around the world into one distributed system, as open source.
Join us:
Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Tumblr

LinkedIn

Google+