Free Up Disk Space By Deleting Older Google Chrome Versions - gHacks Tech News

Free Up Disk Space By Deleting Older Google Chrome Versions

You may know that I have a Intel Solid State Drive with 80 Gigabytes of space as my primary hard drive.

Windows 7 is installed on that drive and the majority of applications that I use. I recently noticed that the drive had only 10 Gigabytes of free space remaining.

I was not aware of any "big" changes that I made, either by moving or copying data to the c: drive or by installing or updating applications or the operating system that would attribute for the discrepancy in space.

I decided to investigate and noticed that my User data folder was by far the largest folder on the system, with more than 22 Gigabytes of space that data in it occupied.

The Google Chrome web browser, to my surprise, occupied almost 3.5 Gigabytes of space on the drive, which seemed awfully lot. A closer investigation showed the following space distribution:

google chrome storage space

The Chrome folder that you see belongs to the Chrome dev version that I use on the system, the Chrome SxS folder to the Chrome Canary version that I installed recently.

Google as you can see keeps copies of older versions of the browser on the drive. This went back to December 2010 for the Chrome Dev version for instance. It is not clear why the versions are not deleted after an update. Even if it is for restoration purposes it would usually be enough to keep one or two of the last versions but nine feels like overkill.

It is possible to delete those old folders right away.There does not seem to be any negative impact to the browser or system. I managed to reduce the storage space requirements from 3.4 Gigabytes to 600 Megabytes just by deleting those old folders from the hard drive.

chrome free space

2.8 Gigabytes may not sound like much at first especially if you are running a hard drive with hundreds of Gigabytes of space. The knowledge however could be useful in the future as the Chrome installation directory grows in size with nearly every version increase.

Update: Only the two most recent versions of Chrome are kept as of today. It is unclear if what I experienced was a bug or if Google modified the process.

Summary
Free Up Disk Space By Deleting Older Google Chrome Versions
Article Name
Free Up Disk Space By Deleting Older Google Chrome Versions
Description
Find out how to free up disk space on your hard drive by removing old versions of the Chrome web browser from the system.
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Comments

  1. Avinash said on February 14, 2011 at 5:07 pm
    Reply

    Thats a really nice find which will help many :)

    Martin which tool did u use see the file/folder size distribution in a tree structure ??

    1. Martin said on February 14, 2011 at 5:11 pm
      Reply
  2. Ben said on February 14, 2011 at 5:07 pm
    Reply

    Not to be a grammar Nazi, but I do believe it would be easier to cope with 2.8 GB disk loss with thousands of Gigabytes as opposed to Megabytes, although thousands of gigs are really many thousands of megs. Just thought I’d mention it before someone was (more) rude about it.

    1. Martin said on February 14, 2011 at 5:11 pm
      Reply

      Thanks, corrected.

  3. Renji said on February 14, 2011 at 6:14 pm
    Reply

    Thanks Martin! Was running out of space on the drive this got back some for me.. :)

  4. ilev said on February 14, 2011 at 7:06 pm
    Reply

    Chrome doesn’t keep old versions . Each update, automatic or via ‘about chrome’, which checks for updates , keeps only 1 old version for restoring in case of a problem. I use chrome from the beginning, never happened to me.

    1. Renji said on February 14, 2011 at 8:20 pm
      Reply

      I had 2 previous versions. Using dev build.

    2. Martin said on February 14, 2011 at 8:59 pm
      Reply

      Well, as you can see I had 10 versions in the user folder.

  5. Mushaf said on February 14, 2011 at 8:28 pm
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    Sounds like another advantage of using the Chrome offline installer – no crazy disk space consumption.

  6. Martin said on February 14, 2011 at 11:06 pm
    Reply

    I have completely removed both versions and installed the stable build. Will monitor how this one behaves on updates.

  7. jerone said on February 14, 2011 at 10:48 pm
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    I think this is a bug, which only happened to you. Because Google Chrome only keeps the current version plus the previous one.
    I’ve been using Chrome since the beginning and I only have those 2 version in my folder.
    Maybe post a bug before deleting everything.

  8. Umair Shaikh said on February 15, 2011 at 2:24 pm
    Reply

    Oh my… why it’s like that even. Didn’t get the point. But yea Martin Thanks… i save a Gig space atleast

    1. Martin said on February 15, 2011 at 2:32 pm
      Reply

      Seems that I’m not the only one, thank god ;)

  9. Chrs said on February 16, 2011 at 1:59 pm
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    It may be because of them being dev builds rather than the released stable version.

    Most likely so that testers can easily go back and forth between builds while testing and not a bug. General users won’t see this happening if they only download the released stable version and not dev builds in most cases I would think. Though it is possible.

    It’s always good to keep an eye on what’s on your computer and do regular “cleanups”….even more so when you have limited space and download a lot of programs or files. You just have to be careful to not delete what’s really needed.

    1. Martin said on February 16, 2011 at 2:03 pm
      Reply

      This could be an explanation. That’s why I have installed Chrome stable to see if it behaves similar or different. It would be great if the users who replied to the article would mention their version of Chrome (stable, beta, dev, canary).

  10. Cooper said on March 21, 2011 at 2:34 am
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    People who don’t know shit should just shut up and stop confusing others.
    I’m always using only stable builds and currently I have 6 different versions of Chrome. And it takes up 0.99 GB of my precious disk space. I wanted to delete old versions, but was afraid that something might go wrong. So I’m really happy that I was able to find this article – now I can delete 5 old ones without any worries.

    PS. Why would Google do it is beyond me – maybe they have too much free time just like with the new plain logo which compared to the amazing 3D one looks terrible.

  11. undone said on April 17, 2011 at 6:33 pm
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    I started to see my space going down at one moment… Checked on Chrome (only stable installed, ever), there were a few versions. Quickly deleted the old ones, but I’d really like it if a setting to avoid this would be available somewhere, I don’t like to hunt in the folders for old installers.

  12. luckz said on December 28, 2011 at 4:10 am
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    Chrome also keeps doing this, stacking up versions I don’t need. It was over 20gb at one point.

  13. b003 said on January 11, 2012 at 5:58 am
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    Hmmm that work with other browsers like Opera? I’ve always wanted to do that but didn’t want go through the hassle.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 11, 2012 at 10:01 am
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      Opera does not keep old versions of the browser on the system after upgrades.

  14. b003 said on January 12, 2012 at 5:34 am
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    I got installations that go back to 7.

  15. Bryan said on December 15, 2012 at 5:35 pm
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    Thanks, this article helped me a lot. I had about eight folders totaling just over one gig. I deleted all of them except the most recent two.

  16. Swatboss said on August 21, 2018 at 12:48 am
    Reply

    Sooo… Chrome is currently taking up TWENTY gigs for me… I wonder what I will find… :-D

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